You can smell the alluring aroma of the succulent ribs before you even enter The Smoke. Half of New Farm has been seduced by the smell with the restaurant almost totally full as we arrive for Sunday dinner following a show at the nearby Brisbane Comedy Festival. Happily there are seats at the bar which reminds me of many trips to the States where a spot at the bar is the most fun place to be.
The Smoke does not disappoint on this front. There are even real Americans who run the restaurant, awesome! The bar staff are welcoming, chatty and swift to serve us with a real margarita made with some quality Patron finished with a salt rim. Aaaahhhh, just what the doctor ordered. Our drinks are soon accompanied by some soft, warm corn bread, which we smothered with some delicious honey butter.
I swear I would have been delighted with my margarita and an endless supply of corn bread but like all good American establishments there was a sizeable menu to be enjoyed and we greedily ordered the Buffalo Chicken Wings with the hot sauce & the original sauce (how could you not) and the Smoked Chicken Ceegars (think of a really plump, non greasy spring roll filled with south west goodness).
Had I been a sumo, I would have also ordered the spinach & artichoke dip, the spinach and strawberry salad with blackened salmon, the mac 'n cheese and the ribs (the smoke machine thingy is imported from the States) Instead I saved room for dessert and oh so glad I did. I have 3 words for you - Peanut Butter Pudding.
On my second visit to The Smoke it was lunchtime so lighter fare was in order. I chose the Smoky Chicken salad, which I should have known, was going to be massive. No matter, the smoke on that chicken was so yum that I smashed it and the majority of a warm, fudge nut chocolate brownie with vanilla ice-cream that could easily feed 2 adults, with only a little bit of help from my friend!
The Smoke is a relaxed, casual venue that's a great spot to chow down with some friends and knock back a few cocktails. Be sure to wear adjustable pants though because you will not leave with the same waistline as the one you arrived with. God bless America.
85 Merthyr Road, New Farm, QLD