My mother’s birthday was just a few days ago and we decided to get a group together for dinner this past Friday. A reservation for 13 was made at smoQ, a barbecue restaurant out in Springdale near my brother’s house.
The second I stepped out of the car I was greeted by wonderful smoky smells. The parking lot is very large but was still nearly full upon our 6:30 arrival time. The inside of smoQ is also quite large with a few open rooms, a separated bar along one side of the building, and even one private room that could seat around a dozen people.
Our server greeted our table within minutes of our arrival. Later she came by with complimentary cornbread muffins. These are very light and fluffy and resemble cake more than the traditional southern cornbread. With that said, I still enjoyed one of the muffins while looking over the menu.
Our table ordered three appetizers to share, buffa-q wings ($6.99), fried green tomatoes ($6.99), and fried ribs ($7.99). Their wings are smoked, covered in sauce, and then grilled. The sauce isn’t overly spicy and compliments the smokey grilled flavor very well. I really enjoyed these. The fried green tomatoes are a seasonal item, and are flash fried in a cornmeal batter. I also enjoyed these very much. I didn’t sample the fried ribs, but from what others are the table said they are also worth ordering. These are dry rubbed ribs, lightly breaded, and flash fried.
For dinner I decided on the fried chicken ($14.99 with 2 sides). This is no ordinary fried chicken though. It’s half a chicken, molasses brined and smoked just like their barbecued chicken, but then it is lightly dusted in seasoned flour and fried. The results are really good with a crisp fried outside but with plenty of smoke flavor in the meat. I choose cheddar and bacon grits as well as Memphis mustard slaw for my sides. Both were really good.
My wife ordered the pulled pork plate ($14.99 with 2 sides). The serving of pulled pork is massive and could easily be shared. We ended up taking at least half of it home. The meat itself was good, not my favorite in the city, but still a solid choice. It was overall very moist and full of a nice smoke flavor. There wasn’t much crisp on the ends though, which I missed. There are three sauces on the table, Kansas City sweet, Memphis mild, and Carolina hot. I thought all the sauces lacked a little something, but was pleasantly surprised by the secret “Burnin Peter” sauce that our server brought from the back and suggested we try. My wife had macaroni and cheese along with sweet potato and pecan brûlée. Again these were very good sides and keeping with the theme they were served in really large portions.
Overall I was very happy with the food and service from smoQ. I didn’t hear any complaints from our large group who ordered everything from salads to chicken and dumplings and even buffalo meatloaf. I would definitely go back for more food and likely would try the chicken and waffle next.