Food, Fire & Glory!
So the motto of Smoke goes. Smoke isn’t your typical down & dirty southern BBQ joint. It describes itself as “modern Texas cuisine at its finest,” and Smoke’s food combines a lot of that good ole’ BBQ expertise with haute cuisine methods.
That may sound snobbish when up against other southern BBQ stops that dot the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but the dishes that Smoke serves up are somehow nostalgic… as if you could have them at home. That said, they are still fancy and you almost definitely couldn’t replicate them at home! At least not without a huge smoker and equally large charcoal grill and several years of practice at your fingertips.
Some of their “Large Meat” menu selections include ‘pulled whole hog with blue cheese cabbage slaw’ or their ‘coffee cured natural beef brisket served with B&B pickles and potato salad.’ They are pros…
Smoke Dallas was founded by Tim Byres (you can read more about him here) after a tour across Texas and the “Deep South” where he learned all about authentic southern cooking, primarily over wood fires. “Bloom where you are planted” is Byres’ approach to cooking with what is available both locally and regionally in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The success of this approach is apparent in the food they serve. Smoke now has two locations, one just outside of downtown Dallas and the other just a short drive north in Plano.
The menu at Smoke is a eclectic mix of grilled, smoked, cured & salted, pickled, and roasted delicacies that are a result of Byres’ tour. They serve up things that sound common – ribs, burgers, strip steaks, pulled pork – but with an expert twist that incorporates their in-house practices of smoking, curing, etc. The result is something familiar, but only just.
And as the picture above might have indicated, they mix a mighty fine drink or two. I’m partial to a well-made Old Fashioned and Smoke has a really interesting twist on it with their infused spirits. Their ‘Maple Wood’ spirit uses actual maple wood infused with George Dickel rye whiskey, brown sugar and orange to make a really interesting, smooth cocktail that perhaps goes down a bit too easy.
Now, I must confess that I didn’t have the burger you see on the right. You see, I had larger, four-person BBQ platters to attend to on this particular summer night in Dallas. However, I think I should mention the “EB&D Loaded Up & Truckin’ Burger” because it will definitely be my choice next time around.
This is Smoke’s standard menu burger, loaded with thick & smoky bacon, a farm egg fritter and melted smoked cheddar cheese on a bed of lettuce and pickles. From the images I’ve found shared on social media, this monster is stacked high and isn’t for the faint of heart. I’ll definitely be back and will definitely want to sink my teeth into this burger.
On that particular night, I was accompanied by three colleagues and we opted to forgo individual meals and tuck in to some huge platters of BBQ selections. Our plates included the aforementioned coffee brisket, sliced BBQ beef with roaster peppers, and spare ribs with a bit of andouille sausage thrown in for good measure. Accompanying that load of delicious meat were tons of pickles, slaw, cheese grits & hominy casserole, potato salad, some grilled garlic bread, and roasted vegetables.
A meal fit for kings…
Somehow this picture makes it all appear smaller than it really was. The two trays, piled high, were plopped down in the middle of our table and then the attack commenced. None of the BBQ meats survived our relentless onslaught. When the dust settled, all that remained was a clump of slaw and a couple slices of bread.
The meats were excellent – exactly what we were looking for when the waitress turned us on to the special sharing platters. The platter consists of a selection of items that Smoke is known for – and with good reason. The meat was moist and succulent; none of this dry brisket nonsense. The spare ribs were tender and juicy and the BBQ beef slices were excellent for piling onto the grilled bread with some slaw or grits to bring it together into a BBQ open-face sandwich.
As I mentioned before, Smoke isn’t your typical down & dirty BBQ joint off the highway in Texas. It is posh. And the meats, the clientele, and experience don’t let you forget that. They are served up thoughtfully and masterfully, not just thrown together. Maybe it’s intended for people like me who are in town for business and aren’t local enough for the full dirty Texas BBQ experience. Even so, it was an enjoyable meal and does Texas BBQ proud.
Everything was nice from the service to the rustic posh interior design and art. We came hungry and left having overloaded on delicious BBQ. No room to try any desserts – though we did seriously contemplate it for quite a while. If you ever find yourself in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with a hankering for something local, but upper-end, then Smoke may be just the place you’re looking for.
And, I will be back for that burger. Oh yes. I will be.
You can visit Smoke at 901 Fort Worth Ave, Dallas, TX 75208, or check out their website here.