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“This place needs an intervention, fast!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Larry's Smoke House - CLOSED

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Larry's Smoke House
Cook Street, Portage, WI
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Cuisines: Barbecue
Description: Grand Opening December 10th, 2011.
Restaurant details
Description: Grand Opening December 10th, 2011.
Oxford, Wisconsin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“This place needs an intervention, fast!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2012

We really wanted to like Larry's, as this area definitely needs better restaurants. Unfortunately, we now have another mediocre place that will likely struggle, get still worse, and eventually close. The server was pleasant, but that was nearly the only positive. First, the menu out front doesn't match the menu inside, so forget the barbequed chicken. Our waitress seemed to think it's never been available at all. So, my youngest son, who really wanted that barbeque chicken, got a kids' meal of fried chicken instead: 4 tiny drumettes and cold fries. I got the brisket, which was served shredded in a watery sauce instead of sliced in the usual smoked brisket fashion. This was more like overdone pot roast, cooked so long that it was chewy and dry, but swimming in a too-sweet and watery sauce; it must have been actually smoked on a different day and served as a leftover. The coleslaw was ok, but the mac and cheese was obviously also reheated from another day; a grainy saucy, rubbery noodles, and very dry. Another son had breaded pork chops: two small slices of loin, albeit in a decent breading that he enjoyed; with it came over-cooked veggies and extremely salty rice. I have seen so many restaurants follow this path, and it makes me sad. I may take the kids back again and maybe try to talk to the owner. If he reads these reviews, let me say this, Larry: no matter what, serve good food every time. If the food is always good, people will come. Portage wants you to succeed!

  • Visited March 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    3
    2
    1
    2
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Portage
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“I wouldnt let me dogs eat there”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2012

Where do I begin. My daughter got married yesterday, which included a pre planned meal at Larrys smoke house. Two weeks earlier when we were making plans, Larry had quoted us a flat price, which I had discussed with him at length because we were on a budget. We all got to the restaurant and to make things easier, we wanted to pay the bill right away, and guess what...the bill had been jacked up by almot 50 dollars.
The bartender, co-owner, and a waitress we beyond rude to my family. We were scheduled to eat at 2:30, at 3:30 we were still waiting.
To make a long story short,,we asked for our food to be wrapped up so we would move the reception to our house...their idea of wrapping up the food for 40 people you ask??TOGO containers, the size you would get if you didnt finish your meal.
Then the drama really started....and instead of Larry himself handling his business and the issues...he had his waitstaff deal with everyyhing while he hid in the back.
On to the food....The cornbread was like cement, the pulled pork was so bland and tasteless road kill would of been more flavorful. The ribs were so dried out it was like eating cardboard..the Mac and cheese was like wall paper paste....I have NEVER been to a restaurant that was sooooo poorly managed, and the staff so incredible rude...
For more fun filled facts about Dalerion (Larry) Fonder SR go to http://www.wiscnews.com/portagedailyregister/search/?l=50&sd=desc&s=start_time&f=html&k=%23pdr&q=codette,,,also CCAP......

  • Visited March 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“In need of serious improvement”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2012

I was thoroughly unimpressed by Larry's Smoke House. There wasn't any salt and pepper, ketchup, or napkins at the table. The portions are terribly small--for example, a small order of wings is 3 wings, a large is 5 or 6. The dinner portions are about the same, and for that reason we considered the food overpriced. We ordered pulled pork and brisket, and they arrived looking exactly the same. We were expecting the brisket to be served sliced as that is customary. The potato salad was bland with the exception of the hard boiled egg and bacon garnish. We also ordered sauteed veggies, however what we actually received was really overcooked (in water) frozen vegetables--no seasoning, crispness, butter or olive oil etc. I was equally unimpressed with the waitstaff. Although they were kind, they failed to time the orders properly, and our appetizer arrived with our entrees. In addition, the various sauces that were brought to the table to accompany the meats etc. were delivered in sticky and gooey bottles with sauce clotted over the dispensing portion. The entire experience was terribly disappointing. I've been a waitress, a chef, and I consider myself to be a bit of a southern food fanatic. This is just not the way to do it. Southern food should taste like Grandma is cooking in the kitchen. You should be able to taste the love and soul in the food, and the portions should have been reflective of what you'd find in a southern barbecue joint. If you've ever been down south--you get served up like you went to a family reunion. I think this restaurant has potential, and there is certainly a niche for southern food in this area, but they really need to step up their game. Sometimes, what is most beneficial in these circumstances is to have your closest friends and family come to the restaurant after hours, and prepare for them everything on the menu. They will always be your most honest audience, and can certainly provide the constructive criticism necessary to make the appropriate improvements. I wish them luck, but as of right now I'll do southern cooking at home.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Great value, good tasting food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2012

Ordered at the bar for carry-out and everthing was great. Pulled pork and brisket were tender and tasty (ask them for some extra sauce as they were both a bit dry). The cole slaw is a unique creamy mix that'll surprise as is the broccoli rice & cheese. Heard the ribs are excellent but didn't try ourselves. Prices are affordable and portions are decent.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Merrimac, Wisconsin
1 review
“Not eating at Larry's Smokehouse would be a big mistake!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2012

We've gone twice to Larry's Smokehouse, and both times the food and service were exceptional. Our server Star was very friendly and attentive. Larry's Smokehouse is a wonderful addition to downtown Portage. The food is great! The prices are more than reasonable, and you won't go away hungry. Everyone should treat himself to a meal at Larry's regularly!

  • Visited February 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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