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Fearless Critic restaurant review
San Antonio
Counter service

Tue–Sat 11:00am–6:45pm
Sun noon–5:45pm

Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx


East Side
3306 Roland Ave.
San Antonio, TX
(210) 333-9548
The Smokehouse
Quintessential South Texas ‘cue in a no-nonsense setting

Do not be put off by The Smokehouse’s less-than-luxurious location; true ‘cue is never the product of slicked-up suburbia, and Smokehouse is nothing if not slicked up—despite piggy-motif table cloths and the odd kitschy artifact. Dry rubs and even a hint of mopping are alleged on the part of the long-time pitmaster, but what comes through in spades is the heady perfume of mesquite.

It’s imperative to order brisket, the bellwether of any pit worth its smoke. Go on from there to a pile o’ pork ribs perfect for gnawing; we reluctantly admit they’re actually better than the brisket. Even better yet—at least for those with a streak of orneryness—are the dark and crusty lamb ribs, a rarity hereabouts. Yes, they’re lamby—why else would you order them? Chicken, turkey, sliced pork, and sausage are also possibilities.

Sides, including bacony beans and creamy potato salad, are more than incidental, less than remarkable. The crust of the sweet potato pie won’t win any county fair ribbons, but the custardy filling sends you out with just the right feeling of full.

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