Last weekend the Wife and I had a sitter for the kids, so we decided to give Smokestack Urban Barbecue a shot. I was quite excited to try this place as I love good BBQ, and it was right in the city.
Appearance: Located in the Canal District of Worcester right on Harding St. They have a nice big parking lot which is a plus. When you walk in, the restaurant is to the right, and the bar area is to the left separated by a large open area that might be great for local entertainment in the future. We sat at a high top table in the bar area.
Food: the Appetizer menu was full of things I wanted to try like the deviled eggs, Over the top fries and Fried Pickles, but we settled on the Warm Barbecue Chips served with a Blue Cheese bacon dip. The chips were served in a little metal pail with the dip on the side. The Chips were warm and crispy and very good. I was not so happy with the dip, it was a blue cheese dressing with soggy bacon mixed into it and just didn't work for me.
For the main course My wife ordered the Beef brisket with 2 sides and cornbread, and chose Smashed Potato's and Cucumber Salad. She went with the Traditional BBQ sauce as she was told it was not spicy. She did not like the sauce at all, and thought it was very spicy. She scrapped most of it off. The cornbread was too dry, the Beef was just OK, as were the sides.
I decided to go with a Combo meal consisting of Baby Back Ribs, Smoked Chicken and Pulled Pork with Mac N Cheese and BBQ Beans. I chose the Vinegar based BBQ sauce and thought it was quite tasty. The Mac N Cheese and Beans were excellent!! As for the meat, I am shocked to say the Chicken was the best thing on the plate. It was cooked perfect and full of flavor. Unfortunately the ribs were not fall off the bone good. In fact they were very tough and dry. The pulled pork was just large hunks of meat with allot of fat, just OK.
Value: I found the prices to be a little on the high side. The draft beers thankfully were on special at $2.50, but are regularly $5. the Combo was $19 which I guess is average, but was not the best for the price. We spent $60 for dinner for 2.
Service: There seemed to be a little confusion at the Hostess Booth when we arrives, but were seated within 5 minutes in the Bar area without being asked if that was OK. Granted it did not matter to us, but it would have been nice to ask. I think our waitress was also the bartender which was fine when we got there, but as it got busier I service slowed way down. I felt rushed when our appetizer and meal were served within 5 minutes tops of each other. My wife was disappointed with the BBQ sauce being decided as not spicy, then hearing other waitress's describing the 2 different sauces as spicy and sweet. And then my credit card was charged a few dollars more then the bill, but I just called it part of the tip and called it a night
Overall I did not think it was the best, but they are new to the area. Maybe they can work out the kinks!! There are many of menu items that I wanted to try still so I can't say I wouldn't try it again, Maybe I was just there on a off night.
Smokestack Urban Barbecue
90 Harding St
Worcester MA 01604