Smoke T Southern Kitchen & Tap
I've been awaiting the opening of Smoke T Southern Kitchen & Tap that's located on US1 (southern end of Coral Gables / north end of South Miami) and I was able to eat there on Thursday evening and left with a very positive impression.
Although not necessarily billed as a "BBQ restaurant", Smoke T serves what I would call very very good restaurant BBQ that's light years ahead of Shorty's or Sonny's. I started off with their smoked brisket that arrived to me shredded / pulled but not sliced in the traditional way. The brisket had a slightly smokey flavor and was somewhat tasty but was average at best and I believe that the menu should have indicated that it wasn't sliced. The sides that I ordered - the frank & beans and the brussel sprouts with smoked bacon were both outstanding. The frank & beans with fried onion strips should have been served hotter but the flavor was incredible and had a really home-cooked taste. The brussel sprouts and smoked bacon was chunky in texture and a delite to eat. The sides saved this dish.
From there I went to the BBQ Tacos. They were an appetizer and they were amazing. The pulled pork was outstanding and the fresh tomato, cheese and sauces on the side made this a great starter. Hopefully they'll convert these small tacos to entree size because they were simply made and simply delicious. This would be a great dish for youngsters.
I finished off my first visit with a half rack of St. Louis ribs that had a nice, tangy dry rub. These ribs were perfectly trimmed with the back membrane removed. The outer crust was very tasty but might be a bit thick for the uninitiated. They were very tender (but not falling off the bone and that's what BBQ purists are looking for). These will make you forget about those that are oven baked and finished on the grill (that other restaurants serve). These ribs were the best I've eaten in South Florida (Shorty's, Sonny's, Peoples, Beach or Tom Jenkins).
While there I found out that the folks that own Smoke T also own Town kitchen & bar in South Miami and that restaurant is well-known with a very loyal following. I'm looking foward to returning to this restaurant and trying other items on the menu. I'm hopeful this restaurant does very well and is worth the drive.
No, Smoke T won't make your forget about Sonny Bryan's in Dallas or the Smoke Pit in Ft. Worth but they're serving very, very good BBQ there and it won't be long until I get there again.
Have any of you that tried Smoke T ever eaten at Town? I have an immense aversion to the food there. I have tried so many times to like it, but its just lacking to me. How does the food at Smoke T compare to the food at Town? I want to give it a try, but its such a turnoff that its owned by the same people.
I tried Smoke T last night and was very impressed! Miami has always lacked southern cooking / BBQ spots so this is a warm welcome. We tired the BBQ rib sampler with 3 types of ribs, pulled pork and smoked sausage. All was very very good.
I love that they play country music yet the resto has a modern feel to it. They have a great beer list and a wide variety of tequillas. I noticed on the menu they make various "southern rolls" which are a BBQ meaty type version of sushi (ie: pulled pork wrapped in rice). Looks creative.
All in all, I would definitely go back but will wait till the hype dies a bit. Once people hear about this place there will be tremendous wait!!
Very positive impression! I had dinner there Sunday night with my whole clan (including two young children) and found something for everyone--football games and many screens + foosball for my son, kids menu for my daughter, solid wine selection for the wife, and a great beer selection for me. The chicken and ribs were quite solid. Not the best I ever had, but very good. Enthusiastic if not consistent service, good wings, solid ribs, nice chicken breast. I'd come back. Good solid performance. They tell me that they are opening an Asian BBQ place soon. This place is part of the same ownership group that runs Town in So. Miami.
I believe that to be the case, Frod. They've only been open two or three days. Considering that, the service was reasonably good and I'm sure will only get better. A ton of management types there all pitching in and helping out. When I got there (around 5:45 p.m.) there was maybe 8 or 10 customers there, when I left there was at least 100 and most every table filled. Parking is an issue there but they did have valet parking and I would highly recommend that. I didn't address the atmosphere because when I'm eating BBQ it's not an issue to me where I eat it. But Smoke t was laid out very nicely, warm and friendly, enough TVs to keep up with the game but not enough to give the wife the 'sports bar' feel. They have a small bar area and an excellent selection of 'small batch' bourbons on hand.
I want to be clear- this was 'restaurant bbq' and it was done very, very well. A place for a BBQ purist like myself can visit and leave happy without being critical. In fact, I'm thinking our ol' pal FreakerDude might like the place too. At this point its only going to get better.