HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >


Opening Night at the Smoke Joint

My husband and I just had dinner at the Smoke Joint, a new BBQ restaurant in Ft.Greene, where the Cambodian restaurant used to be.
They just opened tonight.

While they have some service issues to work out, the food was great! We had the baby back ribs, something called 'hot links' which was hot sausage, kale, macaroni & cheese & cole slaw. Cooked just right, not greasy, not too sweet, and good-sized portions. Good beers, too, with unusual brands like "Porkslap" (how could you not order this one at a BBQ place?). Staff was friendly, if a bit harried. No desserts yet....and I really wanted some key lime pie to finish.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Jeez, this sounds VERY encouraging!

    It's the perfect neighborhood for it...in fact, they could have almost kept the original decor for a country shack-like atmosphere. I've always believed that the feng shui at that location was excellent...public transportation is, for sure.

    Did you notice/ask if there's a smoker/pit on-premises? Notice a woodpile around the back? Anything else "authentic" to report on?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Mike R.

      They do have a smoker on premises. Read Andrea Strong's blurb of the chef background here: http://thestrongbuzz.com/buzz/buzz_ar...
      Sounds promising to be sure.

    2. I ate here last night too, and really enjoyed the food. the brisket sandwich was great -- good fries, too. The staff was really nice, even if a little bit harried, on their opening night. I hope these guys succeed.

      1. I'll go with low expectations...would be amazing to have a decent place in brooklyn.

        1. Can I be the 1st on CH to say thats the best name -ever- for a restaurant. Nudge nudge, wink wink.

          3 Replies
            1. re: lambretta76

              Hey all,
              I stopped in this evening eager to sample the new fare..one of the owners.. really nice guy... informed me that they are not officially open yet. They did do a trial run this past weekend, but won't open officially til this Sunday at the earliest. Looking forward to it!!

              1. re: lambretta76

                Me too. Do their desserts come from Baked perchance?

            2. We ate at Smoke Joint last night. Still not "officially" open, they are very busy and definitely still working out their kitchen system; there were some service logjams. On the other hand, the staff were all very friendly and solicitous; when we asked if we could open a bottle of wine we had (they serve beer but not wine), they sent someone around the corner to buy a corkscrew for us. Overall, the vibe was pleasant and friendly if a bit harried.

              The food was mixed; I'm hoping it will improve with time and experience. We had a caesar salad with hacked chicken (overdressed), brisket, baby back ribs, and greens. The meats were surprisingly unspicy; we were expecting more flavor. The greens were pretty good, a bit more vinegary than I prefer. I'd like to go back and try the spare ribs and the beef ribs to see how those are. But prices are good, and the neighborhood definitely needs some informal, inexpensive, friendly spots like this. I hope they will keep improving.

              1 Reply
              1. re: starfish

                I ate there tonight and tried most of the sides. I thought the mac and cheese was great. The greens were a bit vinegary with a back note of spice. The beef ribs were good especially with the excellent sauce. They've got good beer (Hennepin and Blue Point for $3!) and everyone was really friendly. Both of the owners were there working behind the counter. It was the best meal I've had in Ft. Greene since A Table closed.

              2. Anyone know if they are open for lunch on the weekend?

                1 Reply
                1. re: orleanslaura

                  No, they open at 5:00 p.m., I think Tuesday through Sunday.

                2. Just to add to the chorus... Ate there the night before last and really enjoyed everything. Very nice ribs, good pulled pork, and tasty sides.

                  Chatted with both owners, who were great.

                  I've been in a constant state of depression since Cambodian Cusine left, but I'm feeling a bit brighter now.


                  1. Just to say that I've been chuckling at "something called 'hot links' which was hot sausage" from the original posting for a few days now. To me that sounds like "something called a 'bagel' which was a round soft bread"


                    Thanks for all the good reviews. Definitely going to check this place out soon.

                    1. I went to the Smoke Joint yesterday and, well, it was one of the best dinners I've had in a long time. It was already pretty busy, but I didn't have to wait long for my food. The aforementioned mac & cheese was creamy and fantastic. The fries which are sprinkled with joint rub, taste like BBQ chips, but 100 times better. But the best part was the baby (got) back ribs. Wow. Seriously, one of the best ribs I've ever had. I am a huge fan of dry-rub. Even the hacked chicken sandwich received great reviews. And they have Dale's Pale Ale and Hennepin for $3. I highly recommend for anyone who enjoys ribs.

                      I spoke to one of the owners (Ben) and the staff (some who worked at City Hall) who were all very nice. They said that they were planning to add a "special" delivery service, but they couldn't explain the details. They also plan on adding a dessert menu too, but they even went that extra distance to pick up a slice of cake at Cake Man Raven for my friend's birthday.

                      Needless to say, I'll be back very soon.

                      1. Funny, we ate there last night as well, but were less impressed (although we were impressed by the $3.50 Hennepins). I found the dry rub coated potatoes a bit too cloying (but then I don't like BBQ chips either) and the baby (got) back ribs, which were were finished on the grill, were a bit dry a somewhat devoid of taste. We did like the the brisket, however. It was very juicy with a nice smoke taste. The vinegar dipping sauce was not bad, but the tomato based sauce was very sweet.

                        That said, the people were very nice. The cafeteria style service was very efficient with only a short wait for the food. It is a friendly neighborhood place, and quite cheap ($10 for the 1/2 rack of baby backs, $14 for a huge order of brisket, sides at 2 bucks each), but I don't think think that R.U.B. or Dinosaur need to worry -- at least not yet!

                        1. we ate there last night and think it is a fabulous addition to the neighborhood. the service is so friendly and they take pride in their business. the wings wer a nice change from the usual attempt at buffalo wings (which being an upstate western new york guy i know well). the baby got back ribs were well rubbed and nicely smoked. the pulled chicken sandwich was tender, flavorful and sauced just right. the prices are right and the portion sizes are healthy also. kudos!!!!!