[Gosh Darn it, you can’t keep a good man down. I’m morally dubious (according to multiple primary school report cards) so it is laughably easy to keep me down. This means that at the moment the quest for new restaurants from different nations is achingly slow. Like my love-making. Hopefully this fact doesn’t mean you wander off and look on the internet. Very much like my love-making. Oh my God a dog dressed like an Ewok! Knockers takes up the slack. Like my love-making.]
I am continuing to blitzkrieg ROTWU. We’re in Dallas again, but bear with me. You’ll be full of local knowledge when you discover an ancestor who scarpered on the Mayflower giving you carte blanch to claim their descendants’ oil well. So for now, just think of me as the cobbler to Del Monte’s crumble; the diaper to his nappy; the Krasinski to his Blunt. Although I should point out that I am actually English and shall remain so until that Alex Salmond numpty reaches the inevitable conclusion of his tiresome upstream slog. Then and only then shall I re-join the British race.
This time, we’re off to my second-favourite eatin’ house Smoke (http://smokerestaurant.com/), where we’ll be clamping our laughing gear around barbeque. That’s right, barbeque. Not a barbeque. No indefinite article to be seen. Not because I’m playing fast and loose with the English language you understand, but because in the American South barbeque (barbecue) does not require a garden (yard), copious volumes of alcohol (liquor) or men in shorts (formal attire). It is, in fact, an actual food genre that, according to Wikipedia, is: “…usually done low and slow over indirect heat from high-smoke fuels (with the flame not contacting the meat directly)”. And it’s lush.
In direct contrast to Tex Mex, it is almost impossible to find bad barbecue in Texas. Even the scout-huttiest of restaurants offer top quality, free-range, smoke-infused lusciousness, which merits use of the otherwise impermissible word ‘moist’. I love such places, they make me feel at one with the people, but if like me you only truly feel secure where there’s quail on a menu, then Smoke is the place for you. Here, you can get everything from Beer Can Chicken (which I thought was a Jamaican bacon-based chicken dish until I saw it on a menu and discovered it actually involves stuffing a can of lager up a dead bird’s jaxy [Like my love-making]) to coffee-cured grouse, all with the omnipresent Mac n’ Cheese side available. God bless America.
We started by sharing pimento croquettes with griddled romaine lettuce and pickled beet [root] carpaccio. I then showed my girls-gone-wild side by going off-menu with the fish special: Alaskan pollock in smoked garlic and chorizo broth with kale and sour dough croutons. Dang, it was good. I have no idea why so many people recoiled when I breathed its aromatic bouquet in their faces days later. Weirdos. My eatin’ buddies had ribs, brisket and another special; poussin. There wasn’t a bad mouthful among them. There was no room for pudding but when the meat is that good surely a second main would be more advisable, anyway.
We washed it all down with Argentinian Altos Del Plata Malbec and Maple wood-infused whiskey. $107 (£65-ish) for four and brilliant service. Bargain.
901 Ft. Worth Avenue
Tel: +1 214 393 4141