Savannah's local restaurateur wunderkind has opened-- or re-opened-- his second of five restaurant/bars in a new location. Off the beaten track, hampered by lack of parking, the original Blowin' Smoke packed up and blew the joint, heading for a site that was transformed from gas station to restaurant two businesses ago, the last having failed after being repeatedly targeted by thieves and robbers-- and that's what we call a handicap. Nevertheless, Brian Huskey looks at opportunities and focuses on the pluses, not the minuses, and rolled out the new version of Blowin' Smoke with a menu expanded to include items other than barbecue. So, fresh off a rave review by the local newspaper in which the critic said he'd been back twice in one week, we were expecting to find the menu as inventive and the food as good as the Savannah Morning News said it is.
We arrived at 1 pm on Sunday, to find the lunch shift into its third hour and the room half full. We asked the waitress for her recommendations and she obliged. My pal (who waits at another local restaurant) opted for the pulled pork; I asked for a half smoked chicken. The waitress returned to report that the chicken would require 40 minutes; I settled on the blackened fish tacos. True, the menu is budget-priced, but nevertheless the portions of both orders failed to satisfy, especially since the pork was inedible and the tacos so scant as to hardly qualify as an appetizer, let alone a featured main course. What there was to it was unexceptional and served at room temperature, giving the impression that the ingredients had been prepared well in advance.
The pork was returned with a bite missing; the waitress offered to remove it from the bill. But my pal didn't have the heart to insist. With tip, the bill came to $20. Affordable yes, but far below expectations, made worse when staffers opened the garage doors to admit a swarm of flies.
Savannah loves Brian and forgives him his heady exuberance in opening one new location on top of another before working out all of the bugs. Friends worry that he's taken on too much. But he insists that his plan is workable if only because he empowers employees to run the show without his direct supervision. That approach worked to his disfavor with the mad rush to Five Spot and a problem with consistency. Apparently, this newest venture suffers from the same problem: what the local newspaper raved about on a Saturday night could not be replicated Sunday afternoon.
We expect better of Brian, if only because he delivers it at B.Matthews, his flagship operation. Diners are advised to opt for it instead of Blowin' Smoke, give Brian time to work out the bugs and allow the smoke to clear as he blazes a trail through Savannah.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.