Eat Out critic Hennie Fisher gets his fingers sticky at The Smokehouse and Grill, a fun and multicultural hangout in Braamfontein that specialises in ribs, burgers and craft beer.
Starters range from jalapeño poppers, filled with cheese and slow smoked or wrapped in bacon, to spicy chicken wings, which are just the thing to get your fingers sticky before digging into ribs for mains.
The mac and cheese with parmesan and cocktail tomatoes is a lovely surprise in the starter section, and there are bound to be those who would love the Wagon Wheels: thick-cut onions wrapped in bacon and served with a sweet chilli sauce.
The Smokehouse also have a fun Braamies Niçoise with the classic tuna, egg, baby greens and the option to have it with or without anchovies. This establishment takes its ribs seriously, and you can order them as full or half portions. The St Louis version is pork belly ribs, while the baby back ribs are slightly less fatty.
Other meaty options include fillet, sirloin, rump, T-bone and beef oxtail, and there’s chicken and kingklip, too. Sandwiches are almost as ample as burgers. The burgers are huge and even the Smokehouse Burger at R105 remains good value for money with two 200g patties, tomato, pickles, bacon and cheese.
The Smokehouse’s wine list of easy-drinking options is well put together and shows insight into the food and the restaurant’s patrons. It’s possible to celebrate late into the night with three bubblies to suit all pockets, and also some super craft beers from the likes of Jack Black, Citizen Alliance and Devil’s Peak.
Myriad accents are discernible among the waiters, which adds to the delightful multi-cultural feel that predominates here. Staff members are able to eloquently advise patrons about the items on the menu and in general they are a fun, bright and cheerfully competent bunch.
There is a large wraparound veranda with protective drop-down black canvas blinds to extend the intimate restaurant into a much larger space. The décor is casual and aims to instil a smokehouse feel by means of wood, chunky steak knives and lots of large TV screens for all those not-to-be-missed sport events. The Smokehouse is one of those wonderful places where people – regardless of background, colour or creed – seem to put their differences aside and just have fun together.
Finish your meal with a scoop of peanut butter ice cream – a classic and delicious ending to a real smokehouse experience.