BBQ restaurant delivers big on flavors

Back when I first moved here a few years ago, my first real complaint was, “There are not a whole lot of good restaurants here.” Cut to a few years later, and the Cedar Valley has slowly but surely been adding quality restaurants, but the only problem I felt was there wasn’t another quality barbecue establishment.

Well, today that is no longer the case. Right on University before the first roundabout, the Smokehouse is a can’t miss building splattered with rust that pops out next to the bland and casual buildings next door.

The Smokehouse opened around a week before school started and the rushes have never died down. The restaurant nearly spills out the door with people packed in like sardines.  It seems like people regularly flock to Starbeck’s Smokehouse, and I didn’t think that it was just because of the great and friendly service, so I figured, why not give it a try. And just for you, I will grade each important aspect of the barbeque from the tangy to the sweet.

The sauces at the Smokehouse range from spicy to sweet and offer a wide range of flavors to douse your smoked meat in. The Spicy can bring your body temperature from a cool 98 degrees to about 110 degrees in one drop. Not only is your forehead dripping in sweat, but your taste buds are taking on a strange psychedelic trip they’ve never experienced before. The sweet, on the other hand, takes your tongue to a small Pacific island with the sun blanketing you while you float in the blue ocean.

Both the sauces add a delicious combination with the meat. The sauce is one of the best options at Starbeck’s Smokehouse and can add a tremendous amount of flavor to already good tasting meat.

The pulled pork is probably the highlight of the menu. The meat is smoked and cooked well, leaving a lasting impression of tender and juicy flavors sloshing around the mouth. When combatted with either of the barbeque sauces, there is not a dull bite between two pieces of bread. The rest of the menu does not have as big of highlights as it does in the pulled pork, but still, comes up with some high-quality tastes.

The only thing I happened to dislike was the ribs. Personally, they were too tough for my liking with little amounts of flavor. The rough and compact build combined with the lack of flavor was the only downside on the entrees part of the menu.

The restaurant has some of the most appropriate sides that can possibly be attached to barbeque. By that, I mean each side complements each and every entree in delicious ways. From the mac and cheese to the fresh fruit, each and everyone can be acclaimed.

Also not to be forgotten, the fries are a surprising dark horse. For a barbeque restaurant, they sure know how to use a fryer.

Worth a mention is the cornbread. It is the best I’ve ever had, plain and simple.  If you don’t go for the barbeque, go for the cornbread. It is both sweet and crumbly. It is serene and delectable. I’m not joking when I say my own mother can’t get close to their recipe. Even though it scrapes and bruises the roof of my mouth, I still can’t explain the taste in ways comprehensible.

Starbeck’s Smokehouse is one of the best new restaurants in the Cedar Valley. With only Famous Dave’s on the market for good local BBQ, the Smokehouse gives it a run for its money. With quality meats, sides and sauces, it is hard to go wrong with anything located on the menu. Apart from the terrifying Pennywise-like clowns staring you down as you devour pig, the whole experience is one of the best for dining in the Cedar Valley.

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