Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good?

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TJ Jackson
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2003/09/29 20:19:29 (permalink)

Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good?

A 'Smokey Bones' restaurant is being built on the former site of a Chi-Chi's restaurant within a stone's throw of a Tony Roma's over here on the east side of Cincinnati (on Beechmont near the Home Depot, for you local folk)

Looks like a chain, as borne out by the website http://www.smokeybones.com/menu/sb_menu.pdf

Yeah, yeah, it's a chain. Then again, that means one of you fine folks may have been in one already and can give me the lowdown and possibly save me a trip in iffn its no good.

So help a fellow out :-)

#1

25 Replies Related Threads

    RibDog
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2003/09/29 22:30:23 (permalink)
    Hi TJ.

    While I have been to some of the original locations over in Orlando and have met the guys who put the concept together, I have to say that you need to try it and determine whether this style of BBQ is to your liking. This is not like a McDonald's where you know exactly what you will get whether you walk into one in Atlanta or one in Seattle. BBQ is a very diverse food style with many different interpretations to it.

    Their concept is sound as is the quality of their food, in my opinion. It is essentially sprts bar/restaurant whose menu is based on BBQ. All of the locations I have seen, and I have quite a few, have been very successful.

    My suggestion is to give it a try and see if you like their que.

    John
    #2
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2003/09/30 07:36:06 (permalink)
    Everyone here in Rhode Island raves about the place saying it's best bbq in the country. Of course they don't know any better. I wouldn't walk into the place if you paid me
    #3
    Stogie
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2003/09/30 09:29:54 (permalink)
    I agree with everything RibDog said! The folks behind the concept are very good at what they do. We are getting one here as well...Ft. Wayne, IN.

    I have eaten at one of the locations in Orlando and was very impressed. Keep in mind, I am a huge BBQ snob, so impressing me with commercial Q is very hard.

    Try it out!

    Stogie
    #4
    kland01s
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2003/09/30 11:02:07 (permalink)
    I have tried the one in Aurora Illinois and I really liked the pulled pork plate, I thought the meat was tender, I liked the sauce and the fact that there were additional sauces availible. I did not enjoy the sports bar part of the concept, too many TV's and too noisy. They don't seem to have a problem with people plunking down and staying to watch a game past their meal. This is part of the Darden chain which is Red Lobster and others.
    #5
    ericm
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2003/10/29 01:02:10 (permalink)
    Sounds interesting. I'll have to keep an eye on it when I'm over Beechmont way. I'm still trying to get over the closure of Pizza Nova. Beechmont never knew such good pizza.
    #6
    Tom-Fl
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2003/10/29 08:52:11 (permalink)
    Like Ribdog and Stogie suggest,each place may vary as they get going-but the Darden group is known for their consistent product.

    Hopefully they will be a very welcome addition to the southern Ohio/northern Ky barbecue market.

    They are also moving into a more varied smoked menu than just traditional barbecue.

    Their team, that Ribdog mentioned ,was in the finals in shoulder and whole hog this week at the Big Pig Jig.
    They won for whole hog.

    This is Memphis in May's second largest cookoff.

    Tom
    #7
    glennpan
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2003/10/29 09:21:16 (permalink)
    Hello All,

    Like Stogie, I am a huge BBQ snob. In fact, before I stop at a BBQ joint I first drive around to the back to see that they have some smoke going or wood stacked up. I have a bit of a prejudice against chains, and want to support the independant, you know, a boy (or a girl)with a smoker and some love.

    Having said that, I have gone to the Smokey Bones in Chicago Ridge on several occasions and like their Q. It is not the best I have ever had, but it is very good.

    As a side note, they do mystery shopping through mystery guest inc. Which means that they will pay for your dinner there if you fill out a form evaluating them. It is a very nice deal.

