Smokehouse Bistro

A couple of weeks ago I had the keen idea of visiting the Smokehouse Bistro in downtown Liberty. If I'm to be completely honest with myself, Liberty is not a food mecca. That said, it's nice to be able to walk to downtown, grab a meal and enjoy the springtime weather.

The Courier Tribune wrote an excellent review of Smokehouse, so I had high hopes when I walked into the place. The owners have clearly spent a lot of time transforming this downtown café into something special. It's small and cozy with a little bar. It's completely out of place in a town that typically borders on functional rather than charming.

One look at the menu and you realize they're going in the right direction. Taking the bold effort to not offer the typical burgers and hotdogs which is common throughout the town takes gumption. That said, I found something lacking in the food. I ordered the taco salad and my date ordered the brisket. The salad was laden with more of a chili than Mexican flavors and the brisket, while good and definitely better than many local options, somehow missed the mark from my experiences with Texas and Tennessee briskets.

In the one meal I had, where they really hit it out of the park was the homemade croutons. The last time I've had croutons that good were at the Palms in Carpentaria, California. Perhaps my mistake was in my own ordering since they do make so much from scratch? I'm willing to go again if not just for the salad. I believe this is a restaurant that can evolve, but I must admit I did lose respect when I enquired if the chili has beans in it (it shouldn't). This is one of my non-negotiable pet-peeves in culinary cooking. Now take for granted I have several of these rules when it comes to deciding the skills of a chef and they're entirely from my narcistic perspectives.

It is worth noting that there is a bar and this looks like a very cool place to come and get a drink. In fact, if I had to sum up what was going on here, I'd say Liberty has neat downtown dive with typical pub based food. I'm seeking advice in to what to try next here as I really believe this place to have a promising future. Comment if you have a recommendation!


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