Atlanta restaurant reviews, culinary news, and gluttonous gossip by admitted foodaholic Serina Patrick

Smokebelly…Craft Barbecue in Buckhead

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LC and I were recently invited to try Smokebelly, the new barbecue restaurant in Buckhead that features a selection of smoked and roasted meats paired with tempting sides and craft cocktails. Our friends TH and D joined us.

The fellas behind Smokebelly were all born and raised in the South and are involved with several successful restaurants and businesses in and around Atlanta including Tin Lizzy’s, The Big Ketch, Milton’s Cuisine, and The Furbus. Here, they combined rustic wood elements with colorful metal chairs for a casual country atmosphere. There’s a big front porch where guests can relax and enjoy an ice cold beer and entertainment on the weekends.

We began our visit with cocktails, a Paloma for me and a drink made with vodka and watermelon juice for LC called From the Vine. It was so delicious, we all ordered one later.

Our fantastic server, Tyler, came by to get us started on a complimentary round of appetizers. We decided on the fried pickled okra and pimento cheese. Although the spread comes with thick and crispy housemade crackers, I was craving it on their chiccarones, the way they served it at a recent charity event. The combination is heavenly. We also tried some mighty fine deviled eggs.

Unlike most traditional barbecue restaurants, Smokebelly offers a variety of healthier options called “skinny fixin’s” like lettuce wraps with vegetables or smoked turkey. I applaud this approach and look forward to trying these lighter dishes, but on this particular evening, I would be eating meat, and lots of it.

But not LC. He ordered the BBQ glazed salmon for his entree with bourbon sweet potato souffle and sweet corn and edamame succotash on the side. He was, and I quote “enthralled by the succulent taste of the fishy wow wow!”

The rest of us decided to share the Pit Masters’ Platter, an assortment of meats with two sides. Since D and I were craving pulled pork, we got two servings of it, along with smoked sausage and chopped brisket. We chose mac ‘n’ cheese and smoky braised kale for our sides and also dug into LC’s sides while he was distracted by his salmon.

The Pit Masters’ Platter was a gigantic metal tray piled high with our meaty selections. Pulled pork and smoked sausage were tasty, but the sauce on the chopped brisket stole the show. My favorite side was the smoky braised kale, but my friends loved the corn and edamame succotash.

For dessert, I was outvoted, so we tried the Coca-Cola cake. Since I dislike cake and Coke, I didn’t think it stood a chance. The result, however, was moist with a hint of spice.

We really enjoyed our visit to Smokebelly and look forward to coming back for some live music and more chef-crafted ‘cue!

128 E. Andrews Drive NW 404-848-9100

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