Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill

I was back in Cleveland. Progressive's headquarter is located here. Too bad my work's headquarter is not located in one of the better BBQ regions. I sampled Famous Dave's last time, and you know how that turned out. When I was leaving Famous Dave's, I saw Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill. I told myself I was going to hit it up when I am in town again. I saw one on the way to the hotel so I stopped in. Did I make the right decision? When I walked through the doors, I did not smell the wood smoke you expect at a BBQ joint. That is not a good sign. Smokey Bones apparently smoke their meats on-site with 18" hickory logs.

I created my own combo. I ordered Texas-style beef brisket, baby back ribs, slow-smoked spiced sausage, and hand-pulled pork. The plate also came with coleslaw and broccoli with garlic toast. I had to get some vegetables somehow. The brisket is only available after 4 PM and is smoked for 14+ hours. It was actually not terrible. I have had worse. The brisket was tender with the right amount of fat. It was cut into huge chunks covered with sauce. There was not a whole lot of flavor by itself. It needed more smoke and a better defined bark/crust. The ribs were tender but dry. The saucy exterior hid a lot of the impurities. It did have a decent amount of smoke. The sausage was not good. It was like eating a bratwurst. It was not what I was expecting. It did have a good texture and snap/pop. The pulled pork was average. It had a good flavor but was dry and missing the smoky tones I am looking for. The broccoli was well broccoli. The coleslaw was creamy. The garlic toast was my highlight of the meal. Sad.

So I went to a chain BBQ restaurant in Cleveland. That is probably not the best idea. I did not hate Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, but I for sure did not love it. The food tasted better than it looked. The artificial lightning above the plate did not help. They have a pretty extensive menu. There are plenty of options for everyone. So far, it has my best out of state review. Hopefully that will not stand up. I wonder if I should keep trying barbecue every time I go to Cleveland. I know Food Network chef Michael Symon is opening a barbecue restaurant downtown. Maybe one more time? Grade: N/A

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 7725 Reynolds Rd, Mentor, OH 44060
Phone: (440) 942-0993


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