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Oct 17, 2010 11:59 AM

Holy Smokes in Palm Beach Gardens

In all fairness, this is a first time review but I am posting this anyway.

Holy Smokes on PGA in PBG has taken the spot that was previously Shorty's. Holy Smokes is a new resto by Chef Michael Blum .They have kept the smokers and have redecorated a bit to accommodate a bar. Fried pickles, a first for me, were actually pretty good. BBQ tacos were more like cole slaw tacos with bbq. They need to cut the slaw by 50% and add more Q.

St. Louis style BBQ ribs were actually very good with one small exception. Smoke flavor was very good and had more than East Coast BBQ and Porky & Becky's. They may use a dry rub but their sauce is way too bland for anyone's taste. The ribs needed more cooking time, as the connective tissue wasn't fully broken down and a bit tough to deal with on the bone (much like Rib Bizz in Boca). Aside from needing more cooking time, the ribs were actually very good and in the top 3.

Baked beans were Shorty's recipe and the yellow rice (actually orange in color) had some dry out bits of rice that made it inedible. They have a lot of options on their menu, from St. Louis style ribs to baby backs, brisket, burgers, pizza, seafood, pasta, and some other sandwiches.

The problem here was the service. Our server must not have ever worked in a resto before. This person was completely clueless as how to service a table. We had to ask for silverware when the apps came out. One entree came out 10 minutes before the last two arrived. This is just poor timing on the kitchen's part. We had to ask for a new plate, which was left over from the apps, for a pizza entree. Ribs came out with no bbq sauce and had to be requested. If you are going to hire inexperienced people, at least train them up before they hit the ground running. Both the kitchen and the server failed on this night. I rarely complain about mediocre service but this was much less than that.

This place has a pretty good bar clientel and a fair amount of people actually dining. They have drink specials which draws in the crowd. I read an article that said this was supposed to be a south beach style bar atmosphere - I saw nothing like that. It was more like the Snuggery's patrons dropping in to try a new drinking hole. I believe they are open until 2am.

Solomon Kedmi, the previous owner of Shorty's PBG and the defunct Portofino on Singer Island, appears to be at the helm managing for Holy Smokes. The bbq actually seemed a bit better than Shorty's from a smoke perspective and I would have to say Solomon is probably running the smoker process. I might be back to try their burgers for lunch or get ribs for takeout.

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  1. I left out one very annoying situation. The bar rings a *very loud* bell when they get a tip. Good gawd this was annoying and WAY TOO LOUD! The table next to us complained to their waitress but she had a confused look on her face as to what to do about it. Do not sit near the have been warned! This damned bell alone is enough reason for me not to go back now that I think about it.

    1. According to the review in the PB Post, Chef Michael Blum has already left this place.

      2 Replies
      1. re: freakerdude

        Freaker - Since you're the BBQ guy in PBG, I thought I'd let you know there's a new farmers market on PGA in Midtown called Sweet Greens and they're doing BBQ daily by the pound. I just checked it out right after I ate lunch so I didn't get to try any, but I work nearby, so I will in the next few days. If you beat me to it, let me know what you think.

        1. re: ash0529

          Thanks, I read about this yesterday. I live very close to PGA & Military, so I will check it out soon.

          Here's the market:

          Here's the BBQ (original location from Long Beach NY):