BBQ with a message

I hopped over to Smokey Johns the other day for a quick bite. It’s located on Mockingbird just east of I-35. I had read a few good reviews so I thought I’d check it out. It’s more of a soul version of BBQ, NTTAWWT, so the sides are not as traditional as most BBQ places. An example is that most BBQ places have fried okra, whereas SJ’s has cooked okra. Also they had collard greens, but no green beans. So if you go, be prepared to change your taste buds a little. I ordered the two meat plate, brisket and pork ribs. Each rib was cut in two to fit on the plate better (I assume). There was a good amount of smoke laid on these ribs so that porker did not die in vain. The brisket was from the fatty end and while most of the fat was rendered properly, I think it could have stayed in the smoker just a bit longer.

Now remember, my taste buds are still suffering so take everything I say with a hefty grain of salt. I opted for mash potatoes (another unusual side for a BBQ I think) and pinto beans. The beans had an earthy flavor to them that I couldn’t quite figure out. Not bad, just different. The mashed potatoes (I didn’t accept the gravy offered as I probably couldn’t taste it anyway and since I need to watch my girlish figure why bother with the extra calories) were smooth and skinless. I didn’t try them this visit but they also have tamales for sale (another unusual BBQ item).

The owner made the rounds to assure that everyone was enjoying their meal. As I was there at 2 in the afternoon, there were just a few tables occupied, but overhearing the conversations between the owner and the other customers the ribs seemed to be a big hit and I couldn’t argue the fact.

There is a major religious theme at the place as there seems to be a “soul hospital” in an adjoining room where I assume they have bible study, revivals or human sacrifice (just kidding, don’t sent me e-mails of protest).

All in all not a bad place for Q if you are in the neighborhood and don’t want to make the trek to Big Al’s on Inwood where some of the best ribs in the city can be had.


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