After five years we know some key essentials about the other. There are a few things that we’re always down to eat, and granted these are not a part of the official food pyramid, but they’re on our very own – pizza, burgers, Indian and BBQ. No matter where from, or what time of day, you can lure us into any restaurant if you serve those previous choices. The promise of solid BBQ brings us to our most recent discovery, Smoke. Smoke has two locations in San Antonio - one uptown in Stone Oak, and the other Downtown on Commerce St. Their location downtown is the antithesis of what you would think a BBQ joint is – it’s stylish and elegant when you walk in with a grand staircase that takes you to the top floor that hosts a private room. Their staff keeps it casual and attentive, and were quick to ‘show us the ropes’ when we admitted that it was our first time visiting.
We quickly started with drinks. The Texas Toast was an interesting version of what could only be described as a champagne-based sangria. It came garnished with an apple slice, and perfectly cut through some of the stronger flavors on the menu. Patricio was feeling like something stronger, and went for the Smoke and Barley. This flavor-packed cocktail utilizes pairings like ancho chilies, honey and chocolate to concoct a drink that kicks every time you sip.
Traditional Texas BBQ
The appetizer was a no brainer – While it may not be a traditional fixing in a BBQ shack, the Mexican Corn on the Cob was everything we could have asked for from a starter. Coated with the usual suspects of cotija cheese, cilantro and perfectly roasted; this cob went too quickly between the both of us. We were soon brought an array of six house sauces in squeeze bottles nestled into a Shiner box. The traditional Texas BBQ, Carolina BBQ, and a Chimichurri were three of our favorites that I would have happily smothered on anything put on that table. BBQ sauce is a big deal around here, and we were so excited to try them on our entrees. Brisket was a no brainer for me, and you shouldn’t be surprised to see Patricio chose the pulled pork sliders. You can believe that if pulled pork is mentioned, he’s. all. in. Both meats were cooked to perfection and were only enhanced by our chosen sauces. We ordered Mac and Cheese and creamed corn as our sides, and both were even-more delicious takes on the originals and perfectly complimented our mains.
Smoke is hands-down crave-worthy. While it isn’t the traditional BBQ splattered on butcher paper and slathered in the house sauce – it’s even better. There are so many things to try on the menu, and we haven’t even delved into their brunch or Happy Hour yet. If you’re near either location and even having an inkling for BBQ, pull over and thank us later. The staff at Smoke was lovely and accommodating enough to keep us coming back for the wonderful service, but here’s the truth – we’d be back even if we had to serve ourselves. Come hungry, and leave questioning every time you ate dry, lifeless BBQ from those restaurants that claim authenticity. Smoke makes no claims – but we’ll gladly stand by it being of the best not only in the 210, but also in the BBQ capital of Texas.