Chicken and Waffles at The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
Macaroni and Cheese at The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
The SmoQue Shack
Foods from The SmoQue Shack
Comments

2012 Mar 27
Ok, I was here again. And I'll probably be here next week. The BBQ is still good and I haven't had a bad side yet. I'm here just to leave a quick note that on my first visit the individual sized cornbread was 1 piece and last night it was 2 pieces.

Furthermore, they've changed the dessert menu. Previously every item was $8; they now range in price from $4-$8 which is much more realistic on my view.

Pints are still $5 on Mondays and I noted that they carry domestic quarts for $7.75 and 600ml bottles of the Beau's Seasonals for $7 all the time. Not too shabby. I should stop giving you all reasons to go, it's busy enough as it is these days. Anyway, see you there next Monday, I guess.

2012 Mar 5
I've been here a couple times now so I guess I'll make a couple notes. It's a nice place but they don't take reservations under 10 people and get too busy frequently. That aside, service has been friendly and casual. It's a bbq joint, don't expect them to call you 'sir'.

The food is really good.I'll be back to explore more of the menu, but I'm not sure that this is the be-all, end-all of Ottawa BBQ. Or maybe I just like my bbq with a touch more smoke, a bit more boldness. That being said, it's quite well done and much much better than the nothing we had before.

The pulled pork is good, served with a tangy vinegar based sauce that's a nice change from the standard red sauce that its slathered with everywhere else around here that offers up a crockpot version of a now-trendy sandwich. I just wish the pulled pork had some nice crispy bits of bark in it; instead, it was all tender little strands which isn't bad in and of itself but...

The brisket is fantastic with a nice bark on the outside -- it's served in cubes with a little chew to it, not overcooked but still tender. The brisket had a bit of smoke but the pulled pork was much more subtle in this way.

The chicken was ok, but I expect the jerk is better than the sauced one I had. Stopped in for the half price rib tips ($6, Monday nights) and it was a good time. Well-sized serving of rib tips offered in a variety of sauces. I tried the Memphis Red and the BBQ; both were well prepared, although again, I missed the wonderful smoke kiss that tells my mouth "Yes, this was cooked over some real wood". It's there but I guess I'm just looking for more -- which reminds me, why aren't burnt ends on the menu?

As far as the sides are concerned, I haven't had a bad one. The baked beans ($4) are great with chunks of brisket and pork(?) buried within. They're toothsome, not mushy and they avoid being overly sweet. The mac and cheese ($4) was good but I was a little let down, probably just because I had hyped it in my head. The cornbread ($2.50) is fantastic. It's probably my favourite side and again, they nailed the perfect level of sweetness although a southerner would probably denounce it as Yankee cornbread. Sweet potato fries ($5, I think) are also quite good, if a little on the salty side and I'm not even such a big fan of sweet potato fries!

All in all, they're doing good work over here and $5 pints on Mondays makes this a good place for a pint and a snack or for a casual meal.

2012 Mar 5
I went for the first time last week with my husband and kids. As our main, we had the sampler platter, which allowed us to select three meats. We opted for the Memphis style chicken and ribs, as well as brisket. We also ordered sharing sides of corn muffins, macaroni and cheese and southern style greens.

As mom, I felt compelled to order the greens, but ended up eating the whole order by myself - and not really enjoying them. I found them to be a bit tough and, despite the liberal use of bacon, lacking flavour. I would have liked them better with some heat. Also, I hadn't clued in when ordering, but the sharing side was $10. For greens! To me, this is absurd. The corn muffins, on the other hand, were a steal - 6 muffins for $6. I prefer a more dense corn muffin and one that is slightly less sweet, but these are very good for what they are. The mac and cheese was tasty and also a great deal at $6. If you're not looking to pig out, I'd say it's a light lunch unto itself. I like my mac and cheese with tangier cheese and for the cheese to be more browned on top, but that's purely personal preference. This was creamy and mellow and very good.

As for the main meaty attraction, I thought the brisket won the day. The ribs were also very good. The chicken, however, was overcooked and very dry, to the point that we let the leftovers we had packed up go to waste. We found the rub really good, so it was a pity.

Overall, I thought it was good, not great, but the prices were spot-on for the food and the experience (with the exception of the greens). The staff was great.

