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My Skid Row project boss - "R" - recommended Spring Street Smoke House to me. I think he stumbled upon it by accident. He tried it the first time and liked it so much that he took his Mrs. there as well. At the time he related his prize find to me, he gave me this look and raved over the barbecue in such a way that it made an impression that stuck with me, even though it's now a year to two later.
As I recounted in the previous post, I went to lunch with "PA" and "PP" on Thursday. We originally planned to meet at Homegirl Cafe in Chinatown, but there were too many people there. Remembering my old boss' enthusiasm for Spring Street, I suggested that the three of us try it out.
Spring Street Smoke House is located on the northeast corner of Spring Street and Cesar E Chavez Avenue. Walking into the joint, the first thing that caught my eye were the bagged loaves of white bread on each table with tongs clamped firmly to the loaves. The second thing I noticed were the rolls of white paper towels leaning on rods at each table - an open invitation to get down and dirty! On seeing these things, I knew in my heart that the three of us picked a good spot to have lunch.
One important fact before I move on to the food: Spring Street does their barbecue Kansas City style.
What I ate:
(My apologies for the low quality of the pictures. For the life of me, I don't know why I took them with my phone camera when I had my regular camera in my pocket the whole time. Stupid, stupid, stupid! *hitting myself*)
The three of us shared ...
1. Smoked Sliced Beef Brisket (one-third lb. for 9.50 USD): Select lean beef brisket slowly smoked and deli sliced with diner's choice of housemade BBQ sauce (spicy or mild) and side - baked beans, cole slaw, French fries.
2. Smoked Chicken Thigh (one-third lb. for 8.50 USD). Served with diner's choice of housemade BBQ sauce (spicy or mild) and side - baked beans, cole slaw, French fries.
3. Smoked Sliced Tri-Tip (one-third lb. for 10.50 USD): Succulent and juicy beef tri-tip deli sliced and piled high with diner's choice of housemade BBQ sauce (spicy or mild) and side - baked beans, cole slaw, French fries.
This was a SOLID meal. The meats were awfully moreish and so smokily GOOD. I especially liked the brisket - which I ordered, by the way - because it was extremely fall-apart-tender, very flavorful, and very moist. (Good choice, Gabe. *pat myself on the back*) The chicken took on the smoke REALLY well. The tri-tip was the weakest of the bunch, but it was still good nevertheless. The sides - French fries, baked beans, and cole slaw - were decent, however, the real stars were the meats. As for the sauces, "PP" requested the spicy and mild BBQ sauces on the side, which was a CRUCIAL move. You see, at Spring Street Smoke House, meats are sauced then served. "PP" and I weren't big fans of the sauces and I think the meats would've been ruined if they were covered in sauce. The sauces were too vinegary and sweet for my taste.
Unlike the meats, I think the cole slaw was prepared Carolina style, with vinegar and celery seeds.
Hahahah, thinking about it now, we should've used tongs to grab slices of bread from our bag: it's just the sanitary thing to do. It's like when you go to the gym and bring a CLEAN towel to wipe down the equipment you use there. Don't worry, "PA" and "PP" washed their hands before eating ;)
Hmm, maybe next time, when I'm NOT flanked on all sides by pastors, I'll check out the beers on tap! Nah, there are reasons I shouldn't, but ... =D
Oh, and before I forget, let me say a positive word about the service at Spring Street Smoke House: It was fantastic. Given the poor service I've encountered recently, it was refreshing to have a server last Thursday who was attentive, polite, unobtrusive, flexible, and cool.
Parking: Parking sucks in the immediate vicinity. There are two options: 1. Metered street parking or 2. Pay-to-park lots. "PA", "PP", and I parked in a lot across and down the street from Spring Street Smoke House that cost 5 USD for each car. When we returned to pick up "PA"s car at 5 PM, the cost dropped to something like 3.50 USD. (I can't remember exactly.)
The Bill: Thank you, "PA", for lunch AND dessert - I was SO full! You're too generous!
My Rating: out of four stars (very good). Open Monday through Thursday, 10:30 AM to 9 PM; Friday, 10:30 AM to 10 PM; Saturday, 12 PM to 10 PM; and Sunday, 12 PM to 9 PM. Visa, MC, AmEx, and Discover accepted. www.sssmokehouse.com
Let me leave you with this goodie: A close-up photo of the oh-so-tender-and-delicious brrrissskettt.
Last Word: On my way out of the Smoke House, I saw a diner getting ready to gnaw away at a BBQ rib. It looked so good, I wanted to snatch it out of his hand and take a bite!
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