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 The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia

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  • Total Posts: 17
  • Joined: 3/12/2004
  • Location: Bayside, NY
The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia Sat, 12/11/04 10:52 AM (permalink)
I heard about a new BBQ restaurant in Philadelphia called The Smoked Joint. Great name! I'm going down to Philly next weekend. Has anyone been to the restaurant yet? Is it any good?

    • Total Posts: 1086
    • Joined: 3/29/2003
    • Location: Edgewater Park, NJ
    RE: The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia Sat, 12/11/04 12:13 PM (permalink)
    We've walked past it but never went in, probably only because we were either not hungry or had plans to eat someplace else. However, here's info about it from another forum (if I'm not allowed to do this [linking to a different food forum], will the moderator please let me know)? Thank you! And Salty, please let me know if you've gone and how it was.
      mayor al

      • Total Posts: 15059
      • Joined: 8/20/2002
      • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
      • Roadfood Insider
      RE: The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia Sat, 12/11/04 12:20 PM (permalink)
      S M,
      No problem posting the link as far as we are concerned. Thanks for an initial review of the place, now lets see what a few of our folks find out when they go there. Sounds kinda "Famous Davey" to me.

        • Total Posts: 1086
        • Joined: 3/29/2003
        • Location: Edgewater Park, NJ
        RE: The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia Sat, 12/11/04 12:29 PM (permalink)
        It might be better to just base it on individual experience, especially since IMO, Roadfood "regs" are probably overall less snobby (a relative term), or maybe just more down-to-earth or salt-of-the-earth than on other food forums. I did see one review on the other site where they spoke about what wine they had with their BBQ...I just don't know about that. I was trying to get to their site, which in the search says it's and I got This Page Cannot Be Displayed.
          Poverty Pete

          • Total Posts: 2266
          • Joined: 8/16/2003
          • Location: Nashville, TN
          RE: The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia Sat, 12/11/04 1:00 PM (permalink)
          I like Chateau Miller when I "Q". Bold, assertive, yet not too pretentious.

            • Total Posts: 1086
            • Joined: 3/29/2003
            • Location: Edgewater Park, NJ
            RE: The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia Sat, 12/11/04 5:01 PM (permalink)
            Originally posted by Poverty Pete

            I like Chateau Miller when I "Q". Bold, assertive, yet not too pretentious.

            OK, but does it have the bouquet like an aborigine's armpit? Like Cuivre Reserve Ch√Ęteau Bottled Nuit San Wogga Wogga? (Oh dear God, am I actually quoting them?)
              Poverty Pete

              • Total Posts: 2266
              • Joined: 8/16/2003
              • Location: Nashville, TN
              RE: The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia Sat, 12/11/04 5:40 PM (permalink)
              Well, why didn't you SAY you were looking for eau de armpit? For that, you have to look to Rolling Rock.

                • Total Posts: 1
                • Joined: 12/12/2004
                • Location: new york, NY
                RE: The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia Sun, 12/12/04 10:08 PM (permalink)
                Originally posted by Salty

                I heard about a new BBQ restaurant in Philadelphia called The Smoked Joint. Great name! I'm going down to Philly next weekend. Has anyone been to the restaurant yet? Is it any good?

                I had lunch here sat 12/11. I loved everything we ordered. Started with the smoked salmon appetizer. This ain't lox! It's a perfect piece of incredibly prepared and interestingly served fish. The pizza
                is amazing. Best mac 'n cheese I ever had. Ribs are big, meaty and incredibly tender and delicious. Surprise! They're a dry rub, so much less mess. Still, the napkins were big cotton terry. Great idea. In fact, everything worked. Great beer menu, really interesting wine menu and great service with no attitudes. Perfect? No. Prices aren't
                cheap (guess it reflects center city location) and I suggest you bring mouthwash with you because you'll burp garlic for hours after.
                I'd give it four out of five stars and after it's open a while and the super strong flavors are toned down, it may rate a fifth! Something unusual and terrific is happening here. I'll go back, next time I'm downtown.

                  • Total Posts: 1086
                  • Joined: 3/29/2003
                  • Location: Edgewater Park, NJ
                  RE: The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia Sat, 12/25/04 10:24 AM (permalink)
                  Last Saturday, my daughter & I stopped in just to see what was up. We'd eaten in University City (at the Marathon Grill at 40th & Walnut which I highly recommend!!) so weren't hungry. But I'm always interested in taking a paper menu home with me for future reference, and the hostess said they had "run out"! Blah! I also mentioned the website and that it was really hard to get onto it; that I had kept getting "This page cannot be displayed". She said that "he's working on it". As of today there's only a homepage with "Coming Soon" on it. The entrance to the place is cute, and it's kinda dark inside which I suppose would lend itself to a romantic meal. And stains could be hidden from your date courtesy of the dim lighting! But the food I must review at a later date. It's still a tossup between this place and Roy's, the Hawaiian place around the corner from there, for my birthday next month. I do appreciate the above reviews, though. I'm so skeptical/disappointed in local BBQ, but there's only one way to really find out, I guess.

