BLUE SMOKE - a report
After one meal at their second evening of service, I can say that Blue Smoke has the potential to be what they want to be - namely, a Kansas City/St Louis style rib joint.
I had the bbq "rhapsody" - a combo of spare ribs (not baby backs), sliced pork butt and brisket. The brisket was poor; very dry, and although it did have a nice smoke ring, it didn't have much smoke flavor. Pearson's has nothing to worry about in this department. The pork was tender and juicy, but completely devoid of any smoke essence. Again, the pork shoulder at Pearson's is far superior. I've even had more flavorful pork at my local Dominican rice + beans joint.
The ribs, however, show real promise. They seem to be a wet/dry hybrid. They are definately dry-rubbed, Memphis style, but they finish them with a little sauce in the Missouri fashion. The ribs themselves are not especially meaty, which is a little dissapointing, especially when you're paying what you are. However, this is not really out of line with the kind of ribs offered in many of the country's finest joints. What the ribs do have is flavor; smoke, spice crust, and sauce. The sauce is very good - a very tangy tomato/vinegar concoction.
In the other areas, they are getting their stuff together. OK beans, good slaw (i like mine a bit creamier, though). A very well chosen draft beer selection (Anchor Wheat, Stoudt's Gold, Abita, Stella, and a few others)
I will return, but I will stick with the ribs. Texans craving brisket needn't bother.
I was reading the early reviews on Citysearch, and 5 out of the six people who ate there said it was absolutely dreadful - I've never read such bad reviews.
I have a reservation there for tonight, but I'm thinking of cancelling. I really didn't want to be disappointed by this place.