Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Smokehouse 21

413 NW 21st Avenue
Happy Hour: 3 - 6 PM, daily

Smokehouse 21 is made for meat eaters. I was still able to find something to snack on while sipping my Huckleberry Gin Collins, but this place is really made for people who enjoy bacon and sausage and pulled pork and brisket. Apparently, it's a place where people who don't even really like brisket learn to love it. That, of course, does not mean that this is the place that's going to turn me back into a meat eater after twenty-two years of living without...but it does mean that you should probably order the brisket sliders. Don't stop there, though.

There are a number of meat-laden items on the happy hour food menu that you'll want to try. And the majority of them are portioned so that it won't be impossible to finish more than one plate. Sharing is a pretty remarkable way to work through the menu, as well. The sliders come two to a plate and the deviled eggs are served in threes, so you'll have to do the math and order accordingly so that no one misses out on any given flavor.

We were there on Saturday--I wish every restaurant extended their happy hour into the weekend--and were able to taste so much of what they have to offer. I enjoyed the wedge salad ($3) and pickled veggies ($2) while others at the table finished off the brisket sliders ($4), a plate off deviled eggs ($3), one bacon-topped cornbread muffin ($1), and a bowl of macaroni and cheese topped with piles of pulled pork (the day's chalkboard special).

Smothered in blue cheese dressing, the wedge salad was topped with pickled red onions, boiled egg, and plenty of freshly cracked pepper. I passed up the option to add bacon and stuck with with traditional blue cheese dressing despite the number of options available. It's a LOT of dressing, though, so next time I might just order it on the side.

The pickled veggies had just enough vinegar to add a slight punch with each bite. Buried beneath the carrots and cauliflower were a couple of beets and one delicious but unidentifiable root vegetable.

Topped with hot link slices and dusted with paprika, the eggs were consumed almost upon arrival. My husband is quite the deviled egg connoisseur and he LOVED these.

I was a little jealous of the cornbread muffin. The menu boasted of molasses, making me want to give it a try but the bacon seemed to be everywhere. That's a very good thing for bacon lovers but has left me craving cornbread for days.

Sliders come topped with pulled pork, BBQ chicken, or brisket. I should have checked to see if you could order a combination. The price is the same for all three, so I can't see why that would be a problem. Both the bread and the pickles (and the fact that all sliders are so adorably cute in their petiteness) made me wish that they had a vegetarian option. That, however, might be asking too much of a restaurant called Smokehouse 21.

To wash down all that food, we each ordered something from the drink menu. My husband ordered beer (mostly because he wanted the koozie--which you can purchase for just two bucks) but the rest of us stuck with cocktails.

The Ginger Donkey is a simple mix of New Deal Ginger Liqueur, Whiskey, and ginger ale. It's a perfect summertime drink.

I enjoyed the Huckleberry Gin Collins with its citrus berry blend. It was nowhere near as sweet as I had been expecting.

Smokehouse 21 is located in the mix of the almost too many food options available on NW 21st. It's small and easy to miss, but something that is definitely worth giving a go. Even having not tasted a single meaty option listed on their food menu, I know that this is a place to which we will return. I just hope that it doesn't mean we are about to start a collection of beer koozies.

Food: Exceeds
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Exceeds


Smokehouse 21 on Urbanspoon


  1. The best BBQ I've ever had in my life is in Austin Texas--Franklin's BBQ! And nothing has ever compared since. Podnah's Pit here in Portland is a close 2nd. I will need to try this place!

  2. We learned about Franklin's from Drew @ manuptexasbbq.blogpost.com. Their Tipsy Texan was ranked number five in North America by Chowzter at an awards event we went to in November. Drew's got a running list of Texas BBQ Wannabes. Podnah's is currently listed at number 66.