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“One of my favorites!”
Review of Smoke BBQ

Smoke BBQ
Ranked #186 of 364 Restaurants in Bethesda
Cuisines: Barbecue
Restaurant details
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“One of my favorites!”
Reviewed August 19, 2014 via mobile

I love this place. You have to like sitting at the bar. Much better than the tables. It is very casual and friendly. The employees and owners are great people. They serve liquor, but it is still kid friendly. They have theme nights and live music. Bingo night is a blast and one of the bartenders is a great musician.
And most importantly, the food is fantastic.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank NoLeftovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    11
    4
    4
    1
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Yokohama, Japan
Level Contributor
104 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“casual place, perfect BBQ”
Reviewed July 5, 2014

I love barbeque, and this place does it exactly right. It's a very casual restaurant. Chat with the bartender, enjoy your food, don't dress up.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Ms_Yokohama2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
williamjacobs
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Creativity shines with the sides”
Reviewed September 9, 2013

I went to Smoke BBQ expecting an ordinary lunch. Satisfying but nothing worthy of report.

I was only half right. The traditional sweet-sauce pulled pork was fine, a standard specimen, and the greens were good, but I've had good greens before.

THEN, it started getting good.

The sweet potato chips were a decadent combination of grease and lightness, having been shaved rather than sliced. They can't be good for you, but what a strange pleasure these were.

The coleslaw is amongst the best I've ever had. I asked what flavor I was getting and they explained they make it with the dry rub the prepare their meats with. Superb. The critics complain about the small portion (True enough, but many people often just leave it there. There's so MUCH bad coleslaw getting served everywhere.)
Another claimed it had no flavor. He said he visited when it first opened, so they may have taken it up a notch since? OR perhaps he liked the nasty sweet variety that throws in a fistful of pepper? Otherwise, I'm not sure how he could say this crisp cabbage concoction lacked character. It was less creamy and sweet than most restaurants serve which may throw some people. I take it as a bold demonstration that this establishment puts its own stamp on foods you THOUGHT you knew. (in regards to the quantity gripe? How about offering a second helping on the menu if people ask, folks? It won't waste food and it'd get us whiny types to pipe down.)

Now then, I was all set to try their Carolina BBQ, but couldn't because a new item, the Fried Green Tomato BLT was fresh on the menu. Why the heck isn't this made everywhere? It's absolutely brilliant. Fried Green Tomatoes and a BLT. Two terrific dishes fused together and it didn't disappoint. What a nifty combination of favorite flavors. Kudos to Smoke BBQ for bringing the flaming obvious to our attention.

While another critic complained about the kaiser rolls because it threw off the balance, I praise the choice to upgrade the bread even at the cost of providing too much of it. The clear remedy is to bite deep into the filling and leave a little roll behind when you run out of the goodies in the middle.

We were pressed for time or I would've shared a dessert. (Funnel cake? Really? Cool.)

I told them I would review this place because it needs to last long enough for me to drop by again and try their Carolina BBQ. I hope some TripAdvisor folks find this little gem, love it, and keep it in business. Bethesda is BRUTAL to new restaurants and this place will reward us with imaginative cuisine if we feed it long enough for it to put roots down.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank williamjacobs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, MD
Level Contributor
318 reviews
191 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Won't be around long”
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Had a meal when they first opened and couldn't find anything right. The meat wasn't smokey, the bun ordinary, the sauce tasted like it was from a jar, the sides vapid. Recently walked by on a Sunday night at dinner time and there wasn't a soul in the place. I guess others have the same opinion. When will Bethesda get good bbq?

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank CWnut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
98 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Good addition to Bethesda”
Reviewed February 24, 2013

After a long day I decided to try the new BBQ joint in town, and it didn't disappoint. I got a takeout order of the brisket platter with fries, cole slaw and cornbread. The brisket was very good, hitting all the right notes on flavor and leaving me wanting more; all I needed was a Shiner Bock. The fries were good, but the corn bread was pretty average and the cole slaw was a laughably small container- the size you might get ketchup in in some places. That aside, it's worth a visit.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank RichDC87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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