Friday, March 22, 2019
Smok'y Blues Barbeque- Spartanburg, SC
Heading north on I-26 on a Friday evening, I was looking for a barbecue dinner to start the weekend with. Everything I saw seemed run of the mill, until I saw the good reviews for Smok'y Blues (Why the apostrophe? I don't know, but I'll oblige them...). One blurb I read said they only cook with wood, so I bee-lined it in their direction, arriving barely 30 minutes before their 7:00 closing time.
The restaurant is in a small shopping strip kind of off the main road, but it wasn't hard to find. As I pulled up, the staff were relaxing outside chatting with a customer. Inside, the restaurant was empty except for one table. A gentleman came inside and cheerfully explained the menu to me and took my order. He was pleasant through the whole meal despite me being the last customer of the day, but I did make a point to be on my way by their closing time.
Not having had a real meal since breakfast, I opted for a two-meat combo of pulled pork- the staple of barbecue, and hash- an item I had never actually ordered before, but fairly common in South Carolina barbecue although the hash here is actually beef instead of pork. Within minutes, a heavy plate with a mountain of meat accompanied by a dinner roll and my side choices of their bourbon beans and potato salad was placed in front of me. I filled my cup from the tea dispenser and dug in- after a few photos.
The beef hash, which is more of a stew and served over rice, was good and filling. It's not technically barbecue as I view it, but it's been traditional in the area for a long time and I can see why. Like the pulled pork, it was seasoned simply which let the flavors of the meat come through.
I was impressed by the sides. They seemed to be home made. The beans were better than most, kind of sweet but balanced out well. The potato salad was made with unpeeled white potatoes, which is a little different, but the heavy dressing made it work really well for me.
I thought the blackberry would be overly sweet like syrup, but it was actually quite good. It had just a hint of berry taste and wasn't any sweeter than a normal sweet sauce. I was not a fan of the moonshine sauce. It was sweeter than I expected and just didn't seem to add anything to the meat.
Friendly service and a giant plate of good food made this a memorable stop for me, one I would come back to again if the opportunity arises. It's worth the short detour off the interstate.
FOOD RATING: 4 OF 5
OVERALL RATING: 4 OF 5