Monday, June 11, 2012

ABC's of Dining: smoQ

I'm still meandering through the ABCs of Dining - my quest to eat at a new restaurant that starts with each letter of the alphabet - and am up to the letter S. The vote was close but smoQ won out and I was pretty happy - especially since I'd just purchased a Groupon for them! 

smoQ is off 275 near the Springdale Cinemas and Pappadeaux's (another place I want to try). It's got a nice outdoor patio that we sat at - it provided lots of shade and near perfect temperature for dinner.

Our Groupon was for the Memphis Sampler ($44 value - we paid $22). If I can remember everything it came with: 1/2 slab ribs, 1/4 chicken, pulled pork, brisket, 2 sausages, cornbread, salad and 3 sides. Wow - that's a lot of food!

The cornbread that came out first was my favorite thing all night - it had little orange bits inside that looked somewhat like the syrup in a McDonalds McGriddle Sandwich. I asked the waitress what the bits were and she said BUTTERSCOTCH! Yum!!! These were some of the best corn muffins I've ever had!

The salad too was really great! It was a mix of greens and then buried in there were candied peanuts, bacon and diced fruit (pear or apple - I couldn't tell with a tiny dice piece I saw). This was really a great salad and I have to admit - I was full after the corn muffins and salad!

But on came dinner - their sides all sounded so good but we picked brown sugar bbq chips first and these were pretty typical saratoga chips ala Montgomery Inn.

The other two sides we chose were the Mashed Potatoes with Onion Bacon Milk Gravy (sounds complex and simple at the same time) and Southern Green Beans. I was really intrigued by the Sweet Potato/Pecan Brulee but figured they would have eggs so I skipped it.

Then came the plethora of meat - meat - meat!!! We went for the St. Louis ribs (dry rub) - you can also choose the saucy baby back style. The ribs were good but a bit dry - the meat did have a nice smoky flavor. The chicken had a nice amount of sauce smoked onto it and the thigh piece was really juicy! There were also two pieces of sausage (one all beef and one andouille) - I'm not sure which was which but they were both really good. Of the meat - this was my favorite part. The pulled pork was really dry so we didn't eat much of that - they did provide 3 kinds of sauces to accompany all the meat. There was also brisket - which I thought was dry but Larry liked.

I think you can still buy this Groupon deal - and I have to say - for $22 - it's a great deal. We easily could have shared that among four people. Be sure to read it closely - you HAVE to make a reservation to use it.

Why Should You Go? Well - I have to say - I have a mixed review. I think I've found I'm just not a huge bbq fan. I think the quality at smoQ was good but dry in spots - I just don't love it. I liked parts of it but didn't LOVE the overall experience. The staff was really friendly - which is always nice. Overall - I really liked parts (corn muffins, salad and sausage) but was just meh about the rest of the items.

smoQ on Urbanspoon
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