To begin, let me say that I love BBQ. Not grilling like we do on our patios but real Southern Low and Slow smoked BBQ. Brisket, pulled pork, chicken, ribs and beans. Now, I have never been to any of the famous joints like FRANKLINS in Austin, Texas where customers start lining up 2 hours before it opens, or CHOO CHOO BBQ in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Our son Jackson and his business partners treated their largest clients to a Franklin BBQ picnic while at a conference in Austin this Spring. They ordered several briskets, two turkeys, ribs and all the sides and served it outside in a local park. They pronounced that it was OUSTANDING!
Even though I’ve been to many southern cities and even drove across the south once, I have, for some unknown reason have missed these fabulous joints.
So, I was thrilled when Park Heffelfinger and George Sui Opened MEMPHIS BLUES BBQ on West Broadway in Vancouver in 1999. Their beef brisket was outstanding, the ribs superb. I loved the place. They now have places in Vancouver, Surrey, Kelowna and Edmonton.
But since moving to the island we have not been near Memphis Blues. We have thought about SMOKIN GEORGES BBQ in Nanaimo for about 3 years. Today was the day to give this place a try.
SMOKIN’ GEORGES looks and smells like a BBQ JOINT with painted concrete floors, several tables and a couple of booths too. Very industrial in atmosphere and a really friendly staff. My best pal of 49 years opted for a pulled Chicken Sandwich while I had to try the Brisket. We ordered at the counter, took a beer and a Pinot Grigio to a booth and checked out the ambiance while waiting for the food to arrive. It was quick. Both items were good, but not great. I think MEMPHIS BLUES is better. The Brisket in a bun was $9.50 and if you wanted beans, slaw, or corn bread that was extra.
They feature Phillips Craft Beer from Victoria and Sumac Ridge wine. Both were good.
Its worth a try if you want a fast lunch in Nanaimo but would I become a regular? probably not. I think I’d order the BBQ Pulled Pork at Cactus Club first.