- Large dining room with patio
- Great sides – Sweet potatoes, baked beans
- Decent brisket, sausage
- Pulled pork, bland
- Busy plaza location
As a huge fan of smoked meats, it happens to be one of those culinary areas where the Triangle is lacking. Not that you can’t get good NC barbeque but smoked brisket? Great ribs? That’s a lot harder to find. So a little while back I ran into a news tid-bit about the new Smok’t BBQ and Taps coming to Cary. Part of the Rudino’s group of restaurants, they were converting one restaurant into a smoked meats emporium. And I admit I was a bit skeptical but wanted to keep an open mind since I’ve never eaten at Rudino’s. So off I go for a first lunch at the new Smok’t BBQ and Taps down on Davis Drive!
Smok’t BBQ & Taps Ambiance and Interior
Located at the busy Davis and High House intersection, Smok’t sits quietly in the same plaza as the H-Mart Korean supermarket. From the outside it doesn’t look like much, but inside there’s plenty of space! Two large dining rooms and a patio gives you room to stretch out in, decor is pretty basic cafe-style. I head on over to the back bar to grab my lunch. There’s a handful of high-def screens throughout the space showing off a variety of sports. The closest comparison I’d have for Smok’t is Bare Bones in downtown Raleigh. Part barbeque restaurant, part brew pub with some sports bar thrown in for good measure.
Smok’t BBQ & Taps Food and Menu
The menu at Smok’t is pretty small but there’s plenty to choose from. A handful of starters and salads, a choice of smoked meat sandwiches and a selection of meat platters that come with two sides, each. The meats range from pulled pork, pulled chicken, brisket, sausage, ham, turkey, tofu and mushroom. And the usual selection of sides to go with yo meat! (baked beans, green beans, mac n cheese, potato salad, slaw, collards and more). Given it’s my first visit, I order up a three-meat combo along with sweet potato casserole and Smok’t baked beans for my sides.
It’s pretty quiet at Smok’t for lunch given how new the place is. It takes about 10 minutes for my food to come out and it’s a good looking tray for $16.49 with a good mix of smoked meats and carbs, yum! There are four thinnish slices of brisket with a bit of fat-cap, a seared spicy sausage and heap of finely chopped pork. I start off with the sides and a bit thumbs up here! The beans are tender and tangy, spiked with a bit of brisket of meat to provide some savory, dee-licious! And the sweet potato is wonderfully flavorful and sweet with some chopped nuts for crunch. Both sides are generously sized along with the cornbread. Working through the meats, I’d have to say the brisket and sausage were the highlights with the pork running a bit bland and too finely shredded. Smok’t offers up 3 barbeque sauces here and you should definitely add some vinegar to that pork.
Service at the Smok’t bar was fine but given the size of the space, curious to see what it’s like when the place gets busy. Smok’t also has a lovely wood deck patio for hanging out when the weather is nice so a big thumbs up here. Overall I was pleasantly surprised with my meal here. While the smoked meats were pretty decent, I’d have to say the sides are what really shines to me, so far. And given it was lunch I didn’t dig into the beer selection but I’m assuming it’s pretty good given the name of the place. So looking forward to visit #2, Smok’t! You’re off to a strong start, looking forward to digging into the rest of your mighty, meaty menu…
1937 High House Road
Cary, NC 27519