Smokey Joe’s Hickory Smoke House
By Paula E. Kirman
<img src="images/feature_articles/SmokeyJoes1.jpg" width=200 height=150 alt="Smokey Joes" align="left" hspace=5>Smokey Joe’s is an enduring mainstay on Edmonton’s bar-b-que scene. Having been in several locations throughout the last 20 years or so, the restaurant has settled down in a quaint corner storefront along Stony Plain Road.
Reflecting values of simplicity, the plain tables are covered in brown wax paper that children often colour on. In fact, the walls are lined with drawings, as well as country décor, and many positive write-ups and reviews from the restaurant’s history.
A variety of meats, particularly beef, chicken, and pork, are prepared using a hickory smoker which fills the food with flavour. The signature barbeque sauce adds needed moisture to some of the meats – the smoking process often dries up the juices, so steaks and poultry in particular can be a bit on the dry side. It’s not too mild or too bland – just right for different palates. The sauce is available for purchase on its own.
Another claim to fame for Smokey Joe’s is the fries. Whether thick and straight-cut, or thin, crisp, and curly, the fries are hand cut, fried to perfection, and lightly seasoned. They are served as a mountain alongside the sandwiches, or if chosen as a side dish with dinners. One of my dining companions commented that she ate more fries than she planned – an amazing feat, since she doesn’t even like French fries.
And now, on to the main courses. The sandwiches, or “samwiches” as they are affectionately referred to on the menu, contain a small helping of meat, topped with barbeque sauce, on a lightly toasted, fresh bun. The smoked beef is pulled strands piled high. I chose the turkey – three or four thick, smoked slices of white meat. Sandwiches are around $8 and come with a side of fries, either straight or curly.
Don’t order a dinner unless you are very hungry. A huge helping of meat, with a choice of two side dishes (in addition to the fries, one can choose coleslaw, potato salad, beans, baked potato, corn bread, onion rings, and side salad) and garlic toast, the choices include beef, rib eye steak, ham, half-chicken, pork ribs, or beef ribs. My friend had the smoked beef dinner – it was a huge hunk of brisket. Dinners range from $12 to $17 (for the beef ribs) and are well worth it.
Even the starters are hearty, including nachos, chicken wings, and boneless dry ribs. One can also order a side dish as a starter – we had an order of onion rings, which were thick and juicy. The barbeque sauce proved to be very versatile as a dip. My fry-devouring companion also ordered a side of coleslaw with her sandwich. She commented that it was fresh and easy on the liquid – just the way she likes it.
For lighter fare, there is a vegetarian lasagna and veggie burger, as well as a few salads and wraps. But for the most part, Smokey Joe’s is a meat-lover’s paradise.
<b>Smokey Joe’s Hickory Smoke House</b>
15135 Stony Plain Road
Phone: (780) 413-3379