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Smoke and Barrel, BBQ in Adams Morgan - Chef Logan McGear on Columbia Road and 18th Street


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I really wish I'd stumbled into Smoke and Barrel at the beginning of an evening out rather than at the end, when, famished and a little tipsy, I devoured my pulled pork sandwich at approximately the speed of light. I can't, therefore, provide thoughtful details much beyond "yum!" The smoked meat is piled on a respectable bun with a scoop of good cole slaw, with the surprisingly spicy sauce on the side. And I don't think anything has ever tasted better after a night of beers with friends. A side of sweet potato home fries was excellent.

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The Bad: A friend got food poisoning here, but I ate on the same night and felt fine. Opening night was ridiculous, but service has gradually improved since then.

The Good: I've had good ribs, wings, pulled pork, and brisket here. Not Hill Country or Pork Barrel BBQ good, but rises toward the top of the city. The honey chipotle sauce on the wings/ribs is terrific. Their brunch is good with some unique bbq-y takes on traditional dishes. Interestingly, they share a kitchen with vegan-centric Asylum and several of their sides are vegan but still fit the BBQ tradition- hello fried okra!

What sets it apart is the awesome beer program. Run by Sam Fitz, who also is beer director at Meridian Pint, they always have a few unexpected craft brews. It is more international in scope than MP, and usually has a few smoked beers which pair great with bbq. Their whiskey selection is also good, though not Jack Rose good. I chuckled at the "Boilercrafters", but their Gov Hal (Oskar Blues Govna and Woodford), at least, was quite good.

All in all, a very solid place to go for beer, bbq, and bourbon- in that order.

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This is strictly about their brunch, so don't read much into it. I still plan on going there for dinner sometime.

A couple of friends of mine invited me and the +1 to brunch after they had a great dinner here. The service was great, and the atmosphere very laid back, all good signs. However, the food was just bad. No one was happy with their entrees, but I think I had the worst of the table. I got the Brisket and Sweet Potato hash, described as "Espresso rubbed slow smoked brisket, sweet potatoes, onions, and roasted jalapeños griddled with spicy blackening seasoning topped with two fried eggs." It was super dry, overcooked brisket (definitely leftover from the night before), overcooked sweet potato chunks, and no discenernable spice. The yolk had broken on the fried egg and was cooked all the way through, so it resembled more of a scrambled egg. I doused it in BBQ sauce (very good, actually) to make it edible.

I've heard great things about the dinner and plan to go back, but I'll be avoiding it on for the Sat/Sun brunch hours.

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I went here for brunch on Saturday...and it was so good I went back on Sunday also.

The menu is split between a vegan side and a non-vegan side as a nod to the former Asylum brunch. I thought the portion size was great, and the selection had something for everyone.

Over the two days, I had the huevos rancheros, sweet potato/oat burger stack with fried eggs, and my dining partner had the brisket/sweet potato hash, and the breakfast tacos. Everything was delicious and priced well. Sat at the bar both times and had great service. The two kinds of bbq sauce (spicy and mild) were a good alternative to the ketchup and hot sauce we would normally use at breakfast - and both were great!

The beer and bourbon offerings are amazing, and if you go for lunch or dinner do NOT miss the roasted banana pudding. I know...I've never liked banana pudding either...but this is a far cry from the kind you see in the lunch cafeteria or at an all you can eat buffet.

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Care to elaborate, Don? I walked by here and was tempted the other day but didn't want to waste my calories needlessly.

We have a ton of BBQ snobs on here as well, would love to hear their thoughts on the food.

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It's going to need a fresh re-evaluation anyway. Last week while dining somewhere, I happened to be seated next to Vinni, who has left S&B and is headed back to Arkansas. Nice fella, and passionate about 'que.

Arkansas. Wedged between Memphis, KC, and Texas. 'nuff said.

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Earlier this week, the hubs and i went to check out Smoke and Barrel BBQ for the first time. As vegetarians we are always excited about new places offering a bevy of veggie/vegan options. (This is particularly true after a trip to Portland, OR, where places like these abound. How great to have more options more locally.) So, it just took us longer to get to this place than expected. We ended up going on a night when all vegetarian/vegan options were half off. Bonus!

We started with the vegan chicken wings, muddy style. These were great. Six good sized "drumettes" in a flavourful sauce. The "wings" were the hit of the night. For mains we ordered the tofu BBQ sandwich and the sweet potato/oat burger with a side of okra. I felt like the tofu BBQ sandwich was false advertising. I was anticipating a tofu based "fake meat" product resembling BBQ in a BBQ sauce on a bun, with coleslaw. What arrived however, was literally tofu, scrambled with oregano, BBQ squeezed onto the bun, and some slaw in the sandwich. Clearly, not what I thought was coming, but perhaps my expectations were off. Overall the sandwich, as it arrived was bland. Good thing there were extra sauce bottles on the table. That sauce is tasty! A really nice blend of spice and sweet.

The sweet potato/oat burger had good enough flavour (could use more seasoning), but the texture was kind of like paste. On the upside, there was nothing wrong with the fried okra! yum. We also really appreciated the nice and extensive beer list.

We were so happy that a place that does actual meat BBQ would also entertain the idea of having the same products for vegetarians/vegans. The fact that Smoke and Barrel does this is really great. It read so tasty on the menu, but the execution of our mains let us down. Will likely go back though for the good stuff... vegan wings and beer - and sometimes that's all one needs.

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Smoke and Barrel will soon become the first DC outlet serving the region's newest artisan beer.

"We're ready to start pouring Fair Winds Brewing Company beers. Stay tuned for the exclusive DC launch at Meridian Pint coming up in a couple of weeks.
With Charlie Buettner (formerly w/Mad Fox) as Head Brewer it's going to be huge success and you'll only be able to get it here at Smoke & Barrel, Brookland Pint and Meridian Pint for the first couple of months.

I had the chance to visit with Charlie as well as Casey Jones, the owner and founder, last week at their brewery in Lorton, VA and let's just say that it's a match made in beer heaven and I can't wait.

Stay tuned...
-John Andrade (Owner)"

Facebook

Fairwinds Brewing Company Thread

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Why didn't anyone warn about this bbq joint on 18th St? I had a hankerin for a nice pork bbq sandwhich, so I ordered delivery from this place: pork bbq sandwich, coleslaw, and fries. Everything was so unbelievably bad that after a taste of each I just threw the whole order in the garbage. The best item, such as it was, was the pickle slices that came with the sandwich, and they were from a can. Anyone else been to this hogslop from Hell emporium?

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The only reason to go there is the beer, especially with Federalist Pig only a few blocks away on Columbia Road.

The beer selection is often great, but really this and its Sister Pint restaurants are bars with a food program.  Most NRG places the same.

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10 hours ago, The Hersch said:

Why didn't anyone warn about this bbq joint on 18th St? I had a hankerin for a nice pork bbq sandwhich, so I ordered delivery from this place: pork bbq sandwich, coleslaw, and fries. Everything was so unbelievably bad that after a taste of each I just threw the whole order in the garbage. The best item, such as it was, was the pickle slices that came with the sandwich, and they were from a can. Anyone else been to this hogslop from Hell emporium?

Read my May 22, 2012 post and click on the link. 

Dining Guide, Dining Guide, Dining Guide. I've spent *thousands* of hours and unspeakable amounts of money on this (not just assembling it, but also the content that goes into it), and I only allow a few hundred people to access it. USE IT! My allowing so few people access is the definition of insanity, so take advantage of said insanity.

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