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“First thing in the morning”
Review of Smokehouse 21

Smokehouse 21
Ranked #1,890 of 4,430 Restaurants in Portland
Price range: $9 - $26
Cuisines: Barbecue
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner
Reviewed May 26, 2013

We go there first thing in the morning (11:30am) and there was no wait. It also might have helped we were there on a weekday. I enjoyed everything on the menu! We started with the deviled eggs and pork and beans and a corn muffin. I really like the pork and beans, good smokey flavor, beans weren't mushy and it had a nice mouth feel. We then moved on to the combo plates. You can select up to 3 different meats with 2 sides. The three of us were able to sample all the meats and most of the sides with 2 combo plates. From not good to yummy... The hot link was greasy and icky, the pulled pork was weak, perhaps it would have been better in a sandwich with sauce but standing alone, it was a fail. Smoked Steelhead was a surprise and quite good. I would eat that again. Smoked chicken, I think it is one of the hardest things to get right but they did! The white meat was tender and juicy; the dark meat was perfectly cooked. I would have liked the skin to be crispy but that was the only fault I could find.

Best dish was a toss up between the ribs and the brisket. I looooved the brisket with the vinegar sauce. Sauces were served on the side but as I am a purist I wanted to try everything without enhancement. The sides were all delicious. Fingerling potato salad, collared greens and my favorite mac and cheese.

Please know this is a very small place and can get overwhelmed. I would recommend it and would go back again. Everything we ate came to a very reasonable $46.00.

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Thank Snow M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 - 45 of 49 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2013

Our order took a very long time. I finished my beer and the bottle of water they bring you. After about 10 minutes of waiting we finally asked for more water to a wateriest cleaning a table across from us. She brought the bottle of water from that table over to ours, it was half way drunk already...

The wife ordered a salad, it was okay but when we finished it the plate was never picked up (not a big deal but their tables are small so a salad plate takes up some space).

The meats finally arrived after 30 minutes or so.

Meets-
•Pulled pork had a good taste and was very well cooked but was too salty.
•Ribs where flavorless, a little on the salty side.
•Beef Brisket was really good, one of the best I have had.

Sides-
•Potato Salad: Good but the chunks of dried meat killed it.
•Mac & Cheese: It was mediocre, the corn bread on top of it was really good thought but the chunks of dried meat killed it once again.
•BBQ Beans: Butch baked beans from a can are much better.

Over all not worth the tab but again that's probably why they only have 4 other reviews. The meats are good but they over kill it trying to hard to come up with a distinct or different style of BBQ.

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Thank Qvodude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 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.

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Thank JJLJOregon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 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).

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1  Thank Kenton E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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Thank KJClifton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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