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Aug 7, 2008 08:21 PM

Smokey Joe's just OK now

I have been a very long time fan of the hickory smoking that has gone on at Smokey Joe's in Edmonton for almost 20 years. I have eaten their brisket in at least 5 different locations as they moved around the city. They have been stable on Stony Plain road in the what was once Lux Diner for more than 5 years. Perhaps that is at the root of the decline, maybe all that moving kept them at the top their game. Lunch today was disappointing. The brisket was still without equal in E'ton but the rest of the meal -- not so much. The brown beans were extremely mushy and really only tasted of molasses. The St. Louis ribs were very salty and not as moist as one would expect of something slow roasted. The coleslaw, better than KFC but not by much.

Given how few tables were busy over the lunch hour, I am guessing that business has not been great lately.

Both things make me sad because Joe's was once one of the great, reliable places for families to eat real good food that was lovingly cooked on the premises.

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  1. I went there for breakfast a couple weeks ago and I was suprised at how dingy the place was. The food was sub par at best.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bryn

      Ive been goin there for last five years and they dont serve breakfast so your comment is very funny

        1. re: Bryn


          If you are thinking of the spot that used to be the Iron Bridge across from the High Street strip-malls, you likely are.

          1. re: Bob Mac

            thank you. That place is a dive.

    2. I am Chowhound's new heel, so read carefully.

      I love barbecue, and I always enjoyed eating at Smokey Joe's as a kid. I remember their location at Meadowlark being a very special treat. It seemed like with each move it deteriorated a little more, now being nothing more than a sad reflection of its past glory. I guess it will make a heart stopping turd, but I'd rather go to Grandma D's for my BBQ craving. Still not perfect - when I had their ribs they were clearly sped along with some braising - but the best BBQ I've found in town that isn't home made.

      1. two of us dined there last week for dinner. there were two other tables with customers and one pick up order came in during the hour or so we were there. they didn't have the choice of beer that was advertised on the menu and the chicken wings (hot) appetizer we ordered was almost inedible. but, we both had the pork ribs and they weren't bad. the meat was tougher than i would have liked, but it was flavourful. i had the coleslaw and the cornbread - not bad, not great - and my companion had the beans and slaw. the beans were heavy and gloppy - and tasted of molasses like pengcast said. the major upside? dessert. i had the chocolate rum cake with ice cream and my DC had the apple crisp with ice cream both were really good. the price was right too - but don't think we'll go rushing back. i'm planning on trying Louisiana Purchase; i've heard good things and am always looking for great BBQ/Ribs.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ihatepickyeaters

          Sorry this is slightly off topic. Is Louisiana Purchase still open? My friend and i wanted to go there but when we got to where he thought it was there was just a "for rent" space. I'm hoping he got the address mixed up. I'd like to try it when i'm back in town.

          1. re: blond_america

            blond america:

            Double check your directions at A call to their reservations number got voice mail without any indication that they were out of business.

            It has been years and years since I was last there. I have a good friend who moved from Edmonton to North Van but whenever he was back to visit we almost inevitably ended up there. Alligator, crawfish boudin, red beans and rice, good hot sauce.

            Let us know if it is still in operation and I may need to visit again once the holiday season is over with.

            1. re: Bob Mac

              Just stopped by Louisiana Purchase a few days ago. It's still alive and well. The steamboat jambalaya was great. I loved the place.

              1. re: blond_america

                Went to LP a few weeks ago for lunch. Had great gumbo and an OK po'boy. Haven't been for dinner in years. They used to have the best beef dish in the city - the tournenados Ya Ya. The beef was spicy and sweet and melted in your mouth. I need to go back and see if they are still as good.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Hickory? Where do you get hickory in Canada? It doesn't GROW here! Hard to believe they'd be importing it either...

            1 Reply
            1. re: derfster

              Why is it so hard to belive? You can order hickory chips (or various other woods) off the internet. We import pineapples, bananas, French cheese, and Australian wine...