There is a reason it has taken us so long to make our way to Blue Smoke. After all, in what normal universe would we object to consuming homemade potato chips, immediately, if not sooner?
|Come At Us, Carbs|
Well, we hate jazz.
|Hi, Yes, Do You Guys Have Any Showtunes?|
Ginger waves her hand dismissively. "In another room. Don't worry. We're not close to it."
that assurance, we move onto the most important item on our agenda:
cocktails. And it is at this point that our waiter realizes he has a
long night ahead of him.
Ginger, after trying to talk said waiter into
giving us a happy hour special (and failing), orders a Dark and Stormy. Vodka,
however, is trying to discern which, if any, of the specialty cocktails
are not sweet, and when our waiter answers, "Um, none of them," she asks
if she can have the Porch Swing made with "more gin, less lemonade."
This comment, while made somewhat ("somewhat") in jest,
actually seems to come to fruition, as the bartender's less-sweet
creation is not only delicious, but deceivingly strong (it is also a
very large pour, which is always appreciated). Apparently, these are
the kinds of beverages patrons need to consume in order to sit through
seventeen rounds of jazz riffs.
With our cocktails squared away, we order
Susan Feniger's Best Thing I Ever Ate FINGER FOOD dish, the warm
barbecue potato chips with blue cheese and bacon dip. Not really in the
mood for Blue Smoke's classic barbeque delicacies, we debate for many,
many minutes about what else to order. And while heaven knows we love a
fat-laden calorie, it is at this time that we realize just how HEAVY
all of the items on Blue Smoke's menu are -- there is pretty much
nothing one can order and still leave the place not feeling like she has
gained multiple pounds.
|We Have Restraining Orders Out Against Saxophones|
|Primarily Because We're Too Busy Reading the Coasters to Pay Attention to Him|
|"So Pretty Much Just Bring Me Some Gin"|
|Though Considering the Headaches We Had the Next Day, Perhaps Blue Smoke's "Gin" Is "Rubbing Alcohol"|
|Preparing to Become the Pillsbury Doughgirls|
Well, we attempt to dive in.
Only the food, the fry bread in particular, is astoundingly hot. Like, so hot that it's pretty much impossible to touch, let alone eat. And we are not fond of being delayed from stuffing food into our mouths.
We reach for the more temperate of the two dishes, the
homemade potato chips, which Ginger has actually had before and was less
than overwhelmed by. The first couple of chips make Vodka think that
Ginger was being too picky -- warm with a slight hint of barbecue
seasoning, the chips themselves are mostly vehicles for the blue cheese
and bacon dip.
On their own, the chips aren't all that interesting, but
when combined with the dip, it makes for a pleasing, if not entirely
But as we reach the bottom of the bucket, the bigger problem with these chips begins to emerge. Generally speaking, we're not all that into when restaurants make their own potato chips for a few reasons:
|Waiter, Return This Dish to the Kitchen Until It Is Appropriately Lukewarm|
|Dip = The Greatest Condiment|
|Anyone Have a Bag of Utz To Top These Off?|
1. They're usually overcooked...
2. ...And yet somehow soggy....
3. And the longer they sit, the more tightly they all stick together.
And indeed, all of these problems are true when it comes to Blue Smoke's chips.
By the bottom of the barrel, they are essentially one solid mass
of greasy chip, in desperate need of some crispiness. And based on the
gallon of blue cheese dip we still have left, Blue Smoke needs some
work when it comes to appropriate portions.
When the fry bread has finally cooled
down for us to taste, we are instantly disappointed. The stuff is
indeed like a doughnut in texture -- fluffy and soft and just barely
fried on the outside.
But it is so ridiculously BLAND that Vodka ends
up using Blue Smoke's entire condiment collection in order to try to
bring some flavor to the stuff (for the record, the salt is, naturally,
the most effective).
At this point, not entirely impressed by Blue
Smoke's food selection so far, we opt for a second round of cocktails, a
Caesar salad, and an order of sticky toffee pudding. The salad is
decidedly "blah" -- essentially hunks of romaine hearts, hacked into
pieces and sprinkled with an oily dressing and grocery store-style
We consume it half-heartedly, partially because we are
already somewhat full from our foray into fried foods, but mostly because
we think it could stand for a bit (okay, a ton) more dressing.
However, lest you think everything
(except the cocktails) at Blue Smoke is verging on the side of
Average-to-Poor, we still have to contend with the sticky toffee
pudding. And this thing is a bit of majesty.
Truth be told, we're not exactly sure what sticky
toffee pudding is -- only that it's an English dessert (a fact we
know because we consumed it in the England section of Epcot). Indeed,
multiple times through the course of the evening, we end up referring to
it as "figgy pudding," and thus launching into confused versions of
But despite our confusion, we are in love with this
dessert -- the cake portion is moist yet sturdy, the accompanying toffee
sauce is just sweet enough, and the sprinkle of pecans and whipped/sour cream over top pull the whole thing together.
THIS, Susan Feringer, is 5 stars. Those pesky potato chips are decidedly not.
|This Dish Would Be More Appropriately Called "Warm Barbecue Potato CHIP"|
|So Are We Just Supposed to Spoon The Rest of This DIRECTLY Into Out Mouths?!|
|A Glazed Doughnut Sans the Glaze|
|Something In This Contraption Has Got to Have Some Taste to It|
|You Keep Your Magic Dust, Blue Smoke -- We'll Take Your Salt|
|We Pretty Much Ordered This Because It Was the Only Thing Not-Fried-Within-an-Inch-of-Its-Life on the Menu|
|Is THIS What All the Extra Blue Cheese Dip Was For?!|
|The Crown Jewels|
|"How's It Go? 'Bring On the Figgy Pudding?'" "Bring US Some Figgy Pudding. Not Bring ON."|
|Everything's Better with a Dollop of Cream|
Admittedly more than buzzed from our two cocktails, we make a great show about screwing up our bill, Vodka launches into a convoluted tale about hair care ("In a manic episode while drinking a lot of caffeine, I bought a hair dryer"), and Ginger begins hoarding Blue Smoke's toothpicks (which Vodka is convinced are matches, and thus accuses Ginger of taking up smoking).
|Ginger Didn't Light the Fire|