    Glenn
    #8
    SharonTriv
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2003/10/30 10:28:55 (permalink)
    We have a new Smokey Bones, too, and it's pretty good. It works if you live in an area that thinks BBQ is a sloppy joe made with ketchup and mustard (no kidding). I like the SB sauces, and the pulled pork is nice and tender. They have a nice selection of beer, too. So in the absence of a real Q joint, Smokey Bones fills a void. I have done the Mystery Guest thing there, too, and yes it's a nice way to try a new restaurant on someone else's dime.
    #9
    Chefd60
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2003/12/04 16:56:58 (permalink)
    been there done that.
    it is a CHAIN for sure SPORTS BAR to much pressure BBQ should be relaxed
    it aint competion BBQ it massed produced
    if wanderinjew reads this where in Rhode Island are You?
    respond to me am in RI also
    #10
    Wallyum
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/04/12 06:03:43 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by ericm

    Sounds interesting. I'll have to keep an eye on it when I'm over Beechmont way. I'm still trying to get over the closure of Pizza Nova. Beechmont never knew such good pizza.

    Couldn't agree more, but the Hibachi Express that replaced it is well worth a try. We ate there a couple of weeks ago and not only did my wife and father in law like it, my KIDS liked it. (Do you know the odds of that?)
    Pizza Nova made a pepperoni pizza just the way I like it; greasy and cheesy. It was gone about a month after we visited on a Saturday night. We were the only customers and the place should have been packed. It was a beautiful night for pizza. Did you ever try The Brickyard in O'Bryenville before they closed?
    #11
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/04/12 08:52:00 (permalink)
    I never liked the Pizza Nuova/Pizza Nova.

    If you liked the food at the Hibachi Grill, go try Sakkio of Japan in the downstairs food court at the Carew Tower. Same stuff, but prepared fresh before you instead of coming off a steam table, and ergo much much better. Easily one of my favorite cheap lunches in Cincinnati
    #12
    tfrielin
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/04/13 14:28:41 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    A 'Smokey Bones' restaurant is being built on the former site of a Chi-Chi's restaurant within a stone's throw of a Tony Roma's over here on the east side of Cincinnati (on Beechmont near the Home Depot, for you local folk)

    Looks like a chain, as borne out by the website http://www.smokeybones.com/menu/sb_menu.pdf

    Yeah, yeah, it's a chain. Then again, that means one of you fine folks may have been in one already and can give me the lowdown and possibly save me a trip in iffn its no good.

    So help a fellow out :-)


    #13
    tfrielin
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/04/13 14:35:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tfrielin

    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    A 'Smokey Bones' restaurant is being built on the former site of a Chi-Chi's restaurant within a stone's throw of a Tony Roma's over here on the east side of Cincinnati (on Beechmont near the Home Depot, for you local folk)

    Looks like a chain, as borne out by the website http://www.smokeybones.com/menu/sb_menu.pdf

    Yeah, yeah, it's a chain. Then again, that means one of you fine folks may have been in one already and can give me the lowdown and possibly save me a trip in iffn its no good.

    So help a fellow out :-)






    I've been to the one in Tallahassee. Not overly impressed. It's more of a sports bar than a BBQ place. The Q was rather salty, temding to produce Sahara-class thirsts in the middle of the night.

    It did not sway my loyalty away from Sonny's who do the impossible on a daily basis--turn out great BBQ from a chain.

    #14
    Wallyum
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/04/14 00:42:50 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    I never liked the Pizza Nuova/Pizza Nova.

    If you liked the food at the Hibachi Grill, go try Sakkio of Japan in the downstairs food court at the Carew Tower. Same stuff, but prepared fresh before you instead of coming off a steam table, and ergo much much better. Easily one of my favorite cheap lunches in Cincinnati

