Hey y'all (thought I might as well throw that in there!!)... a little BBQ update during this spectacular summer we're having here in the valley.
I am always on the search for great ribs and BBQ, so when a coworker mentioned Smoke Bros. - a place I had never heard of - a lunch trip was planned.
3069 W. Ashlan Ave, (559)224-2020
S/W Corner of Marks and Ashlan
The atmosphere is very clean and minimal, there are only five tables so take-out is encouraged!! The menu (I grabbed a take-out menu before I left) consists of starters (smoked chicken wings, salmon cakes, rib tips, etc), salads, sandwiches (pulled pork, brisket, po'boy, etc) and then plates (fried chicken, gulfport shrimp, flat iron steak, jambalaya, chicken and meat combos). The sandwiches and plates come with a choice of side, plus the plates come with cornbread as well. The choices of meat for the combos are BBQ pulled pork and turkey, St. Louis ribs, brisket, andouille sausage, hot links, chicken and smoked tri-tip. Sides consist of the usual suspects: mac & cheese, BBQ beans, black eyed peas, cole slaw and collard greens (just to name a few). Prices range from $5.99 to $11.99. Desserts (pineapple upside down cake, sweet potato pie, peach cobbler and banana pudding) are $3.59.
Of course I went for the ribs!! On the meat combos I chose the two meat choice (the menu ranges from a one meat choice to a four meat choice, in any combo you wish. Two ribs, links and sausage for each choice.) Both choices were for the ribs - I knew my SO was going to steal more than a bite!! At first glance the ribs looked like they were going to be tough, but they really were moist and smoky and did have the "fall off the bone" feature that defines a decent rib in my book. The sauce was okay, presumed homemade, with a nice spicy kick. They are still not up to par with the ribs of my childhood vacations to Texas, but will definitely fulfill my cravings!!
The first side we had were the mac & cheese, which was okay. Not as gooey-cheesy as I was hoping for, but homemade and the noodles were nicely cooked - not mushy as some mac's can get. Secondly we had the BBQ beans which looked and tasted like chilli - these beans were really good!! Spicy and tasted great. I crumbled my cornbread (which was dissapointedly on the very dry side) in it and the sweetness really complimented it.
SO chose the cajun style fish (you get your choice of red snapper, catfish or tilapia) which comes breaded with cajun seasonings and then is deep fried. He picked the catfish - our first choice was the snapper but they were out that day - and the plate came with four good sized pieces of catfish. OMG - this is the best catfish, if not the best fried fish, I have ever had!! The breading was perfectly seasoned and not overwhelming for the fish (you know how sometimes a piece is hald breading and half fish - this was not the case). The catfish was extremely moist and just absolutely delicious. A dipping sauce that can only be decribed as a spicy tartar like sauce was the perfect compliment for the fish. This is a dish that I can see myself craving weekly...
Great BBQ place, I will be back to try the sandwiches and different meats...and of course for that catfish!!