Main courses without predesignated sides come with any two of 15 "fixin's," which if ordered á la carte would range in price from $2.95 to $6.25. There are, again, inconsistencies within the category, although plusses outnumbered minuses. Jalapeño mac & cheese hit the spot in a piping hot, cheesy way; cole slaw is homemade, flecked with caraway seeds, and not overly sweet; franks and beans with crisp onions is sweet, but delicious. Jalapeño cornbread — two thin, wide, moist planks dotted with corn kernels and bits of pepper — is simply the finest around. Hush puppies, however, were stiff and lukewarm (these really have to be served straight from the fryer to work). Brussels sprouts with applewood-smoked bacon arrived overcooked and sour; loaded baked potato is gigantic, but sour cream, cheese, and bacon bits are not exactly the mother lode of loaded.

Other entrées include broiled rainbow trout; New Orleans-style seafood pot; grilled skewers of sirloin, swordfish, or herbed chicken; a limited number of salads and barbecue sandwiches; and a half-pound, char-grilled, triple grind hamburger on either Texas toast or Kaiser bun — with or without the works. Everything on the menu except combo platters and full racks of ribs costs less than $20.

The half-dozen dessert selections reflect the frivolous nature of Smoke't: chocolate-covered caramel popcorn on a stick, peanut butter ice cream sandwiched between chocolate chip cookies, s'mores... We enjoyed a more sophisticated blackberry-citrus crumble, the hot, mostly berry cobbler centered by a scoop of mildly cinnamon-flavored ice cream — but we loved a revelatory pair of fresh-from-the-fryer, sugar-crusted donuts. Steamy hot and light as air (with maple frosting on the side), these make Dunkin' and Krispy donuts seem like sugar-laden bagels.

Joe Rocco

Location Info

Map

Smoke't Southern Kitchen & Tap

1450 S. Dixie Highway
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Category: Restaurant > Barbecue

Region: Coral Gables/South Miami

Details

1450 S. Dixie Hwy., Coral Gables; 305-669-8338; smoketbbq.com. Lunch Monday through Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; dinner Sunday through Tuesday 5:30 to 10 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday 5:30 to 11 p.m.

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The menu has already been tinkered with since the restaurant opened this past February; some lighter dishes have been added and a few clunkers removed. If management can now tighten quality control, there's no reason the rising Smoke't won't continue to billow for a long time to come.

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