                    • Total Posts: 2929
                    • Joined: 5/26/2004
                    • Location: Mountain Top, PA
                    RE: The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia Sat, 12/25/04 1:14 PM (permalink)
                    I absolutely LOVE Roy's in Wiakoloa, but I've heard some pretty awful things about the Roy's in Philadelphia, both about the food and about the service. I don't know Philly food all that well, but Roy's wouldn't be on my list.

                    I'd like to try the Joint, though.

                      • Total Posts: 1086
                      • Joined: 3/29/2003
                      • Location: Edgewater Park, NJ
                      RE: The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia Sat, 12/25/04 1:32 PM (permalink)
                      Mosca, I'm thinking anyway now that my fiance will like the Smoked Joint better, so we'll probably do that. Wait a minute; it's MY birthday, not his! (OK, starting to answer myself on posts...)
                      Oh, well. I still want BBQ anyway on my birthday, I think.
                        Ian Curtis

                        • Total Posts: 1
                        • Joined: 1/20/2005
                        • Location: Horsham, PA
                        RE: The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia Thu, 01/20/05 1:09 PM (permalink)
                        I ate there with my girlfriend on a Friday night and we were seated within 10 minutes. We had waited at the bar which was not crowded and they let ya smoke too! The beer selection was solid. I found a new fav - Allagash Wit from Maine. From start to finish the servers were very nice and our waitress was super nice. This can be a problem here in Philly. I felt like they imported the wait staff from Cali. LOL

                        The prices are higher but it is 14th & Locust. The cornbread is now the reigning champ in Philly (though I have yet made it ove to Zeke's in Overbrook). They serve it in a skillet with enough for 2 people to fill up on - plus the jalepenos pepper pieces really balnce out the super buttery flavor. Perfect balance! Not spicy cause of the counterbalance of the butter.

                        My girl had the beef brisket and it was great - not stringy! Served almost like flank steak. She also said the baked beans were very good - definitely not from a can.

                        I had the 1/4 rack ribs (i didn't want to appear piggish). Dry rub is the best and authentic Memphis way. The ribs were very good however I cannot say they are better than Tommy Gunns (in 'yunk) or Abners (jenkintown). Definitely the best and only in Center City. So if you are in that part of town it is a great place to visit.

                        Only complaint was with the other patrons...they were so lame. I saw people eating SALADS and drinking Lite beer!!!! Take that elsewhere!

                          • Total Posts: 1086
                          • Joined: 3/29/2003
                          • Location: Edgewater Park, NJ
                          RE: The Smoked Joint - Philadelphia Sat, 01/22/05 2:44 PM (permalink)
                          Please don't call this a review. It's just my experience and observations. Long-winded, too! I'm no reviewer:

                          I was taken to the Smoked Joint for my birthday Thursday night. We were seated within one minute. Of every review I've read so far where the place is never crowded, this was another night where few people were there. Maybe weekends are more crowded.

                          Oh, before I forget, I wanted to respond to something Ian Curtis said about the lameness and the salads. Ian - please remember where this restaurant is located! Broad and Locust! That whole area caters to the before and after theatre crowd, and being born and raised in Philadelphia, I know all the "types". Philly is absolutely, since the whole beginning of the Starr/Stein/Perrier reigns, trying to be New York. I hate the fact it seems to be losing its distinct flavor in some areas! People never hailed cabs when I was younger. Everyone took SEPTA. Now they try to be New York and hail cabs and go to the theatre and have attitudes. This is absolutely out of respect for New York. There is only one New York, and Philadelphia can't be it. Philly is what it is, I'm proud to be a Philadelphian, and I hate the "New York-ing" of Philly. I saw a prime example of that when being seated at the Smoked Joint. We sat a few steps up from the bar area, and looking down, saw this cotton-candy-haired blonde and her male botoxed date posing at the bar with their cigarettes, holding them aloft like Bette Davis. Yes! Lame! And lame how it drifted up into my nostrils! Do not like! I'm an ex-smoker (4 years now) and we're the worst. We later saw them both strolling down Broad Street (with those white scarves placed just so at the neck), and the male was a little too tanned for his own good.

