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.