Smoke is unique; it’s a barbeque taqueria and it’s in the most unexpected part of town: Homestead. This once-thriving mill town has been slowing pulling itself up by the bootstraps the last decade by way of the Big Box Stores firmly anchored on its waterfront property line but in the last couple of years small, locally owned businesses have been opening its doors.
I heard about Smoke by way of Urban Spoon’s Talk of the Town and was so intrigued that I decided that I would go there for lunch that very day. The spur of the moment decision meant that I couldn’t find a lunch partner but I didn’t mind.
Luckily, I had read a few of the reviews on Urban Spoon and knew to stop at the ATM before arriving at my cash-only destination. I am hoping in the future that they decide to accept debit and credit cards because after eating at Smoke twice I crave it on a regular basis.
The interior of Smoke is dimly lit despite the large front window because it is in an old row house style building with beautiful refinished floors that creak just a tiny bit to remind you of the history that has been held between its walls. There are several, well-spaced tables for dining in but it seems that most people sit at them only long enough while they wait for their tacos to be prepared. When Smoke is not busy, there is about a ten minute wait to receive your tacos because everything is fresh and made to order. There aren't any tacos sitting in a warming tray anywhere and it shows in every delicious bite.
Raspberry Agua Fresca, Mac n Cheese and Pork Taco
Smoke has only five tacos and five sides to choose from and I am steadily making my way through all of them. The mac n cheese is creamy and can easily be a meal by itself but I must admit, that I am so infatuated with the tacos that I've only tried this one side. I'm hoping to try the black beans the next time I go but I'm afraid that I might only have eyes for the tacos. I've managed to try four of the five tacos and if it wasn't for the extreme favortism I have towards the veggie taco, I'm sure I'd have managed to sample the chicken taco.
Each day, Smoke features a different flavor of Agua Fresca and the first time I dined at Smoke I had the raspberry one. It's cool, refreshing sweetness is the perfect compliment to the spiciness of the tacos. The pork taco was slightly sweet from the apricots and caramelized onions but with a swift heat that rose up to nearly overpower the delicate flavors of the smoked meat but stopped just short of doing so.
The Ribs Taco was Rick's favorite and strongly evoked the flavors of a summer picnic. Smokey, sweet and with a hint of heat, it would be an excellent choice for someone who prefers a little less spiciness.
The Brisket taco with sauteed onions, hot peppers, and a bbq mustard sauce was the simplest of all the tacos but my favorite meat taco. The brisket was fall apart tender but with a sudden strong kick of heat that pleasantly surprised me. All of Smoke's tacos are made with homemade soft flour tortillas but the meat of the brisket taco was good enough to eat separately and then eat the tortilla plain.
But out of all the tacos that I've tried at Smoke, it's the Veggie Taco that I love the most. It's stuffed full of black beans, roasted poblano & corn relish, crispy potatoes and chili de arbol sauce. The corn is grilled and cut fresh off the cob and adds just the right amount of sweetness to counter the spicy. And, like in all of their tacos, Smoke is lavish with the fresh cilantro. The Veggie taco has none of the meat that the others do but it seems to somehow combine all the other traits perfectly nonetheless. Fresh, sweet, smokey and spicy with soft and crispy textures make this taco, by far, the best Smoke has to offer and I will happily argue with any meat lover out there!
Watermelon Agua Fresca