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“Good Texas-Style BBQ” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Smokehouse 21

Smokehouse 21
413 NW 21st Avenue, Portland, OR 97209
(971) 373-8990
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Ranked #881 of 3,282 Restaurants in Portland
Price range: $9 - $26
Cuisines: Barbecue
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch
Roseburg, Oregon
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Good Texas-Style BBQ”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

This is a good Texas-style barbeque restaurant. It is a small place on NW 21st Street, with seating for about 25. We had the pulled pork, baby back ribs and beef brisket. The pulled pork was tender and juicy and the best of the three items we ordered. The brisket was tender but had somewhat of an unusually favor. The ribs were ok but did not have much flavor. We had the Mac n Cheese as one of our sides, which comes in a small baking dish. It was very good. The baked beans also came in a baking disk, and were very good. The potato salad was a little unusually, mustard based without much mayo. The service was very good. The food was good, but not great. There are better BBQ places in Oregon.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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23 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    5
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    5
    0
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
portland oregon
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Trying too hard and falling way short”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

Background: We are serious BBQ fans, both as consumers and cooks, and we've studied 'cue from all the regions where it's native in the US.

Meat:
1. Pulled Pork: Pretty good; not sure why they put vinegar in it, though, which drags it down. B-
2. Beef Brisket: Tender, and cut interestingly into very thick slices, but it's coated with a sticky goo that seemed like molasses and coffee. Wow--what the heck is that about? C-

Regular Sauce: It's homemade but it's a very strange sauce-too thick, no discernible sugar, and way too much black pepper. C-

Sides:
1. Greens: I don't know-we ordered them and paid for them but they were not in our take-out package.
2. Potato Salad: Incredibly strange. Loads of large pickle chunks, some nice golden potatoes (also large chunks), some meat chunks (really?), not much in the way of eggs or other veggies, and the dressing seemed more stone ground mustard than mayo-based. It was difficult to eat. I'm sure the restaurant is shooting for a gourmet take on BBQ, but this dish really fails. D
3. Cole Slaw: The best side, but it's drowning in so much mayo dressing that it's hard to eat without wanting to check your blood pressure (and I love a mayo-based slaw). Yet the flavor is good. B+
4. Pickled Veggies: OK, but not pickled enough--more like raw veggies (onion, cabbage, beet (2 colors) and cuke) with some vinegrette. B
5. Corn muffin: Almost OK, but does it need meat chunks on top? And it didn't seem dry, but by the time to swallow comes around, you'll find it is way too dry. C-

There is really no reason to go there. And it's pretty expensive (2 one-meat plates, and 2 sides in addition to the sides that come with the meal = $35.00)

They are trying too hard to be different, and in the process fail miserably at delivering high-quality BBQ.

Prediction: Major changes are called for, or they may fail in less than a year. Who knows if they can fool enough diners to remain in business. Go elsewhere for your 'cue in Portland: Don't laugh, but Busters is far better, sorry but true. And Russell Street. And Podnahs blows this place away. So did the old Campbell's (when it was operated by the retired NASA guy from Houston).

  • Visited August 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, OR
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“BBQ to die for!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

This tiny place in NW Portland is easy to overlook, but not once you have eaten here. First, I have to confess, I am not a huge BBQ fan. However, this place could convert vegetarians. I had the brisket (which is injected with duck fat for extra deliciousness). The three hearty slices (two meals worth) came with 2 sides - I chose braised greens and coleslaw - and I complimented the beef with their mustard sauce (one of four sauces to choose from). It was all amazing and I can't wait to go back. The bill was $14. And for all of you vegetarians out there, there is a smoked portobello sandwich on the menu for you.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Corvallis, Oregon
Top Contributor
537 reviews 537 reviews
423 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
“Cool vibe, like the cozies”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2012

Went here for late lunch with friends on a Saturday. We ordered a ton of food. All of it was OK. Not great, but not awful. I tried beans, mac and cheese, sliders, etc. My favorite though was the canned beer each in it's own cozie. I did appreciate the music. But it took forever to get our food. Thank goodness we just kept singing to the music, although I'm sure the other diners did not appreciate it. Oh and this place is small, we had to squeeze 5 people to a 4 people table.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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