Monday, July 28, 2008

Blue Smoke

Part of the beauty of Philadelphia is being able to travel easily through the northeast. So easily, in fact, that I have come to regularly enjoy the day trip to New York. An hour and a half on Amtrak, and you can be in the middle of one of the most awesome cities in the world. It's still nice to come home, however, but it doesn't hurt to enjoy the trip.

On this particular trip, after some time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park, my omelette rival and I headed to Blue Smoke, a self-described "urban barbecue." I chose this among MOR's proffered options because, well, it looked fun. It looked like a place where you could comfortably unwind after negotiating your way through a city that simultaneously drains and feeds your energy.

And it was fun. As is the case in all of New York City, I am constantly amazed at how great the service usually is, followed up shortly by a revelation that most of the servers in the city are, in fact, auditioning for their next acting gig. Hey, I'll take it. I don't care.

After ordering a dark rum mojito (an interesting twist but still quite good) and a Peak Organic beer (reportedly very tasty), we started with the calamari, which was about 50% fried batter and 50% calamari. I like fried batter as much as the next girl, so it wasn't the worst thing, but it was a little strange for a dish called "calamari." From there, MOR ordered the "Rhapsody in 'Cue," a pun-ny twist on the all-we-make-on-a-plate concept featuring Kansas City spareribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken, and sausage. The spareribs were too spicy for me, but the pulled pork and chicken were delicious, offering a good mix of moisture and smokiness. Blue Smoke offers a lazy susan of sauces at each table with which to dress everything, making me think that perhaps I, too, should get a lazy susan of sauces for my dining room. Everything's a little better with barbecue sauce, you know?

I opted for the sliced Texas beef brisket, with a 50/50 mix of marbled and lean. The ability to mix (or choose one) was ingenious, in my opinion, and I'm glad I got the mix. The marbled was delicious and rich, but an entire plate would have been too much. The lean was -- you guessed it -- a bit more dry, but still very good, especially with the Kansas City barbecue sauce. Accompaniments of fried onions and mashed potatoes were appropriate and delicious, if not more than a little rich.

Which made dessert all the better. I opted for a refreshing key lime pie, which was just that. MOR got a peach and blackberry cobbler, interestingly topped with small drop biscuits. The fruit was fresh, but dessert after that meal was a little much for both of us.

In addition to bubbly wait staff, Blue Smoke also offers live jazz downstairs, lots of seating and a handsome bar. All in all, a fun place to stop and eat -- and within walking distance of Penn Station. What's not to like about a place with its own handi-wipes?

Blue Smoke is located at 116 E. 27th Street, New York,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

MOR sounds really cool and I like his taste in shirts! : )