Sometimes, you only need to look at a menu to determine whether a place is likely to be good, or bad. When it comes to a BBQ joint, you’re looking for a menu that is brief, and preferably written on the wall rather than on laminated menus that are handed out to patrons. That’s because, if you’re turning out the highest quality barbecue, it’s got to be the exclusive focus of your efforts. You can’t be wasting time worrying about creating new salads, special soups, or other, lesser items.
Yesterday we ventured out of the downtown area to try the offerings of Smoked on High. I’d heard about SoH from several friends and the word of mouth was very strong, so when the Red Sox Fan suggested yesterday that we give it a shot I was all for it. We drove, because it was pelting down rain — a daily occurrence this August — and SoH is located just south of downtown on High Street, in a converted house located on the border between German Village and the Brewery District.
SoH passed the BBQ menu test with flying colors. According to the options posted on the wall on the entrance to the order area, you can choose from brisket, pork, chicken, or ribs, a handful of sides, and three sauce options. Oh, and yesterday chili was available as a special. It was a visible demonstration of commitment to barbecue, and nothing but.
Of course, I went for the brisket sandwich, with mac n’ cheese and cornbread as sides. When I ordered the brisket the cook pulled a virgin slab out of the oven, glistening with a great char, and sliced it up for my sandwich. I was given my food, had decided to try the spicy and mustard and vinegar sauces, had paid for the combo, and was headed to my seat in a few seconds. The speed was appreciated, because after looking at the meat I was definitely eager to dig in.
The sandwich was terrific — the meat was awesome, and the Red Sox Fan aptly noted that the bun was appropriately substantial to hold up against the weight of the meat piled on it — and the mac n’ cheese and cornbread were delectable, too. Although it was a very close call, I decided I prefer the mustard and vinegar sauce.
Smoked on High is a short drive from downtown, but it’s also just a short walk from our house in German Village. I’m pretty sure I’m going to become a regular.