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“A Launceston Treasure. Please Go”
Review of Smokey Joe's

Smokey Joe's
Ranked #33 of 306 Restaurants in Launceston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $26
Cuisines: Cajun & Creole
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Families with children, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Takeout
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
224 reviews
147 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“A Launceston Treasure. Please Go”
Reviewed June 20, 2014

This place is a must. I love good American Food but hate average. This place is good very good. We have ribs, prawns, pulled pork, onion rings and plenty of other dishes that I can't remember the names. We drank local US bourban type drink too that we just left for the owner to choose. It was all very, very good.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
7 Thank DirtiSanche3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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255 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    147
    62
    26
    7
    13
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Launceston, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Smoking good!!!”
Reviewed May 27, 2014

Love this restaurant! Although it is relatively small it is very cosy. Food is fantastic American Deep South creole yum! BYO - bottle shop over the road. Staff wonderful, owner very friendly and helpful and great prices!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
7 Thank Lizzie2337
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Creole quesine in Launceston.”
Reviewed May 15, 2014 via mobile

Superb atmosphere, really good meals, (you must try the pulled pork) outstanding service, with good prices a must try.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
6 Thank pmcnjg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Launceston, Australia
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Read on......”
Reviewed March 31, 2014

The table goes quiet, drinks are abandoned where they stand and every one gets down to the business at hand. It's a complicated dirty business at times, decisions need to be made, there are a myriad of subtle adjustments that can be considered, while there is no rush there is an essence of urgency and expectation. Does it need extra hot sauce? If so, how much? Should I spoon the coleslaw on to the main plate or take it from the side dish? Big first world problem that. Did I really need that extra side of beans? Not really but I'm bloody happy I got them. Is it possible to pick this up and eat it like a sandwich? Hell no! Just use the knife and fork, that's what they're there for.
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Having eaten at Smokey Joe's a number of times I feel qualified to write a little about my experience with this place. I can not focus on any particular dish because I have had many but can say this is truly a place where I have never had a meal I was not happy with.

The starters are just that starters and they do their job well, they get you thinking about your main. They are not to big and not to small but introduce the types of tastes and textures you are about to experience in the larger format. There are always specials and there are some specials that seem to have become fixtures, a testament to their popularity.

I love the relaxed atmosphere, the unpretentiousness of the whole thing, this is a place where the focus is on food, the owner and staff are clearly passionate about their creations and this is how, for me, it should be. The food is authentic and has the hallmark of generational knowledge, the whole place feels just right. The place matches the food and the food matches the place.
I really feel comfortable eating here, I never feel overdressed, I never feel underdressed, I don't mind if it is really busy or fairly quiet. The last time I was there I took what may be the last opportunity for the season to sit outside, a fantastic evening.

This is such a well rounded establishment, just out of the way, down in The Glebe but easy enough to find. There is a certain reassurance provided by a restaurant where the staff are confident about their product, where things run efficiently and there seems little need to compensate for shortfalls by fussing about. It's down to business here, the business of food, the business of eating and drinking.

These days there seems to be a growing number of impostors in the market and one is well advised to carefully consider ones options before embarking on what may be a disappointing trip down the Creole lane. I don't think it is possible to just cook this fair, there are particular aspects and subtleties about the food at Smokey Joe's that just can not be reproduced faithfully by your average kitchen hack and I for one will take authentic over made-in-China any day. Seriously, even if I knew the ingredients I couldn't cook this food, you can tell it has as much to do with technique as it does with ingredients - I might, on a good day, come up with some vague approximation but that is as close as I'd get and it's about as close as the impostors get to.

Now, I'd like to add some negatives about Smokey Joe's, just so my thoughts sound well rounded and balanced......... but I can't, I love the place. Just as it is, wouldn't change a thing. I could possibly say that this place may not be for everyone but I don't why, I could say the portions are too small but they're not, I would like to be able to order a Mexican Pilsner-style beer like Cerveza Pacífico Clara - hang on, you can. What would really top it of would be finishing up the evening with a delicious short black and generous shot of my favourite bourbon, I could say that they don't stock my favourite bourbon and couldn't make a decent coffee to save themselves but..... unfortunately..... that's not true either.

For me eating out is really about the whole package not only what arrives on the plate and this joint, Smokey Joe's, never fails to impress. I hope the boss and his team keep on doing what they do so very confidently and keep enjoying what they are doing as I will continue to enjoy eating there.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
6 Thank Luke W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A tad arrogant, although nice food”
Reviewed March 21, 2014

Went to Smokey Joe's on the info read on other reviews on Trip Advisor.

Was a little disappointed no children's menu at or any food really friendly for kids. They suggested the quesadilla is popular with children, as it's like pizza. So I ordered that for my son, but asked for no mushrooms, but was told they could not do that. Disappointed in the lack of assistance on that, decided on chips and popcorn chicken. My father ordered the ribs with a choice of baked potato, chips or coleslaw and went for the baked potato.

When I saw the Brisket, I was very excited, as I had never tried before. It came with coleslaw and baked beans. I do not like coleslaw and the side dishes of coleslaw, chips and baked potatoes were all the same price. So, asked for a potato instead of coleslaw. Was told they cannot swap any items, can only add. So unhappily I said please give me the potato as an extra, but don't give me the coleslaw, just leave it off, I won't eat it.

This attitude was rather disappointing, but hoped the food was going to be great.

The food was very tummy, but of course I had a pile of coleslaw on my plate still. The Brisket was fantastic, tender and yummy. The popcorn chicken was a little over cooked, but a nice flavour. The ribs had a nice smokey flavour but the server was simply very small. Not expecting a huge amount, but was not enough. Especially as there was a third of a lettuce leaf and one thin slice of tomato to go with the baked potato.

So overall the food was quite nice, but the attitude of either the staff or as directed by the owner was disappointing.

Would I return, possibly, but definitely not with a child, they don't appear interested in the family business.

But the food was very flavoursome.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Bruiser2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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