2012 Feb 19
As much as I enjoyed and respected the culinary talents of Warren Sutherland from the now defunct Sweetgrass Bistro, I was somewhat reluctant to give his new SmoQue Shack a try, mostly because this kind of dining concept has high octane amounts of testosterone written all over it. (Are you paying attention Billco? ;o))

Stepping in for a late lunch on a Monday afternoon confirmed my suspicions: this is a real guy's joint, with various sports channels displayed on large screen TVs, and the usual sports bar ambiance, although the back of the dining room has a good amount of natural light so we settled back there. Despite the fact that I was not in my natural element, warm, congenial service, good blues music and some Mill St Tankhouse helped me to settle in and feel at home. Who knows? Maybe if the Senators make it to the playoffs I could get into an evening here in front of the big screen. ;o)

I don't pretend to know BBQ, but I know what I like, and I really enjoy the seasoning of the meat and the various sauces on offer. My brother-in-law is something of a BBQ/smoke expert (he enters and wins competitions) and I know he maintains that sauce is verboten in authentic BBQ. So call me a fraud, but I absolutely love the St Louis side ribs in the chipotle honey BBQ sauce, in fact as good as I've had in Memphis at the King's Palace Cafe. We also ordered the rib tips with the pirri pirri sauce which we were warned was seriously hot, and while seriously hot the sauce is also sexy spiced, creamy and seriously addictive. The fact that being Monday we were paying half price ($6) for these made them taste all the better. In fact, so far my only disappointment has been the red beans and rice, the texture of the rice and seasoning all wrong IMO as it's something I make at home. When I explained that these were not to my liking, the server was quick to replace it with some creamy coleslaw.

I find the prices here to deliver incredibly good value, but I'm saying that as someone who doesn't eat a lot of meat so 3 side ribs (half rack is 8 ribs) and half a basket of rib tips is more than enough animal flesh for me. That said, we also split the individual portions of mac'n'cheese ($3.50) and corn bread ($2.50), and as much as I like beer I find it very filling so pretty much waddled out of there. The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is the dessert menu. I mean why would a caveman pay $8 for some ice cream when another quarter rack of ribs could be had? Sure, the pecan pie is both southern and tempting, but not priced at more than a couple of sides combined.

Full disclosure: meat is an indulgence rather than a regular part of my diet so when I go carnivore it has to be *damned* good: a Hintonburger, smoked meat from Schwartz's, beef tartare at the Wellington Gastropub, a rib steak with Bearnaise... and now the SmoQue Shack.

2012 Feb 19
Rib tips with piri piri sauce: these are spectacularly seasoned and an absolute pleasure to eat, far more than chicken wings. The piri piri sauce is so good that you find yourself double and triple dipping on just one rib tip! Probably the best dining deal in town for just $6 on Mondays!

I have to say that I like these even better than the rack of ribs. Maybe my brother-in-law is right, maybe great BBQ can and should stand alone without sauce...

2012 Feb 19
Individual portions of cornbread and mac'n'cheese... is it just me that finds these to be a steal at $6 for both? The mac'n'cheese in particular... my husband and I both can't put our forks down so it makes it hard to share, particularly the cheesy crust broiled to sides of the serving dish.

I keep thinking that maybe I could go in here just for a lunch of sides. Then again maybe I'm deluding myself ;o)

2012 Jan 28
Almost forgot. Rib tips in their signature Memphis Red Sauce. Before I could get a pic a few ravenous individuals had taken a few.

2012 Jan 28
Don't let those magical beans be overshadowed by the full rack of beef ribs and wine glass in the foreground!

2012 Jan 28
The last piece of corn bread had to be spit it was so good.

2012 Jan 28
Jerk Pork

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2012 May 23
Wifey and I finally visited on a Saturday night. It's casual inside and the food value is good. We shared a bunch of appetizers and sides and had a one-person 3-meat combo plate as follows:

* Caesar Salad - Tasty all around, generous croutons, and amazing chunks of smoky bacon.
* Baby Back Ribs - Good chewy texture, pretty decent smoke flavour.
* Beef Brisket - Tender, not a lot of smoke taste, I didn't like the sauce.
* Jerk Pork - Tasted like an oven-roasted pork loin, chopped up and tossed with a homemade jerk sauce with good heat. Again, this sauce was not to my taste. We actually left it.
* Mac and Cheese - Really nice, browned on top, macaroni not overcooked, and with tasty cheese.
* Corn Bread - Surprisingly not too sweet but a little dryer than I like. Would benefit from a dab of butter or a sauce worthy of dipping.
* Southern Greens - My favourite dish by far! Tender, tasty greens in a flavourful sauce, adorned with generous hunks of smoky bacon. Spectacular!



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2018 Jan 6
The Chicken and Waffles ($12) looked pretty amazing. Generous boneless chunks of (mostly) moist breast meat started out promising but suffered from a strangely bland but delightfully crunchy breading. I dipped them into the sauce of my Southern Style Greens ($5.50) to make them nice. The waffle itself was a hearty cornmeal one that needed dipping in the sweet apple-tinged syrup before eating. Nestled amongst the chicken pieces was a thick slab of icing sugar doused butter that also helped lubricate the waffle.

My palate was uncomfortably confused by the icing sugar on the chicken and the sliced scallions with syrup. Some people might like these combinations more than I do, so please accept my discomfort with appropriate skepticism.