We hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend. While y’all were sipping cold beers, grilling burgers, and spending time with good company, we were preparing for a day full of warm weather, beautiful ocean views and some good ol’ fashioned Barbecue. So this past Friday we kicked off our holiday weekend by visiting The Smoke House in Newport. This popular barbecue joint is covered by a huge tent and leads to panoramic views of the Wharf and Downtown Newport. It’s the perfect place to bask in the sun, people-watch, and above all else, eat some BBQ!!
When arriving at The Smoke House, you can immediately smell the smoke wafting in the air. It’s a seductive scent for both barbecue lovers and tourists alike, and the smoky fumes quickly lured us towards the entrance.
This wasn’t our first time at the rodeo, so we knew to bring a big appetite. As always, we began the meal with some appetizers (with the help from our awesome server Megan).
Nick ordered a cup of the “Hall of Fame” Corn & Crab Chowder. It’s a Smoke House classic (denoted by a symbol on the menu) so we had to give it a try.
Each spoonful was loaded with crab. The sweetness of the corn also added another dimension of flavor and texture. The taste surprised us because it looked like an ordinary chowder. Boy, were we wrong about that one. Nick nearly licked the bowl dry!!
Here at Front Row Eats, it’s our mission to be the eyes, ears, and in most cases, mouths for all our of faithful followers. When it comes to ordering food, it’s always fun to try new and interesting dishes. We always look forward to the anxious moments leading up to tasting that unique, one of a kind dish.
And here it is. A basket full of Bacon and Cheddar Doughnuts accompanied by a Chipotle Dipping Sauce and a green thing that made the dish look “healthy”.
OMG these were good!!! The doughnuts resembled clam cakes or fritters but tasted nothing like their distant fried relatives. Bits of bacon and sharp cheddar filled hollow pockets of warm, chewy dough. Although, we were surprised by the amount of bacon. We felt a little more bacon would have went a long way. No complaints here though. These puppies were gone before our final appetizer arrived.
These mini smoked “hog wings” were literally falling off the bone. A heaping plate of 4 were served BBQ & Buffalo style.
Once you take a bite out of these amazingly tender pork shanks, you will immediately slip into a food coma and then proceed towards the pearly gates of Hog Heaven. There’s really no other way to describe it. And when we say “fall of the bone” we mean this:
Pictured above is the remains of a Smoke House Hog Wing, easily one of the most popular items on the menu. Each wing was slathered with their house made BBQ sauce and a devilish Buffalo sauce. A must-order from here on end. In fact, it might be the ONLY thing we order next time. It was that good!
Looks like a lot of food huh? Well, there was a lot of food and we were just getting started. As we threw down our bones in triumph, our amazing server arrived with platters in hand.
The pulled chicken was extremely tender and lip-smackingly good. Nick thoroughly enjoyed it on the plate but we imagine it would have probably tasted even better on a sandwich. All in all, it turned out to be his favorite of the trio.
The menu stated that the beef brisket (pictured under the shrimp) was smoked for 30 hours so we expected it to be super tender. Instead it was tough and muscly. We understand that brisket is one of the least tender cuts of beef, but it is very possible to achieve tenderness through slow cooking. We had high hopes for the brisket due to the amount of hours it was smoked for. Unfortunately it fell short.
The shrimps were served on a kabob and lightly glazed with their signature BBQ sauce. It was a great change of pace from your typical meat-heavy barbecue platter.
Memphis Style St. Louis Pork Ribs: Rubbed with Memphis rub, slowed smoked with hickory, served with BBQ sauce on the side.
Chris can never turn down good plate of ribs so it was an obvious choice. Baked Beans, french fries and cornbread flanked a 1/2 rack of moist, juicy ribs.
The sides were great and never contained overpowering flavors. The cornbread and Baked Beans were the biggest hits. We actually sprinkled crumbs of the cornbread atop the sweet and smoky baked beans. Very, very tasty.
Now on to the main event. The ribs were generously coated with an authentic Memphis rub. We weren’t able to detect all of the ingredients of the rub but Chris managed to identify hints of garlic powder, cumin, black pepper and salt in each bite.
These weren’t of the “fall off the bone” variety, nonetheless they were extremely flavorful and tender. Our only regret was ordering a 1/2 rack. Front Row Eats gotta do better than that!!
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at The Smoke House in Newport. Authentic BBQ in a state mostly known for shellfish and coffee milk can be hard to come by. Next time around, our eyes will be set on the Baked Mac n’ Cheese and their hickory smoked pork. Hmmmm…anyone want to go to Newport right now?!?!
-Front Row Eats