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more Blue Smoke - Remember Smokey's?

  • j

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.

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

      1. 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. 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. 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

              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

                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. Smokeys! That place was awesome!

              3 Replies
              1. re: plf515

                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

                  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

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

              2. Smokey's 9th Ave. was AWESOME! My buddy and I used to get baked before going, order the "Non-Returnable" Hot Sauced Ribs, and trade the counterman a joint for a pitcher of Free Beer!

                1 Reply
                1. re: VillageBrat

                  Man, you are bringing me back to the good old days in the late 1970's early 1980's when we would get baked and pig out at Smokey's.

                2. For those who are curious, the family that owned Smokey's moved to Florida. They still sell their sauces (you can order the hot, medium/mild) but beware the packing: one jar broke in transit. Still, they are doing their thing, albeit far from Manhattan: