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Second Chance in NOVATO

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OPENING NIGHT -- 7 days ago -- SOUTHERN PACIFIC SMOKEHOUSE

We ordered brisket and pork chop dishs. Disaster! Dessert was just as weird, a slice of apple pie: flaky crust filled with what seemed to be thin, dried apple slices.

Yet, Phil Chapman stopped by our table....a wonderful performer, after dinner he was on stage in the bar area....good show.

Evidently some of the staff, which BTW gave superb service, overheard our dismay, and as we were picking at our dessert, Nick Rimedio, Gen Mgr, stopped by the say he was comp'g our dinner as, he admitted, it just wasn't up to snuff, asking us to please please please stop by very soon to give them a second chance.

A class act with truly poor food.

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THIS AFTERNOON - SOUTHERN PACIFIC SMOKEHOUSE

We cast about for good chow @ 4 pm, not the best time for fine dining. The Smokehouse was open....holding our breath, we took the plunge....what the heck?

Today, it was, simply put, outstanding!

Night has turned to day....our BBQ Shrimp w/Cheddar Grits was very pleasant. Munching a shrimp straight away, I thought it was oddly marine....then realized the thermador-like sauce contributed a shrimp/crab spice taste that was refreshingly flavorful. Thumbs up.

Not wanting alcohol, we looked for soft drinks. HA! No Coke or Pepsi here. They have created their own freshly mixed sparking drinks. Mine: Ginger beer with cayenne infused >something< and fresh seasonal fruit, Watsonville strawberries today. Not your father's ginger ale, it was pleasing but not sugary, much appreciated by this guy. Thumbs up.

The Pulled Pork Sandwich won me over - I'll without a doubt be going back. Smothered with BBQ Sauce....NOT! It has some, a house recipe. Delicate and supportive to the mission, but not a corn syrup base sticky goo. Thumbs up.

On to dessert, we found there was no dessert menu. But there were three dishes not yet in a menu. Mine: Banana pudding. Yum! Slices of banana in a custard with cookie crunches. Thumbs up.

So long, Wild Fox....good bye, Boca! The Smokehouse is the best restaurant in Novato, and is recommended for anyone passing through.

A new facility, it's higher end decor will put you entirely at ease.

Service, BTW, was excellent, both times. No kidding....

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  1. Just so my GPS can find it.
    224 Vintage Way, in Vintage Oaks Shopping Center, Novato
    http://thesouthernpacific.com/