Objective & honest Restaurant & Wine Reviews by F. Scott, AKA "Jersey Foodies!" Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Local Smoke BBQ - Cookstown, NJ
Before I headed South to Texas for 2 months, the location that was formerly home to Adam's Rib right outside of McGuire Air Force Base had a sign up saying that Local Smoke BBQ was coming soon. Well, they just happened to open while I was gone, so I had to check it out my first full week back to work. Note that I had some damn good BBQ in Texas, and visited anywhere from Rudy's, to the famous places in Lockhart such as Kreutz, Smith's, and Black's. That being said, maybe I was expecting a little more.
Even so, I arrived at 11:15, and there were already 5 of 6 tables seated with 3 and 4 people each. It's great to see that people are already starting to fill this place seeing they've only been open for about 3 weeks.
I ordered a sliced brisket sandwich with fries and a drink for just over $10, and was on my way to fill up my cup with my beverage of choice, sweet tea. Unfortunately, the sweet tea was not homemade, and very uninspiring.
I grabbed a table by myself in the window, and not two minutes after I sat down, there was a line out the door! Good lord! This is definitely a good thing I think, and again, great to see this place being filled up! Adam's Rib was the same way for the first two weeks, and slowly died off, and I don't think the place made it 6 months. I don't think this will be the case here.
As I sat there, I checked out the two different BBQ sauces they had on the table. First they had their homemade sauce, as well as a Carolina styled sauce. Needless to say, I will be checking them both out. A few minutes later, a gentleman brought my sandwich over, and I was ready to chow down. The first thing I noticed was the roll. It looks like a nice, roll, and it definitely was. Nice flavors, but I don't think they were homemade. Maybe I am wrong. Even so, it worked. The next thing I noticed was the thick sliced brisket! Definitely sliced thicker than I have seen, and definitely a lot leaner than anything in Texas. I am guessing that this is from the flat, opposed to the point, which is not nearly as lean. It was also smothered in BBQ sauce which is fine.
On my first bite I could immediately tell that this brisket was not cooked this morning, but it had been re-warmed. This is not a bad thing in the least, but you can usually tell from the tenderness of the meat when it's been cooked the day(s) before. It was tender, but seemed a little dry, but the dryness was masked by the BBQ sauce. I definitely think it would have been better straight from the smoker with a good couple hours of rest to soak up the juices.
The flavors from the smoke however are nice! Anyone who knows me knows that I smoke dozens of briskets a year in my smoker, and these flavors were much better than the flavors I get from my smoker. This is the real deal, with a nice "bark" as we like to call it, and great flavors. I didn't however see much of a smoke ring, but that doesn't mean anything anyway.
Overall, nice flavors, but I would love to taste a brisket that was done overnight, opposed to one that I feel was rewarmed. Maybe I am totally wrong here, but the bottom line is that these guys know how to BBQ, and know how to extract great flavors from their smoker. The fries reminded me of Burger King, and I would much rather see a homemade fry, but these were OK.
There are definitely other things on their menu I would try before ordering this again, and their menu can be seen at: http://www.localsmokebbq.com/menu.htm For aps, the Slow-Smoked Jalapeno Poppers caught my attention, and I will have to try those one of these days. I am also curious to try their pulled pork sandwich, along with their burger, hot dog, and most importantly, their ribs!
Despite me not being crazy about the brisket, I think that these guys definitely have some talent. In reading their bio on their website, they have kicked some serious butt on the local BBQ circuit! Tons of 1st place
finishes in different categories such as Pork, Ribs, Brisket, etc, as well as a boatload of 2nd and 3rd places. They also have a few overall wins as well. Check out their team accomplishments at: http://www.localsmokebbq.com/compbbqteam.htm Again, there is some talent there, and I hope these guys do well, because this is just what this area needs!
At the end of the day, I may not have been crazy about my brisket, but I will definitely be back to give some of their other items a whirl! This restaurant is a great resource to have near the base, and God knows we need to keep the military fed and their stomachs happy! I know that mine always is!
Stay tuned for my next adventure here! What will it be? A burger? Ribs? Maybe even a hot dog? Hmmm....we'll see soon! Cheers!
Welcome to F. Scott's Foodie and wine adventures in and around New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, and more recetly Old Town Alexandria and the DC Metro! Stay tuned for reviews of the latest up and coming East Coast establishments, and up and coming wineries! Cheers!
Born in Illinois, I spent my younger years as a local Chicago Foodie checking out restaurants in the city, and working as a waiter at many of the finest restaurants in the suburbs of Chicago. Look for me visiting a restaurant near you, or at one of the many local wine offlines throughout New Jersey