Finally went to Blue Smoke on Veterans Day with four adults and four children. We called the day before for 2:00 PM reservations and the restaurant was virtually empty at the time--an ideal situation for dining with kids.
Our waiter was annoying and officious--for example, when I said I would order for all the children he wouldn't let me do it all at once but insisted upon going around the table in order. Later he was bothered that two of the children switched seats and made his annoyance known to us.
We liked the food though. The side dishes (baked beans, collard greens, cornbread, coleslaw, potato salad, french fries, macaroni and cheese) were excellent except for the potato salad. French fries were fried in an oil, not sure what, that made them taste not so much like french fries-but we all liked them. One side of fries was enough for several people. All adults thought the macaroni and cheese was a standout, possibly the best thing there-- children tolerated it but didnt love it.
Desserts we had were chocolate cake, pear-cranberry crisp with cinnamon clove ice cream, banana cream pie and sticky toffee pudding. The pudding--a very moist sticky cake--was delicious for a few bites but portion was much too large given the extreme sweetness. It was enough for three people. The crisp is a better choice for those who don't like very sweet desserts; it was tart and well balanced--the ice cream is integral. Cake and pie were excellent examples of those traditions--in fact, the pie was my favorite.
Were the ribs contenders? Well in 1990 my husband and I spent fourteen days driving 3000 miles to sample barbecue in Chicago, Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina. So we have pretty high standardsbut not high expectations for the east coast anymore. We liked the ribs. We all did. They were dry rub and we prefer wet but they were pretty good, the best weve had in New York, better than Pearsons in the old days. I was satisfied.