This past Saturday night I went to Smoked with three other friends. It is located on the corner of 6th street and 2nd avenue. They said that Friday night was their first night open.
We all thought that it was decent at best. I think the concept here as well as the food is going to kill this place. Compared to other BBQ places in the city, this is a small space. While I don't profess to know anything about the operation of a restaurant, it seems that their limited potential of diners each night cause them to make you pay for things that you expect to be included in a BBQ place. Three of us ordered the Baby-backed ribs, and one ordered the smoked shrimp. The menu is not that diverse, and doesn't have options for combo plates to sample more than one type fo meat. The entrees do not come with anything, not even a garnish. All sides are extra. So when you we got our plates, my friend had a small nice white rectangular plate with just six medium shrimp fanned across it. That's it. Our ribs came the same way. Small even for baby-backs, just cut up and placed on the plate. We ordered creamed spinach and collared greens as sides. Actually, when the sides came they were very small that we ordered baked beans as well. The spinach and greens were ok and the beans very sweet and overcooked.
On to the meat. Even though I told them I didn't want any sauce on my ribs, they are obviously basted with a sugar based sauce. I couldn't detect any smoke ring on the meat. They were not bad but not very good. I didn't taste our friends shrimp but she said they were ok. This place gives you a small sample of three different bbq sauces on a plate. I don't usually put sauce on my bbq, but we did taste them. We didn't like any of them. Mostly tomato based sauces not far from ketchup.
While the meal was not terrible, we all agreed we wouldn't come back. It was only the second night, and the food could get better, but it was the concept of what they are doing with their food that pissed us all off. We aren't the type who wants a big heaping of food when we go to a great place, but this is bbq. Whatever people think about Dinosaur or Blue Smoke, they know better than to give you a tiny plate of just meat and charge you for every side. Yes, each has sides options that you can order for an additional cost. But in a BBQ place I don't think this is what people, even in this city, expect or want.