When I first moved to Leeds, the area around the First Direct Arena hardly existed. The back of Merrion Centre only had the bowling alley and that was it. Since the opening of the arena, the Merrion Centre has boomed, even Morrisons refurbished, and the bowling alley has got some new neighbours; mainly restaurants. I’ve never been to any of them (shame on me) but last week I was invited to try some amazing food at Smoke Barbecue and I simply couldn’t turn down the invite.
Smoke Barbecue has been a round for a while (since August last year) so you’ll have to excuse me for not being earlier. There are constantly new bars and restaurants opening up in Leeds so I’m loosing track and can’t keep up.
Smoke Barbecue Interior
The restaurant has a big, open space plan with booths on the right hand side (where we sat), a bar at the back right and the rest is taken up by wooden tables, low and high. I love the industrial look and feel so I’m not complaining but someone needs to come up with something new before every single restaurant looks the same.
It was very dark so you’ll have to excuse the images not being the very best. To be fair, at an event with the hashtag #GetDirty it doesn’t matter if the pictures are a bit dark, right?
Smoke Barbecue Beers
When seated, we were given a glass of popcorn with BBQ powder to get a taste of what would come. BBQ is one of the best flavours and at Smoke Barbecue this is something they take seriously. Whilst enjoying the popcorn we got to try three different draught beers; Freedom Organic, Smoked American Red and American Saviour. We also got one bottled beer each to go with our food. Since I’ve tried Freedom’s original plenty of times before in tap, I decided to try their ‘Liberty Pils’ and I really enjoyed that too!
Of the three draught beers we tried, I enjoyed the Smoked American Red the most as it had a deeper taste to it. Freedom Organic was nice but a bit watery taste and the American Saviour tasted very mush like Brooklyn Lager (that’s not a bad thing).
Smoke Barbecue Menu
I didn’t take a close look at the menu as we already knew we’d be served the Smoke Sharer Plate, with some additional treats. Normally the plate includes barbecue turkey leg, pulled pork, baby back ribs, house hot link sausages and chicken thighs. Instead of the chicken thighs we were treated to (in addition to all the other meats mentioned) brisket, coleslaw and jalapeno/cheese muffin. So much food between the two of us so when the fries were served half way through I was only able to try a couple. They’re nice but definitely not necessary.
The pulled pork was my favourite! I kept coming back to this meat even when I was stupidly full. I loved how all the meats complimented each other though, with each having a different taste and texture. Well done Smoke Barbecue, tasty meat to an affordable spend. The plate for £30 could easily be shared between 3-4 people. I took all our leftovers home with me in a massive bag and that kept me full for lunch and dinner the next day.
For dessert we got samples of dark chocolate brownie, peanut cheesecake, rocky road ice cream and home made S’mores cake. The first two were to rich for my taste but I did enjoy the ice cream, although it could have had more taste, and the S’mores.
Have you been to Smoke Barbecue in Leeds? What dis you have to eat and what did you think?