BBQ and blue’s, that’s what Smoken’ Joe’s does. And, yes, it is spelled Smok-e-n’ Joe’s. A few years ago Smoken’ Joe’s replaced Seoul Garden in Brighton Center and has been earning favorable reviews from its tech-savvy patrons ever since. The owners, Joe and Wendy Dodd, run their pit Memphis style: beef, pork, and chicken all spice-rubbed, basted, and smoked with red hickory in one giant smoker, giving you falling-off-the-bone-tender, finger-lickin-good BBQ you should expect. For all you Yankees, don’t expect your ribs to come with sauce on them, oh no, down in Memphis they like their sauce on the side, and not just one sauce for that matter, Smoken’ Joe’s offers six homemade sauces from Alabama mild to Memphis hot (if you’re not a BBQ person ask your server to pair your meat with the appropriate sauce, they know what’s good.) As for the blues side of things, well, that’s all you’ll hear in the Dodd’s establishment, and if you time it right, you’ll be treated to a live show. Featuring artists such as Michelle Wilson (aka Evil Gal,) Shirley Lewis, Alizon, Big Jack Ward, Chris Stovall Brown, JB Junior, Geoff Bartley, Sweet Willie D (aka Deacon of the Blues,) and Phillip Pemberton, playing virtually every night, if you’re a blues fan, this is the place for you. Yelp reviews for Smoken’ Joe’s rave about the service, as Joe himself is known to walk about listening, chatting, and handing out free samples to newcomers or indecisive patrons. The servers are also sharp, funny, and keen, having been known to sit down at a table while taking orders to do a little chatting, crack a few jokes, and recommend sauces. In one Yelp anecdote, after overhearing a couple dissing the sweet tea for being too sweet, the server came around with unsweetened tea to lighten the couples’ classic southern beverage-of-choice.
Sound sweet? Well, it’s about to get spicy because Joe’s just got their full liquor license, so they’re now able to serve hard liquor as well, and they were also granted permission to stay open until 1am. Nice! Want to live within walking distance of the BBQ and blues hotspot, click here for listings, there’s a lot of open houses this weekend!