In the Before Time, going out for a pre-Oilers game dinner with a friend felt routine: We’d meet downtown and head to one of our favourite spots. But it’s been so long we kinda forgot the last part, so when we met atop the Bay/Enterprise Square LRT station we just stood there asking, “So where you wanna go?”
We didn’t know, so we walked and talked, trying to determine exactly what pre-game meal we were in the mood for. “It would be nice to try some place new,” I said generally, not narrowing down our selection at all. “I could go for a sandwich,” my friend offered, narrowing things down a nudge at most.
As we turned the corner, we saw smoke — specifically the new Smoke BBQ + Bar, where Denizen Hall used to be. Smoke is actually the dine-in section of the Rub’d Smokehouse BBQ order-only kitchen, which operates inside the Crash Hotel, and it may be the best smokehouse in the city.
The menu is full of ribs, briskets and burnt ends, and pork, chicken and sausage meals that are smoked with a cherry and hickory wood blend for up to 12 hours. Following my friend’s sandwich craving, I took a chance on the Briskin’ It All, which comes with garlic mayo, crispy onions and signature maple bourbon BBQ sauce, and ordered some mac ‘n’ cheese on the side. After judging the sandwich too unwieldy to contain, I made the call to cut it in two. It was the right decision — as was wandering aimlessly like tourists who hadn’t been downtown before — and a great meal. And best of all, we now have a new favourite pre-game spot.
Smoke BBQ + Bar Downtown | 10266 103 St NW, Edmonton | 780.913.3451 | smokebar.ca
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