Monday, July 6, 2015

Smokin' Joe's Bar-B-Que in Townsend, TN

I came home for a few days to celebrate Independence Day and my birthday and so my parents decided to take a short family trip to Great Smokey Mountain National Park. Located somewhere in the Appalachian mountains on the Tennessee side of the park, Townsend is a small, sleepy town (out of T Mobile's service range, as I came to find out) where life really seems to be the definition off slow. Not that it's a bad thing.

Now barbecue, true barbecue is an absolute must when you visit the South (and sorry to offend any Texans, but barbecue is pork, not beef). Smoked low and slow to soak in all that delicious wood flavor and southern hospitality, good barbecue is probably one of the things I eat the least yet crave the most.

Drive up to Smoking' Joe's parking lot and you see the smoker going - you know you're going to get the real deal!

You know you're back in the South when you're sipping real sweet tea out of a glass mason jar. You know, the pound-of-sugar-and-a-whole-lot-of-love sweet tea, probably much too sweet for most other parts of the country, but hey, it tastes like home!

Pork ribs 

Sides // fried okra + coleslaw + potato salad + hushpuppies

Sliced smoked chicken breast // green beans + baked beans 

I'll have to admit, we underestimated the portions and ordered way too much food, enough to feed us for dinner PLUS a cold lunch the next day (and trust me, the ribs were still good cold). All the meats were absolutely delicious and perfectly perfumed with delicious smokey essence. Chicken was tender and moist and the ribs were meaty and falling off the bones.

They offer a couple different levels of spice to their sauces, so I had the smoke (spiciest) sauce on the chicken and my parents got the spicy sauce on the ribs. And yes, the smoke was spicceeyyyyyyy~ I'd skip it next time because I thought it overwhelmed the delicate smokiness of the meat.

While the food was very satisfying, I do have a gripe a little bit about the service; maybe it's because I was expecting a bit more hospitality or maybe it's because I've been working in the restaurant industry for so long, but I just thought the service was a bit less than friendly. Our food took more than half an hour to come out, which makes absolutely no sense considering that everything should have been pre-cooked in the kitchen. We suspected that the server forgot to put in our order since a couple tables that sat after us got their food before us, but she didn't say anything so innocent until proven guilty, right?

Nonetheless, I still felt all my fat, protein, and smoke requirements met for the next few months. I'm happy.

Smokin' Joe's Bar-B-Que
Barbecue, southern | $$
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 7753 East Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend, TN 37882