Smoked From Above Virginia Beach VA

Smoked from Above is a local family owned business in VA beach.  The atmosphere is inviting and provides you with the family friendly feel. The menu is well laid out and ordering was quick.  We had to clarify our order a couple of times to ensure accuracy which I believe was from the ambient noise in the restaurant causing difficulty in communication.

Kathy and I along with a niece and her friend ate dinner there before going to see a concert at the amphitheater.  The service was quick and we did not have to wait long for our meals to arrive in the window.

Chris: I ordered the 2 meat plate which consisted of Chopped Pork and Ribs.  The rib Meat had a good flavor but not heavy smoke flavor.  The meat was not dry which is important to me. When I picked up the ribs the meat fell off the bones and the bones looked over-cooked.  I prefer a slight “snap” when the meat comes off the bones meaning some resistance.  I was not provided with the option of a dry or wet and it was covered in sauce.  There are three types of sauces to choose from.  The original which was very sweet to taste and I believe is what came on the ribs. Then there was the newer style which was not as sweet but still the sweet was the most dominant flavor.  The last was a mustard based which was basically ketchup and mustard mixed.  Mustard was the primary taste to this one.

The Pulled Pork was dry but the flavor was good having little to no smoke flavor also.  I am not sure if this was that the shop was slow on a Tuesday and the pork had been on the warming table for some time but my Niece actually commented that hers was quite dry also.  For my sides I had the collards and Brunswick stew which were both good. I would eat here again but it honestly does not give me the “urge” to go again and will be a passing thought when we visit and not planned.

Kathy:  I ordered the two meat plate as well, but with ribs and chicken.  My sides were green beans and coleslaw.  The ribs were overcooked, but not burnt.  They were smothered in a sweet bbq sauce and the smoke flavor was non-existent. The coleslaw had a plastic taste that was very disconcerting and rendered the slaw inedible.  The green beans tasted as if they had been cooked with vinegar, which I found to be an unpleasant surprise.  The hush puppies were good — crisp and tasted of corn meal.  However, all in all, for me my Smoked from Above meal was disappointing especially coming from a place that boasts being “Best Of the Beach, 6 years running”.

Our niece’s friend had BBQ the night before and ordered a salad which was a decent looking salad and a large portion.  As she was eating she encountered three small pebbles on the lettuce.  Thankfully she did not break a tooth.  We informed management and they apologized and offered to replace the salad or refund the money.   We chose neither, as our concern wasn’t about the money or replacement food, but rather how sanitary the conditions were and if the lettuce was cleaned properly.  I don’t want to cite any health issues or concerns as the restaurant looked clean and well maintained.  The kitchen area is visible from the front so you can see that it appeared clean.  This was just our experience at that meal.

 

 

Chris & Kathy
Smoked From Above BBQ on Urbanspoon

Smoking Foods

 

I have over the years growing up in NC and VA developed a passion for quality smoked food.  I believe that if something is properly prepared and smoked your taste buds cannot be offended.  Now with that being  said the wife and I typically  experience  disappointment the majority of the time when we visit smokehouses.  She jokingly says I blame you as I have created the expectation of good food that cannot be achieved elsewhere. I want to say that I am not a professional or by any way try to state this.  I simply follow some basic guidelines when I smoke. The number 1 offence we find is over cooking the food.  I am not sure if the food is cooked properly then pulled or chopped tossed on a warming table and continues to cook and dry out however regardless dry meat IMO is not a desirable thing. When I smoke meat there is one basic simple process that I always follow.  I have a moisture pan in the smoker.  This provides a moist smoke to allow the meat to remain moist and also I think the smoke takes on a quality of its own.  Now I do not use water in the pan.  I use different juices.  My primary is apple juice which provide along with the hickory a hint of apple to the meats final taste without overpowering it with “smoke”  I will also add different items to the drip pan to add to the season of the smoke like garlic or other spices that complement that style of meat.  Then I plan my day around smoking and set aside 12 to 14 hours of my life to being around the smoker so that there is a constant temperature of 225 to 250 in the smoker.  Monitor the meat temperature to around 180 degrees also ensure it is not burned or dried out. I also find that many times the food it in my opinion over seasoned.  Yes I grew up in the land of vinegar based BBQ however you need to taste and enjoy every part of the meal.  This is simple as you should not be overwhelmed by the vinegar or the or the paprika etc.  You should be able to taste every component evenly.  There should not be anything that overpowers the other to the point of not tasting anything else.  I find many sauces overwhelming the taste also.  I use BBQ sauce however it is not soaked in the sauce again overpowering the meat or other elements of the meal.  As this section develops I hope that we can provide everyone with a good understanding of what needs to take place to have a great meal.