I was really hoping for better from this place. I have tried many things and the safest thing I can get is the BBQ sandwich, and it can dry and sub par. The only reason I go there is because my friends always want to go there and drink. I just don't understand why somebody would put money and time into a restaurant and have the food so bad. The sides always suck as far as I am concerned, mostly canned sides with dry burnt macaroni. Why would you not try harder with good ingredients, and cook the meat correctly. I had a brisket sandwich that was 40% white greasy fat. Why would the cooks put that on my plate. They don't care that why, the owner should have hired one person who knows what they are doing instead of a bunch of crappy line cooks. At least I hope that what happened, because if they are paying a real chef to cook, he or she should be ashamed. I will try it again in a couple of months and if it is better I will post an update. Sorry for the bad review but I have eaten there at least 10 times.
I don't do bad reviews. Not my bag. But, in this case, I need to share my experience from Saturday, maybe in search of some corroboration, or direction on whether to go back?
Good stuff first - Spinach & artichoke dip app was great. The pita chips, really freshly fried full-on pita wedges, slightly crispy on the outside & warm on the inside, were fantastic. Mac & cheese was also no slouch, mainly because they are generous w/ the cheese.
Unfortunately, the bad stuff is related to the 2 things I thought this place was known for: BBQ and beer.
Beer first. The menu had a few glaring errors, spelling or ABV-related, but that's OK, I'm used to it and can forgive easily. So I ordered a Big Eye IPA. I know, and love, this beer well. At $5.75/pint, it's right in line w/ other places in Charleston that put it on tap, no problem there. The problem was the beer was gross. Through some confluence of really old (not rotated) beer, and maybe a dirty line, they managed to turn one of my favorite IPAs into something barely drinkable. With 41 taps and a full room with only a handful of craft drinkers, you can't expect fast enough rotation to keep every pour fresh. That said, for almost $6, I want my Big Eye to taste like Big Eye, not like 6-month old Harpoon.
BBQ. Well, I just don't get it. My pulled pork was dry. Teeth-stickingly dry. Like the consistency of an overcooked turkey dry. I fully understand the "naked" concept, but good lord man, that doesn't mean you have to overcook the sh!t out of the pork, does it? That's OK, the sauce will save it, right? Every sauce, save the vinegar-pepper (a bottle of vinegar w/ one pepper in it), looked and tasted like it was 75% high fructose corn syrup. Cloyingly sweet, from the mustard base to the chef's red to the chiptole to the unlabelled one. This much sugar is not necessary in BBQ sauce, and it made them all taste basically the same. I did not sign up for pork-kindling with flavored syrups, but that's basically what I got.
I wanted to love this place. I'd been caught in the rainstorm on Folly. I was chilly, I was tired, and I was ravenously hungry. I wanted killer BBQ, and I wanted to gush about it afterwards. Alas, it was not to be.
Did I order the wrong thing? Is there another dish they have I should try? I'm open to suggestions. Barring that, looks like my visits will continue to be limited to their beer fests (which are great, btw).
If you're looking for healthy, you should probably stay out of a BBQ joint. Of course, I've never been to Dukes in Ridgeville. Could be super healthy, I suppose. Kinda doubting it, though.
This barbeque is just ok at best, nothing like the Duke's in Ridgeville! Almost everything in the resturant is super unhealthy so I won't be back, so bad for your health.
Congratulation to Smoky Oak - Best of James Island 2011!
I have always had a great experience at Smoky Oak. Great food, great prices, great portions and great beer selection. The cuban sandwich is great and their fries are fresh cut. The portions are very generous and I always have leftovers. They seem to always have good live music on the weekends too.
There are so many options to choose from on their AYCE buffet line! With a number of fresh veggies, fried chicken, homemade banana pudding, and of course the best Pulled pork BBQ... its a bargain for your belly!
my favorite place for lunch on king street! thank you to my server for recognizing that i was on my lunch hour and brought me a big to-go cup of tea to take with me back to work. i get the double decker sandwich and mac n cheese and collards.
left out my stars - 5!
My fav barbeque in Charleston and I love north carolina/virginia vinegar based b-que. Barbeque Joint is the Bomb! Delicious! Only down side is the hours are limited.
Me and My friends were in Charleston for a Bachlorette party this past weekend. We love Charleston for its Historic feel and natural beauty, being from south florida did not expect clubs or bars to be up to par. Ironically, to my surprise is excatly what our party found at Market Street Saloon. The bar itself wasnt big but the party this past saturday was incredible. The Dj Dj Miketech was awsome had us ladies dancing all night. The "saloon girls" were all friendly and even has us do shots/dance on top of their huge bar. Great Music, Great Dj, Great Bar...
I've eaten at pretty much every bbq place in the Charleston metro, including Dukes in Ridgeville and even Sweatmans in Holly Hill. This is THE best bbq around and it's only $9 for the buffet. Not to mention, they have ribs and smoked chicken on the buffet, along with all the others. Their bread pudding is the best I've had outside New Orleans, and their Mac-n-cheese is made with REAL cheese, not that velveeta crap. People are super friendly and the food is very consistent.
YUMMY HASH!!! And you couldn't possibly get any better BBQ chicken! :)
Outstanding ribs and sauce selection, generous servings, great service. They will tell you this is the original location, and it is easy to see why there are so many locations.
Some of the most legit BBQ in charleston. Wednesday is rib day, definitely hit it up! The sides are stellar and the cornbread is soft and moist. Didn't need any sauce at all, i did put some hot sauce on the collards though, mostly because i can't have a meal without hot sauce...
Don't think there's a better BBQ buffet anywhere...super BBQ, love the hash on rice, a great choice of salads, veggies & sides (terrific Mac & Cheese)... surprised at the fantastic recipe for Dukes fried chicken...and the price is right, just 10 bucks for all you can eat drink & dessert included...a real hit so there might be a short wait...but well worth it!!!
I've experienced really great food and great service. Can't imagine where the negative comments came from.
Been there a few times, no problems at all. The food was Awesome! Brisket & BBQ best in the area. Having the ability to travel in Texas, Memphis & ST Louis, I still find the BBQ in the South so much better. I maybe spoiled, but there is nothing like getting Pork, chicken, ribs, whatever straight off the smoker, Sauce optional, as real BBQ does not need any.
The only drawback is a few bartenders do ignore "Non Regulars". I was overcharged for beers which I did not order or drink. So it happens, but more then once? Shame on them. I learned to bring in cash & pay as I go, problem solved! Tell them I tip at the end, got better service.
Im really surprised at the reviews. Ive always found the food to be great! All one has to do is look at the parking lot and see the neighborhood wants Smoky Oak
As a native of NC, I found Smoky Oak very enjoyable. As a fan of BBQ and having live near Lexington, the capital of BBQ, I have found a place that its BBQ is just like what I am familiar with! The service was great and I will return eagerly! RevT
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