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Dec 26, 2010 01:39 AM

DTW: Redsmoke BBQ Greektown

It's that time of year again - time for me to watch my alma mater Michigan Tech Huskies play in the the annual Great Lakes Invitational Hockey Tournament. I am thinking of trying out Redsmoke BBQ in Greektown before the game. Anyone been there? Is it good?

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  1. Hi momskitchen,
    Yes, RedSmoke is good. As you know, you have many choices downtown, but if you are considering RedSmoke, I’d say definitely go for it.

    The place seems very professionally owned, so don’t expect that this is a “find” where an artisan pit master is giving his/her own restaurant a whirl. No, RedSmoke is a trendy/stylish business with good music and a good local beer list. Like other casino-era upstarts, the prices are a bit high, unless you know the ins-and-outs of the casino comps/promos game.

    Well, on to the important thing: the food. I had the Classic Combo for $16.99. It has a choice of two meats, one side, two big pieces of Texas toast, and one big cornbread muffin w/o butter. I selected beef brisket and homemade andouille sausage.

    Both were very tasty, and the tender beef had a nice thick black bark, though not a memorably deep smoke ring. I think they store the beef in a steam tray, so it was slightly watery to me, but “juicy” to others. The sausage had been split length wise, so grill marks could be laid upon its center (not my personal preference). The meat portions were modest, and I was thankful for that, because had more been provided, I’d have overstuffed myself.

    The sides (dinner, not lunch) are well above average in size. My included side was mac’n’cheese (not bad), and I added a side of baked beans for $3.99. The beans had a hint of pit drippings but mostly contained a bunch of tomato sauce and molasses goo with some kick. I’m sad to report I ate all the product. Similarly, the muffin was oozing baked honey, so as to satisfy the obvious sweet tooths at the nearby tables.

    Roughly five sauces were on the table and each was very good, IMO (the kickiest was called Poblano, though it wouldn’t register on the JanPrimus index). Dragonmead “Sir William” ESB was a dollar off, so I got 16oz for $4. Good local brew choice, particularly for that price.

    My neighborhoodly waiter was pleasurably entertaining and genuine, but had zero short term memory. Thus, when I ordered water and a Dragonmead beer, he said, “Do you want water, too?” and when I again said yes, he said, “What kind of beer do you want?” to which I again said Dragonmead. Not surprisingly, I never got my water… But, he got a 20% tip just for the quirkiness and enthusiasm.

    The kitchen was a bit slow, given that there was the equivalent of about one cook for every table when I visited, so I worry what would happen once the early game at The Joe lets out and the restaurants fill up. Oh well, at least there will be plenty good to drink while you wait.

    PS--Twenty years ago I heard Michigan Tech had matriculated an actual female student. Perhaps that one person was you, momskitchen?

    2 Replies
    1. re: vtombrown

      Poblano is my favorite non heat pepper. :)

      1. re: vtombrown

        @vtombrown Thank you for the writeup. I'm not as young as I look in my avatar = MomsKitchen actually matriculated from the vaunted halls of Michigan Tech well over 20 years ago - in fact it was 1987. There were plenty of us gals up there then - you can easily identify us by our Sorel boots and appreciation of fine Yooper cuisine like pasties, pickled eggs and cheap Wisconsin beer.

      2. We made it to Redsmoke and I enjoyed their brisket. It was very tender....their sauces were good, not great. I liked the combination of the "Honey Mustard" and "Redsmoke". Shared mac and cheese with Mr. MomsKitchen. It's not as good as Slows mac and cheese. If I had my druthers, I would have gotten the greens but the Mr. doesn't like them and we were sharing. We tried the deep fried pickles, which are a family favorite, and I would have to agree with our cherubs and say that they were good, but not the best we've ever had. Had to try my hometown Warren brew Dragonmead Sir William ESB which was described by the waitron as "really bitter" but I found it not bitter at all which is odd for a beer that calls itself an ESB. I liked it good enough. Bottom line is that I really enjoyed the Redsmoke and would definitely go there again.

        3 Replies
        1. re: momskitchen

          Phew. (That would have been embarrassing for me if you'd hated the place)

          1. re: momskitchen

            ESB's are pretty much the same as a Pale Ale that is over 4.*% abv. Pale Ales used to be considered bitter and maybe still are by people that drink Miller and Bud. Now we have IPA's and Imperial IPA's and my new favorite beer "Southern Tier 2xIPA". Now those have range and can be pretty gnarly on the bitterness for a Pale Ale Style. American Barley Wines can be up there too.

            Speaking we have any local SE Mich serious beer snobs in our midst? I have a 1999 Sierra Nevada Barleywine that just grew into itself in the last year or so. I would love to share that with someone that has a palate education that would know the difference.


            1. re: JanPrimus

              Gruelurks is on this board from time-to-time, and he's a pretty good beer enthusiast. He'll regularly trade beer with other guys we both know from out-of-state when there's a pinball event we go to. It's all lost on me, however. I don't drink swill. ;)