eating indie in indy

J & M’s Smoke House 7220 Rockville Road

Well;here we are on the West side. We don’t seem to get here too often. For some reason we seem to stay in that central corridor of South, Central and North. Well we gonna’ try and fix that.

I am not sure how long this Smoke House has been around,but I first heard of it a few weeks ago, and the reviews I have read have been pretty positive. It’s located in a strip mall,and can be a bit tricky to find,as it is a distance from the street. However once you get close the aroma draws you, literally right to the front door.

J & M Smoke 001

This bad boy sits right in front of the joint,and the day we were there it was in service,smoking some pork butts. I was able to chat with the young man working the post and he told me they used a bit of dry rub only on the brisket. This aroma is the best ad I could think of for a BBQ joint.

Once inside we found a neat little space. Bright and clean.

J & M Smoke 007

They make their own sauces and keep them in squeeze bottles on the tables. They offer a sassy sweet, a hot and a more east coast mustard style. We started off with an order of fried mushrooms.

J & M Smoke 009

I have to say that their mushroom appetizer was average, at best. Small button mushrooms with a rather boring coating and served with a very non descript Ranch dressing. Average price and average taste. Our server gave us a taste of their pulled pork, which sealed the deal for Pat.

J & M Smoke 013

J & M Smoke house

I was really tempted by their smoked meatball sandwich. But I thought I would play it safe and go with the brisket sandwich with Lava beans.

J & M Smoke 015

Where do I begin? The meat had a really nice smoke flavor and a picture perfect smoke ring, but the overall it missed the mark. The meat was chewy and hard to bite and pretty bland. In order to get some flavor I had to add some sauce. Sauce should be used sparingly to enhance an existing flavor. Not as a substitute for flavor. For what it is worth I think they should use a rub and adjust the cook time. A rub does two things. Adds an extra level of flavor and it also does a Chemistry thing to help tendering the meat. They have their smoker set on 175 degrees, which is a sweet zone for Q. So, again this is just one man’s opinion.

The beans were really good. A nice level of heat and full of meat. A really good accompaniment for cow or pig. The sauces were decent , and the prices were on point as well.

Some bloggers don’t like to say if they like or dis like a joint. I have no problem with that. I rarely dis-like a place. The most I usually do is abstain from like or dis-like. Like a Congressman that votes present. This is the case here.

J&M's Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

4 responses

  1. Ha ha–Sandra asked me where you were two days ago, and I told her you were eating fried mushrooms and pork somewhere! I sure was close…I sure do like the snowfall in the restaurant pics. I will be sad when the snow disappears. I agree with your rub theory. Meat should already have flavor. It chaps my hide when I eat a taco that has no seasoning on the taco meat. They even make “taco meat seasoning” at the store. And “pork rub seasoning,” etc. Sorry the mushrooms were average. I used to toy with the idea of opening a restaurant myself, back when I worked in them. How can my husband make great meals and cooks at restaurants can’t? How hard is it to season some mushroom batter?

    January 3, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    • One advantage your husband has over some restaurant cooks is he cares about what he cooks, and actually tastes it. Alas the same can’t be said for some cooks. These particular mushrooms were merely tossed in flour and fried. I guess they were going for au natural. The bigger “sin” was the cow meat. I mean they had it in the smoker, who decided it was done. And why? And who tasted it and thought it was good? A good rub is an amazing piece of alchemy and the result is to the taste buds as Rembrandt is to the eyes. Such a shameful waste of a smoker. Well I guess I have become pretty predictable. Next week I think we are going to try Thai,no fried mushrooms there

      January 3, 2015 at 6:16 pm

  2. I heartily agree, Benson–cooking is chemistry, but cooking meat involves a level of alchemy. To transfer a slab of beef or pork into something that literally makes your pulse race requires a little know how. And sadly, there are a good chunk of folks out there who are just raising the temperature of something they first started off with. That can be such a massive disappointment.
    On the other hand, it sounds like this place wasn’t a total loss. The beans and greens sound drool-worthy enough. And I like Pat’s new review process. The printing really makes his comments shine.
    And speaking of shiny, I hope both of your new years will be bright and filled with flavor.
    Cheers!

    January 4, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    • Why thank you my dear. Pat’s “new” look is because he forgot his tablet and he had to do it at home. He want’s to keep his process casual. You are so correct about some folks not having a proper understanding of the “mystery” of the smoke and rub. Afterwards we stopped at a tiny bar called AVG and the bartender gave us a few suggestions for future West side attractions. So it was indeed a very positive trip.

      January 4, 2015 at 1:38 pm

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