I finished up my portraiture class well after normal lunch time, and Laura haad already eaten and was out shopping. That meant I was on my on to try something new. Today it was Smoke on the Water at in the West End Shops.
The restaurant describes itself as "a saucy southern tavern." Blues plays constantly. This place is no-nonsense, with beige walls, brown trim, and wooden booths and tables. These is little artwork, except for two large paintings on one section of the dining area. This place advertises itself as a bar and restaurant, so the emphasis is on food and drink rather rather than decor. Despite its spartan nature, there is a simple elegance to the setting.
As the name implies, this is an upscale barbecue joint. There is a nice selection of appetizers and sandwiches. Dinner entree’s feature beef brisket and beer butt chicken, as well as other BBQ and gilled items, and start around the mid-teens. Smaller versions of the entree’s are available for lunch, most under $10.
I ordered the lunch portion of the beer butt chicken. It just sounded too strange not to try. This came with cole slaw and my choice of side, for which I selected the spinach casserole.
Cornbread was brought out first, along with four large bottles of sauce. These were described as a red sauce, mustard based, sweet, and cayenne vinegar. My entree arrive, and initially I was a bit disappointed. There was a small chicken leg and side, a dish with the casserole, and the cole slaw on an oversized square plate. I guess I had just assumed it would be a larger chicken breast. Regardless, it was quite tasty, especially with the sauces. I tried the cayenne, but my favorite turned out to be the mustard, which also had vinegar overtones. The spinach also had a nice spicy flavor, although it gave the impression of having been reheated. Still , the flavors were nice. The cole slaw provided a counterpoint to the spices of the sauce and the spinach.
With the smallish portion of chicken (which was probably perfectly enough for lunch) I had room for dessert. I ordered the Jack Daniels Chocolate Chip Pecon Pie. I received a huge wedge of pie, with and obscene amount of pecans and chocolate chips scattered around the plate. It was fantastic, and more than made up for any percieved portion inadequacies of the meal.
The food was great, and service was stellar. I’d like to come back sometime for dinner, and perhaps try one of the other entree’s.