The Smokehouse & Grill
American style BBQ
In an area known for its baristas, bars, cafes and clubs, a restaurant joined the scene earlier this year to serve American-style dishes in a comfy, vibrant setting. Situated on Juta Street, Braamfontein, The Smokehouse & Grill is a place to enjoy big burgers, sticky ribs, pulled pork sarmies, spicy poppers and other gourmet pub food.
We arrived at The Smokehouse & Grill for an early Friday night dinner. We had booked a table, but the lunchtime diners were still lingering and our table wasn’t available yet. Happy to relax, we perched ourselves on the bar seating outside to watch the world go by.
While it wasn’t at all necessary, the manager insisted on buying us a drink while he made a plan with our table. A very nice gesture (that we didn’t say no to), this set the tone for the friendly, personal service we enjoyed the whole evening.
With its red brick walls, wooden tables and grey faux-wood floors, the Smokehouse has a relaxed, casual feel, and with all the tables filled with people drinking and chatting, there is a fun, party-like atmosphere to the restaurant too.
We started off with the jalapeno poppers and nachos to share between three of us. The poppers are filled with melted cheese, slow smoked and served with a blue cheese dip. The jalapenos are smoked with a few of the seeds still inside and so deliver a punch of hot flavour to the mouth. The nachos were served just as they should be; smothered in melted cheese and topped with guacamole, thinly sliced jalapenos and sour cream.
As the name suggests, the restaurant’s signature dishes are those that have been smoked in-house, so on recommendation from our waiter I chose the half-portion of baby back pork ribs that were basted in sticky barbecue sauce and slow-smoked for nine hours.
Served with hand-cut chips, this was an indulgent, messy, manly meal that was absolutely delicious. The meat was succulent and came off the bone with ease, and while the sticky sauce went everywhere, the meal was well worth the mess.
My dining companions both tucked into burgers – the blue cheese burger and the classic Smokehouse burger. The Smokehouse burger was topped with pickles, caramelised jalapenos, crispy bacon and melted cheese, and the blue cheese burger was made with Roquefort cheese, caramelised onion and avocado. The meat was cooked perfectly and the fillings were delicious.
Though we were all very full after our monster-sized meals, we couldn’t leave the restaurant without sharing the homemade peanut butter ice cream. Possibly the creamiest, most delicious ice cream I’ve tasted in Jo’burg, it is served with hot butterscotch sauce and is a definite must-try.
Priced at about R600 for three people, including drinks, this is a fuss-free place for casual, delicious food in a fun environment.