    I missed that at Christmas, but I had a passable barbecue sandwich at the BBQ place down there. I don't get downtown much anymore since McAlpins went away, but I regularly raided the Chick-Fil-A down there a few years back.
    #15
    DaveM
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/04/14 09:14:12 (permalink)
    Over a year ago, one was opened at the site of a former Red Lobster next to the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua,NH.
    It is still going strong at this writing.
    I haven't been, but everyone comments about the "sports bar" image.
    Commercial BBQ chains haven't done all that well in New England.
    Tony Roma's has only one outlet north of Boston in South Portland,ME.
    Damon's came and went on Route 1 in Peabody,MA.
    The fact that Smokey Bones is still there in Nashua says something positive about the chain.
    DaveM
    #16
    marcbla
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/04/14 16:12:36 (permalink)
    i ate at the one in reading pa twice last week. I am not too familiar with bbq places but i found the pulled pork and smoked turkey platters to be quite good, the pork was tender and had a good taste, i also enjoyed the bbq beans served with the meal. I am planning to return and try several other dishes
    #17
    forurlungsonly
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/04/14 16:28:15 (permalink)
    I've eaten at the Smokey Bones here in Albany a few times. I've had their pulled pork, hamburgers, smoked turkey, and brisket and thought all of it to be very good. Their signature sauce is the sweet, smokey, tomatoey sort, and they also have a tangy mustard sauce that is good as well. Of course I am a native New Yorker--barbecue isn't really our thing around here, but I would recommend at least giving it a try.
    #18
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/04/14 18:32:34 (permalink)
    I don't know that I have too much to add to what others have already said. Except that I *LIKE* the sports bar/BBQ concept. Such so that I don't really think of them as a BBQ place. I like that they have the volume control boxes on all the tables, so you can pick which TV you want to listen -- or none at all. I don't find the place noisy at all, but that uses my definition.

    The location here in Melbourne, FL has a great happy hour -- $2.50 for crown and sprite is OK in my book! I have eaten a fair share of the variety of their menu, but my absolute favorite thing there are the beer battered onion rings. They are incredible. From what I hear from others, the donuts for desert are quite good, too.

    I would think it would warrant a visit.

    Steve
    #19
    forurlungsonly
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/04/15 12:52:18 (permalink)
    I forgot (but stevekoe reminded me) to mention that their sack of fresh donuts is good. Hot and sugary.
    #20
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/07/12 12:46:14 (permalink)
    I finally got to try the local Smokey Bones built just this year within 5 miles of my home

    Pretty good for a chain....had the pulled pork, smoked sausage, and beef brisket....much better than Famous Daves, with definite smoke in the meat. Oddly, you don't see any smoke coming out of any smokestacks or pits there, so I wonder how/where/when they smoke their meat.
    #21
    MikeS.
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/07/15 11:41:28 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    I never liked the Pizza Nuova/Pizza Nova.

    If you liked the food at the Hibachi Grill, go try Sakkio of Japan in the downstairs food court at the Carew Tower. Same stuff, but prepared fresh before you instead of coming off a steam table, and ergo much much better. Easily one of my favorite cheap lunches in Cincinnati


    TJ, tell me more about Sakkio please. I'll be in downtown Cincy starting Sunday. Where is the Carew Tower?

    MikeS.
    #22
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/07/15 12:23:05 (permalink)
    MikeSh: I replied to you in the other thread you started :-)
    #23
    Kilhoffer
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/08/03 04:09:26 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    I finally got to try the local Smokey Bones built just this year within 5 miles of my home

    Pretty good for a chain....had the pulled pork, smoked sausage, and beef brisket....much better than Famous Daves, with definite smoke in the meat. Oddly, you don't see any smoke coming out of any smokestacks or pits there, so I wonder how/where/when they smoke their meat.


    As a trainer for SBones, I can answer that question.... (Trying not to break the NDA I signed.) All locations have two 100k BTU smokers using Hickory wood to smoke their meat. They smoke the pulled pork, both types of ribs and the sausage and turkey on site. Much of the smoking is done early in the day, and the pork butts are smoked overnight, as they take 11-12 hours. The beef is smoked off-site, not sure why they made that choice as two years ago we used to do it on-site, but I can say that each smoker employee is personally trained by one of three people nationwide to ensure consistancy.
    #24
    kozel
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/08/03 06:40:58 (permalink)
    I'm another New Yorker and have been to one in Indianapolis and thought it was pretty good. I had seen at one time on their web site that one was coming to Long Island. Now that will be a test.

    Hey Kilhoffer, are we still on track for getting one here?
    #25
    markeble
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    RE: Another chain enters Cincinnati -- any good? 2004/08/30 21:49:46 (permalink)
    Friends don't let friends eat at chain restaurants!
    #26
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