Holy Smoke BBQ, Mahopac, NY
STANDARD NYC-AREA BOARDS BBQ DISCLAIMER: I DON'T KNOW OR CARE IF IT'S AUTHENTIC. TASTE IS FAMOUSLY SUBJECTIVE. DEAL WITH IT.
This place, a fairly large, unfancy square dining room with adjacent bar, was virtually empty on Friday night at about 7-8:00. I thought the ribs were pretty good--surprisingly good, in fact. Very lean and smoky. I like that they tell you how many you get for a half, 3/4, and full rack. Sides were typical for a bbq place. We had coleslaw that was fresh, though bland, and applesauce that the waitress was "pretty sure" they made in-house--if that's true, I'm the queen of Arabia. Mott's for sure. Anyway, the service was good, the food was fine, we liked it and will probably return. It was not a life-changing experience but was very comfortable and pleasant. Don't know the exact address but it's on 6N, south (?) of Secor Road. They don't seem to have a Web site or anything. I don't know much about the restaurant biz but seems a no-brainer that they better get the word out but quick if they want to stay around...
Well... since we strive for honesty hereI hope you will all understand that my intention is not to slam Holy Smoke, but honestly, worst I've had in a VERY long time.
The fried catfish had so much cornbread batter that it was hard to find the fish. The oil used was probably old as the breading was hard and very dark, not golden brown, when delivered.
The garlic mashed potatoes may have indeed been potatoe, bt they weren't even properly mashed - there was a good 1/4 potato left on one of our plates. As for flavor - WHERE?! They tasted like cardboard. We dumped on so much salt and still couldn't make them palatable.
The brisket barely tasted smoked and was dry - flavor was, again, questionable. Thank GOD for the sauces on the table although they were not the tastiest I have ever had. Store bought sauces had more flavor in our opinions.
The pulled pork also required added sauces to make edible.
The chicken - well, I think you see the trend from above.
The cornbread might as well have been purchased from a grocery store with a mediocre bakery - it was ok but not great.
I had the beer sampler - truthfully - the beers were warmer than they should have been. None were of a variety that should have been close to room temperature but were served not far from that temp.
As for the ambiance of the place - LOUD! With more than four tables filled with patrons, not only could I not make out the music that was played loud enough, but I couldn't hear the others at my table. Not the kind of place I would go to to enjoy good food OR good conversation.
We opted out of coffee or dessert - honestly, I was affraid after the track record of the rest of the night.
I know many have slammed Southbound in Valhalla, but if you liked Holy Smoke and NOT Southbound - you do not know BBQ. However, my current favorite without question in "Q" in Port Chester. I could not find a single complain, even when VERY busy. And for a cool dessert - Palateria Fernandez - is across the street and towards town. Both were suggested here in another post and I cannot thank thos e folks enough for the recommendation. Even the kids have been begging to go back to both. nd Port Chester is NOT close to where we live.
Sorry if this hurts anyone's feelings or insults anyone, but man I wanted my money back and several anti-acids. 1 star from us - TOPS - and that is being generous.
I've eaten at Holy Smoke probably 10-12 times; out of that, 1 experience was terrible, a couple mediocre, and the rest very good. I have experienced pretty much everything Balderayne has experienced, but never all at once, and everyone I have ever taken there has enjoyed it. Biggest problem is that some nights service is terrible, though usually it is quite good--generally when the experienced servers are not there (there are some who have been there for years) it gets slow. I've also experienced the over-battered fish (usually it's pretty good, though). And it IS loud. But all in all, it's a great family place, different from everything else nearby, with a great selection of beer (mine has always been served at an appropriate temperature and I haven't ever had a skunked bottle) (They have beer tastings a few times a year, too). The barbecue is usually good, rarely great, and more rarely, terrible. They also have very good burgers, but beg them not to overcook them. And if you knew the place that used to be there--Heidi's Brauhaus--you'd know what an improvement this is!
I suppose there is always the one REALLY BAD night at a place, buit I have to be honest, for every meal at out table to have been so tasteless, I was blown away.
I agree, what a beer selection, and honestly, I might pop in just for the Delerium Tremens and a few others along with a basket of Sweet Potato fires, but I would be hard pressed to want to try the BBQ again. Once bitten, twice shy. Again... try Q in Port Chester if you are ever down that way... you'll see wat I mean.
Well, it's October '07, so the place has remained open, and from what was written, has learned a few things. The chicken wings were terrific, as were the ribs. The cole slaw was homemade, and even the onion rings were delicious. We got there at 5PM on a Sunday and were served immediately. By 6 PM there were five tables with menues. It fills up fast at night.
I just posted comments on this place tonite but then came across this post. My family and I enjoyed Holy Smoke and definitely plan to return. It was totally full-largely families, lots of kids. Route 6N, Mahopac -- best bet is to call them for directions. Five minutes from Route 6/118 Somers.
We went for dinner tonight (a Saturday). I had gone there with my family shortly after they opened, and went with some people from work on a weeknight a few weeks ago. When I first ate there with my family it was a Saturday night and there was a 45 minute wait to be seated. Not so tonight.
We called before leaving home around 5:50 and were surprised to hear that there was no wait (actually I read your post a few minutes earlier so I was not surprised). When we arrived shortly after 6 there were a few tables empty, but I wouldn't say that it was empty. Service was friendly, as it always is. However, it was not nearly as fast as it had been in previous visits. And our order was messed up. My wife and I both ordered the pulled chicken sandwich, hers as the platter with 2 sides. They delivered it with fries and mashed potatoes, neither of which she requested. They eventually fixed it, but it took several minutes and iterations. Also, the kids burgers were much smaller than they had been on our initial visit. We had the corn fritters as an appetizer and while they were good, I still have a problem with $6 for a relatively small portion.
As for getting the word out, they did advertise the first few weeks that they were open, and the place was definitely packed. Maybe the novelty has worn off and they need to start advertising again, or send out coupons. There was a flyer in the menu about weekday specials they are running (this is not advertising, I took the sheet with me so I figured I might as well add it here):
Tuesday - free kids meal with the purchase of 2 adult meals $12.95 or higher (kids meals are $5.95 and up)
Wednesday - ribs are $12.95 (this is $5 or so less than regular price)
Thursday - combo platters are $15.95 (I think this is $4 off)
BTW their address is 241 Route 6N, Mahopac, and the phone number is 845-628-9795.
Have eaten quite a few times with my wife and 2.5-year-old son. It's a nice open atmosphere, great for families, good food in good portions. Service is spotty though (friendly and prompt at first, but then they seem to disappear). Best to go early in the evening--it's usually empty from 5-6:30, but fills up soon after that. One night we went and there were no high chairs or booster seats available (a LOT of families come). Their ribs are very good, and I like their pork, but I doubt it is "great". Catfish has been steadily improving. We rarely make it to dessert, so I can't comment on that, but they have an excellent selection of microbrews in bottles and som good bears on tap, too. I will continue to go back regularly until it closes and becomes an italian restaurant like everything else in Mahopac does...