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more Blue Smoke - Remember Smokey's?

Joshwny May 3, 2002 12:12 AM

There used to be a BBQ place on ninth & 24th in the late 70's - early 80's called Smokey's BBQ. You stood on line with a plastic tray to gather your not too bad pulled pork or ribs with a side of cole slaw and potato salad. My meal last night at Blue Smoke brought back memories of ninth ave.

I booked this meal weeks ago, before all the flames hit the message board and nearly cancelled, but decided, what the heck, how bad could it be.

Took my wife, 20 year old son and three of his friends and ate pig, like pigs, for $240 including drinks & tip. I wouldn't call any of it great, but the ribs were decent and a half was a very large portion for $13. The brisket was awful. I think they can't get meat with enough fat content and it just dries out in the smoker.

The apps and sides were fine, but I just don't get the enthusiasm for mac & cheese whoever makes it. Fry bread was delicious and oh sooo good for you. Service was slow at first, but when the bar emptied out around 9:30pm it picked up.

In any case, I thank all you chowhounds for tempering my expectations and making it a surprising enjoyable meal. Smokey's lives on.

  1. f
    friedclams May 3, 2002 11:21 AM

    Regarding Smokeys...
    the ex-wife of the original NY Smokeys returned to Florida long ago and had opened several bbq restaurants on her own (according to her, she was the brains of the outfit)...
    her latest "shack" freestanding restaurant is called Mrs. Smokeys and is located in the outer ring of Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise FL which is 15 miles west of downtown Ft. Lauderdale.
    Mrs. Smokeys menu is limited but you'd recognize her bbq sauce recipe as the same as the original Smokeys (she sells in bottles 2go)...
    Her bbq is ordinary restaurant smoker kind, no authentic smoking pit and very small finishing/plating area nothing like the original NYC location grill.
    Not worth a trip from NYC but if you're in the Ft. Lauderdale or Miami area anyway and feel nostalgic it might be worth the drive as Sawgrass Mills Mall is usually a shopping destination when the beach gets boring...lol
    Also to be noted in the main Mall area outdoor restaurant area are Wolfgang Puck, Cheesecake Factory and Legal Seafood, the latter serving better than average fresh seafood.

    Regarding Q and BlueSmoke:
    Being an ex-Brooklynite now living in far north Dallas Texas for 5 years I can't imagine spending $40 per person for mediocre Q... I typically spend $9.99 per person for much better than average all U can eat chopped pork, pork ribs, brisket and chicken including sides...$8.99 per person for all U can eat beef ribs.
    Perhaps I'm lucky and spoiled by available regional cooking, ie, Q... but I can't get any fried clams anywhere.. so much for the trade off of living in Texas vs. the northeast USA...
    Hope Blue Smoke gets their act together for all my old NY friends who crave good Q...

    1. m
      Mike May 3, 2002 06:30 PM

      Ahhh Smokey's. A real pit. Thanks for bringing back a fond memory.

      1. c
        Chuck May 14, 2002 03:29 AM

        Josh - You Da Man - The wife is indeed at SawGrass with her daughter - working it for several years now - Hot BBQ sauce - decent "Q" - interesting little place. I admire her effort - it ain't an easy business.

        1. unami May 17, 2010 04:54 PM

          Smokey's was the best! Hot was hot. What a great dive. A time when Chelsea was still Chelsea and you could share a donut with a junkie, next door at Twin Donut, or a beer at Chelsea Commons. Where did that guy disappear to?

          1. r
            rothsteg May 17, 2010 05:30 PM

            Just last week, my adult children were reminiscing about Smokey's and the ice box cake as well as the ribs. IIRC, the expansion to the much larger space on Third Avenue did them in. Never really developed a large enough clientele to cover the big overhead.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rothsteg
              Striver May 18, 2010 07:22 AM

              And yes (to a way earlier post), there was a branch up on Amsterdam around 93rd Street (later the site of the original Gabriela's). It was also a large space with a functioning water pump in the middle of the main dining area, and while they seemed to do a pretty brisk business (ourselves among their happy regular customers), they apparently over-expanded. Back then, way before the Q frenzy hit the city, they were a relative rarity and a great easting option.

              1. re: Striver
                penthouse pup May 18, 2010 11:59 AM

                When you ordered the extra hot sauce (made from chipoltes), they warned you that it could not be returned if you felt it was too hot. Hot it was--really got the endorphines to kick in. The 93rd Street location held its own with the original...

            2. p
              plf515 Nov 19, 2011 09:00 AM

              Smokeys! That place was awesome!

              3 Replies
              1. re: plf515
                carfreeinla Nov 20, 2011 06:09 PM

                When I wanted to splurge ( I was a serial dieter), I would order a to-go order of rib tips. Wow, Smokeys...

                1. re: carfreeinla
                  mcoleman Nov 21, 2011 05:50 PM

                  smokeys ruled, i went often when i lived down the street. must've closed ca.1985. hot was HOT there was a branch in the east 20s too iirc

                  1. re: mcoleman
                    penthouse pup Nov 21, 2011 06:07 PM

                    They closed in 1987. The family that started it is now located in Florida in the Palm Bay area (Sunrise Florida)

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