I've been awaiting the opening of Smoke T Southern Kitchen & Tap that's located on US1 (southern end of Coral Gables / north end of South Miami) and I was able to eat there on Thursday evening and left with a very positive impression.
Although not necessarily billed as a "BBQ restaurant", Smoke T serves what I would call very very good restaurant BBQ that's light years ahead of Shorty's or Sonny's. I started off with their smoked brisket that arrived to me shredded / pulled but not sliced in the traditional way. The brisket had a slightly smokey flavor and was somewhat tasty but was average at best and I believe that the menu should have indicated that it wasn't sliced. The sides that I ordered - the frank & beans and the brussel sprouts with smoked bacon were both outstanding. The frank & beans with fried onion strips should have been served hotter but the flavor was incredible and had a really home-cooked taste. The brussel sprouts and smoked bacon was chunky in texture and a delite to eat. The sides saved this dish.
From there I went to the BBQ Tacos. They were an appetizer and they were amazing. The pulled pork was outstanding and the fresh tomato, cheese and sauces on the side made this a great starter. Hopefully they'll convert these small tacos to entree size because they were simply made and simply delicious. This would be a great dish for youngsters.
I finished off my first visit with a half rack of St. Louis ribs that had a nice, tangy dry rub. These ribs were perfectly trimmed with the back membrane removed. The outer crust was very tasty but might be a bit thick for the uninitiated. They were very tender (but not falling off the bone and that's what BBQ purists are looking for). These will make you forget about those that are oven baked and finished on the grill (that other restaurants serve). These ribs were the best I've eaten in South Florida (Shorty's, Sonny's, Peoples, Beach or Tom Jenkins).
While there I found out that the folks that own Smoke T also own Town kitchen & bar in South Miami and that restaurant is well-known with a very loyal following. I'm looking foward to returning to this restaurant and trying other items on the menu. I'm hopeful this restaurant does very well and is worth the drive.
No, Smoke T won't make your forget about Sonny Bryan's in Dallas or the Smoke Pit in Ft. Worth but they're serving very, very good BBQ there and it won't be long until I get there again.