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Holy Smoke BBQ Philly

Anyone been? How is it? Going to south Jersey at the end of the month and wanted to try this place out.

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  1. not familiar with it. where in south jersey? i've yet to find a bbq that i absolutely love in the area.

    4 Replies
    1. re: dtphilly

      It's actually in Philly, but since we'll be right across the river I thought we'd head over. Here is the website.

      1. re: rizzo0904

        I haven't been there, but just FYI, Roxborough is a good 10 miles away from the foot of the Ben Franklin Bridge on the Philly side.

        1. re: rizzo0904

          Thanks riz. This place looks awesome. Can't wait to try. When did it open?

          1. re: juice

            I think it's been about 3 months since I heard about it (haven't gotten there yet)

      2. Wow...website sounds great!

        1. OH MY. I see a trip to Roxboro in my near future!

          1. Hey, what's the neighborhood like? My mother in law is trying to tell me I shouldn't go because it's a dangerous area. I assume she's over-reacting?

            4 Replies
            1. re: rizzo0904

              She is. Then again, you could get shot, which would never happen in other parts of Philly.

              1. re: rizzo0904

                The neighborhood is fine. Very much a mix of working class and Yuppies. The area that the Holy Smoke is has a lot of other stores and restaurants, so it's well traveled and well lit, usually with lots of people around. Nothing at all to worry about the neighborhood. Tell you mother in law to cool her jets.

                1. re: rizzo0904

                  Roxborough is not dangerous. Far from it. Most neighborhoods in Philly aren't dangerous.....a few are. M.I.L. is overreacting.

                2. Really is quite good. I posted in anoher thread about a recent experience... very tasty.


                  1. i've gotten food at holy smoke twice now.

                    first off, i live in the neighborhood and while it's not the safest place in the world, the neighborhood is not littered with hoodlums.

                    i got takeout the first time, and while the ribs were decent (meat not 100% falling off the bone) i think a better choice was the fried chicken. even though we got takeout, the chicken was still moist and the skin was very flavorful. i'd definitely go again for the chicken. (cornbread not so great. almost like cardboard)

                    the second time i went for easter brunch when they had the buffet (so take my thoughts with a grain of salt, which it seems like most readers do on this site). because a lot of food was sitting in trays, it ended up being soggy by the time it reached my plate. (i.e. the fried chicken, fried catfish, basically anything fried). but, on the other hand, the ribs were better during the easter brunch.

                    i'd probably rank holy smoke's ribs on par with phoebe's (which just re-opened on umbria), but better than tommy gun's.

                    1. We went there this week. First off, Roxborough is the safest neighborhood in Philly. Besides true Q hounds will go anywhere for good food.

                      The barbecue was ok not great. We started off with an appetizer of rib tips. From the description I thought they would be like the burnt ends I have had in Kansas City. They weren't. They were bony little pieces of hard meat. I had ordered the ribs for dinner so I got a little worried at this point.

                      For dinner our group had ribs, brisket and the pulled pork sandwich. The ribs were good, tender and falling off the bone. Could have used a little more kick in the flavor department. The pulled pork was tender and very tangy from the Carolina vinegar sauce. I'm not into vinegar sauces but this one tasted good. The brisket was very tough. Hard to imagine for something that slow smokes for 12 hours. It seemed like they sliced it and sauteed up the pieces to reheat them. Don't get the brisket.

                      The entrees were a la carte so we had sides of baked beans, okra/corn and Hoppin' John. The sides were all delicious. House made with good ingredients. If the meat had been as good as the sides it would have been a much better meal.

                      It took over 35 minutes after ordering for the entrees to appear. Much too long for a BBQ joint that wasn't that crowded. A live band started playing later so that was nice. They have a good looking southern menu so we would probably go back for that and to enjoy the live music.

                      1. Went for a repeat visit last night. Four words > Will not go again.

                        What a staggering fall from grace. In another post I praised the food and atmosphere...this one...let me just say this place took a nose dive. Prices raised, portion size dropped, and quality through the floor. After debating much of the day the wife and I decided on Holy Smoke based on prior experience..we should have read the signs when we stepped in...half the dining room closed off..mostly empty (7pm) and baely a whisper of a scent of smoke. Fast forward...we had the BBQ for 2 which last time was delicious and a spectacular value....this 'new' version..smaller..limp..tough ribs..scrawny chicken..marginal shrimp..and a nuked mac n cheese as well as hoppiin john sides. The next jab in the eye..corn bread 'still baking' for the entirety of our visit..in the end substituted with garlic bread....two halved kaisers smeared wih oil and garlic...and brought to a near burned finish. Final jab in the eye....$10 buck hike in price for the platter. Will not return.

                        As an aside.. On the ride home we were headed up Umbria and passed Phoebe's BBQ and stopped to pick up a take out menu. Flash forward 5 minutes and we were inside eating a pulled pork platter with greens and beans..and fresh..delcious corn bread (fresh corn in there!). That was around $10... Tell you what...two of these platters would run half what we wasted at Holy smokes...and easily crushes it out of the park vs the mediocre meal at Holy Smokes.