During the last four years on my many trips through Decatur on Highway 20/Alt US 72, I have noticed a Barbecue joint on the northside of the road next to a Texaco station and a Jack’s. Since the majority of my trips through Decatur are usually made either early in the morning or later in the afternoon I’ve never seen Smokey C’s Bar-B-Que & Wings open for business.
After reading about Smokey C’s Bar-B-Que & Wings in a new book Alabama Barbecue, Delicious Road Trips (available from Amazon) and finding out that Smokey C’s Bar-B-Que & Wings hours are Monday – Friday, 10:30 am till 2:00 pm I could understand why I’ve never seen them open. So, a road-trip was planned and recently my buddy Jim and I went to Decatur with lunch at Smokey C’s Bar-B-Que & Wings in mind.
We arrived just a few minutes after they opened, I think we were the second and third customers they’d had that morning. Since this was our first visit we didn’t know their menu and we hesitated a few minutes before stepping up to the counter.
Smokey C’s Bar-B-Que & Wings has a cafeteria style lunch menu, with the customer being able to select not only their choice of meat, but also a choice of side items which included potato salad, baked beans, mac ‘n cheese, mashed potatoes, green beans and three different styles of slaw (mayo, vinegar or mustard.) After checking everything out, I stepped up and ordered the barbecue plate which came with six ounces of barbecue and two sides ($6.49) and a drink ($1.99). For my sides I chose the mustard style slaw and baked beans. Jim also decided to order the same items as I did.
After paying for the meal at the counter, we filled our cups with ice and a soft drink (Pepsi products) and noticed they they had the barbecue sauce on a condiment bar. There were a several squirt bottles filled with their various sauces (regular BBQ, hot BBQ and white) and a sign that said “Please don’t take bottles to the table” or something to that effect. They did furnish small paper portion cups to put sauces into, so we filled one of each to see which sauce we liked.
We sat down and surveyed our plates, the first impression was really good. The meat appeared fresh off the smoker with lots of pink coloring that is indicative of freshly smoked pork. The slaw had a good yellow color and the beans appeared to have some onion mixed in.
We first sampled the meat and indeed it did have a great fresh taste to it. In my opinion it was a little light on the smoke flavor, I would have liked it to have a bit more hickory taste to it. I then sampled the beans; they had began life as pork ‘n beans and had been doctored with some onion and barbecue sauce and cooked for a bit in the oven. At least on the menu the beans were advertised as baked beans rather than barbecue beans since there was no discernible meat in them. Next up was the slaw, it was a coarse chopped slaw that had a hint of vinegar with a fairly good mustard background. In my opinion, the slaw was overloaded with carrots and those overpowered the mustard slaw flavor.
Jim’s call on the meal is as follows:
After we finished eating, I put an order in for a full slab of ribs to go ($18.99) and I was told it would take a few minutes because the ribs were just being taken off the smoker. This didn’t bother me as I was taking them home for Debra and myself’s evening meal.
We I got home, we opened the ribs up and they had cut the ribs into single bones and they were boxed in a Styrofoam to-go container. The rib presentation was not very appetizing and I really would have preferred just to have gotten the whole of ribs rack intact and wrapped in foil, but it was what it was.
I tasted the ribs and again thought that there was not enough smoke in the meat. In addition, the ribs were marginal in flavor and and a bit lacking in taste, there was some rub applied before smoking and I almost think the ribs had been wrapped in aluminum foil to speed the cooking process, but that’s just my opinion and I have no solid knowledge if they were or weren’t
After thinking about it more, and finishing off the last of the ribs while writing this, I think the ribs were pulled off the smoker a little green and could have benefited from having stayed on the smoker longer.
Taking in it’s entirety, the meal and the ribs were fairly good and The Brown Bag Review would recommend that if you have the opportunity to visit Smokey C’s Bar-B-Que & Wings that you should certainly do so. While not the best barbecue or ribs I’ve ever eaten they are still better than what you get at a lot of the more expensive Q-joints. We will probably paid them another visit in the future.
|Recommendations||Pulled Pork BBQ|
|Vegetarian-Friendly||It’s Q Joint|
|Price Range||Most entrees $5 – $15|
|Soft Drink Brand||Pepsi|