                          Back to the restaurant. We ordered stuff we should not have ordered, but it was my birthday, and when and if we go back, we won't order the extra stuff that cost so much money. Some items from this place are priced way too high for what you get. You can't order just a side of mac & cheese. You have to get a "crock" of it for $10! Wild! Well, we just went with the notion that we were "ordering it for the table", so that helped psychologically. The flavor was great, though. It tasted like there were some very expensive cheeses in there. The texture was not too runny and not too thick. The crust was nice on top. But the crock was not this huge crock I envisioned. Anyway. Bill ordered a side of cornbread and I don't like jalapenos which this had in it (totally unnecessary IMO). He liked it, and if he's happy, so am I. Root beer baked beans? I don't eat beans, so I know nothing about them. Where are root beer baked beans from? Is that made up, or are they regional someplace? Either way, my darlin' child did not like her "soda beans" and gave them to Bill, who ate a small bit of them and they went into the doggie bag. Nobody ended up eating them, it turns out. Sweet potato fries are the only potato choice. I got a double order, since I don't like coleslaw or the other sides. I liked 'em.

                          Main dishes: Bill and Shayna both ordered half rack of ribs. $22. I know, expensive, isn't it? These were dry rub and I liked what I tasted. Shayna used no sauce: "You don't need it on these!" Nice pink smoked look to them. Very meaty. I ordered the brisket which was to die for (and maybe from, considering how I woke up at 4:30 this morning after eating the leftovers last night and said out loud to myself, "I'm sick". It passed, but I felt very nauseated). But I totally recommend this brisket. Is there such a thing as overly-smoked? Do ya think that was it? I don't know; it was very rich tasting and that's the only way I can describe it. I liked it. I'm hoping I was nauseated from all the birthday cake I'm not used to eating, and not from the brisket. This brisket platter was $16. I did get some big pieces. Oh, I just looked at the menu and it says "Smoked for darn near 18 hours". Is this too long for brisket? I'd love feedback. I've smoked a chicken and ribs in a smoker before and never smoked anything for 18 hours...

                          I forgot to backtrack to the appetizer, an order of chicken wings that were very large. It was like $10 for those. I don't like the idea of any appetizer being $10. They looked like frog's legs to me or shrimp cocktail, the way they were presented, hanging over the edge of a shallow bowl. Personally? I didn't like the taste. They were not like a buffalo wing, but they had some sort of very strong spices rubbed on them that I was literally choking from. My other two family members present loved them.

                          I want to add the highlight of the evening when the waitperson spilled ranch dressing right on my lap. Thank goodness I had one of their towels (they use these dark red fluffy terrycloth towels instead of napkins for that homey touch) across my lap so not a drop spilled on my clothing. The waitperson said, "I've been waitressing for five years and never spilled anything". Well, honey, I've been living for 51 years and never had anyone spill on me. So, uh, your bad, huh? Again, I must remind one and all roadfooders that this is Center City Philadelphia, the theatre district, where if you spill anything on a lawyer (which I might have been, ya know!), you can get your butt sued in a minute. But of course I'm such a wonderful person that I just sat there "lightening the mood" as she replaced the lap-towel and fawned. Hey, don't fawn, cut that mac & cheese bill by about two-thirds! Not gonna happen...

                          No dessert, we were stuffed, it was expensive, but we would not order the cornbread (you have to literally ASK for white bread. I thought they'd give you loaf bread but it's freshly baked and very yeasty white bread). If you don't ask for white bread you get none and have to order this cornbread which is either $2 or $5 depending. I can't explain it. Also would not order a $10 crock of mac and cheese and maybe, with enough complaints, they'll just offer it as one of the sides. It did taste really fine.

                          I'm still thinking about when you go down the stairs to the bathroom area and it's such a blinding red all over the walls, ceiling and floors ("Like a Chinese whorehouse!", my boyfriend said) (how would he know??). You really expect the bathrooms to be filthy, you really do, with the cracked tiles and all, and they're just spotless. There are nice music posters on the wall in the hallway there, and there's that poster of Joe Cocker bellowing with almost pursed lips and a surprised look on his face. Remember that poster?

                          We took a walk afterwards down Locust Street, and passed the spot where Officer Daniel Faulkner was murdered. There's a plaque embedded in the sidewalk. We paused, read it, and had conversation afterward about it. It was a somber moment.

                          I'm wondering if this place lasts, considering a) those prices for some things, b) the curse of that exact location (not too many restaurants since Marabella's have lasted long there), and c) the trendiness of that area.

                          I do recommend it for the flavor, the people-watching (one guy had the longest, largest head I've seen in a long time. And a mouth that looked like he could put an entire smoked chicken in it. I told Bill he looked like a cartoon man, and he really did look familiar to me, and it's kinda bothering me), and if you have lots of money to spend on dinner and happen to be in Center City Philadelphia and want barbecue.

                          If anyone wants a menu scanned & emailed to them, let me know. Thanks for reading this, if you were able to make it through the whole thing.
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