Checked out a new BBQ joint here in Gainesville called Smoke House Downtown. They’re still working through their “soft opening” and have done very little marketing so far. I chatted with the owner (Mike) and he said they want to make sure the place is running smoothly and get all the kinks out before charging full steam ahead with their marketing campaigns and grand opening. I think that is a wise decision considering Downtown G-ville cycles through restaurants like crazy. That being said, I thought the place was pretty good. I’m pretty judgmental of BBQ restaurants (as is every other person that has a serious BBQ hobby like myself), so for this being my first time trying the place, I’ll tell you I thought the place was decent and worth checking out. I’ll have to go a couple more times to really nail down an opinion. The ambiance was great and the wait staff were friendly, though it was dead slow when I went so who knows how it gets when they’re slammed. I’ve heard various reports about the service…. The food was pretty good too. Nothing mind-blowing, but good. I got a brisket sandwich with sweet potato fries. The brisket was super tender and had a nice flavor to it. The fries were great too. They came w/ a bourbon ketchup sauce which was pretty nasty. I honestly think they didn’t have any reduced down and ready to go, so they just grabbed some ketchup, poured some bourbon in it and gave it to me. Seriously…it was like taking a straight shot! That wasn’t a big deal though. What REALLY, REALLY, REALLY impressed me was their smoker! Mike took me back and showed me their 14′ long A.N. Bewley fabricated wood burning BBQ pit. It’s 100% wood fired and fed by a mix of pecan and hickory 24 hrs a day. Mike said the thing is always fired up and I could easily smell the goodness about 2 blocks away when I was walking down the street. Mike let me snap a pic of the smoker so here it is. I could barely get this thing in the frame it was so massive. I could just sense my lil’ 22.5″ WSM back at home put his tail between his legs
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