They call ’em Sliders … some say the term was coined by the US Navy (Maverick loves that fact) which meant a greasy burger small enough that slid in easily. Now the burger might be small but the passion with which it was made at Smokey’s was and always would be huge. Also they have taken it a step ahead and introduced Hotdog sliders with some amazing meats. And, the sliders pulled pork, grilled pork, pulled lamb, bacon hotdogs … And many more which I raided with my favourite foodie pirates from TDfc.
A Friday evening, hungry souls and amazing retro music is what Shivkaran (the man behind Smokey’s) promised us and right on dot, we landed to put the long hectic week behind us. A split level restaurant and one walks into industrial styled interiors, with exposed brick walls, MS framework combined with wooden panelling and flooring and high ceilings giving whole place a warehouse effect. The place gives a sense of history and Shivkaran did inform us that even though Smokey’s is an year old, Smokehouse grill in which he played an active part too, was one of the pioneers of real, rich American food with meats one could only fancy in our city before. Subtle ambient lighting, with yellow & orange hues peeking from behind the coves washing the recently painted white exposed brickwork puts one in the mood to party as soon as you enter. Minimalist wooden and iron furniture is functional yet never overpowering. The best part however, is the bar on both levels and the loud mouthed people we are, we chose the upper level.
The servers took over and each table was given the menu for the evening. And then the sliders started to slide out from the kitchen. Chef Babu made sure there was not a table which was empty among the 45 diners. A great chef is one who gauges the taste of his guests and Andhra Chilli Tenderloin dog along with the Bacon Wrapped Pork Sausage Hotdog just was what the company needed. Innovation in ingredients which enhances the taste of a dish is always a pleasure the above mentioned fillings in the dogs, though a far away break from the originals, did tickle our taste buds till they were satiated. But that was just the start and though we hardly have any in our group, the chef took care of the veggies too. The Crispy Veg and the Veg Cous Cous with some amazing sauces kept the vegetarians busy, some very busy.
But when we talk of sliders, how can we forget burgers. The Smokey Lamb with buttered Onion and the Pulled Tenderloin burgers were as messy as it can get. I only rate the burger with the degree of messiness it can create on my fingers and though these were small sliders, the pulled tenderloin had meat falling off from all sides as you bit into it and squeezed the buns, hope you get my drift. Curried Veg Burger in the Veggie series and one would feel they just bit into an Indian dish, with an American twist. When one has red meat, Chicken for me is as good as vegetarian, but I would recommend the Chunky Chicken, to the uninitiated or the cautious ones.
The stars though, were yet to arrive, and arrive did they, in style. Someone spotted the larger than large Veg Cous Cous Hot dog and started screaming as if they just spotted a celebrity. Guess even the kitchen felt that they should not let the veggies in the group feel left out and sent in the huge Veg hot dog first. The sauces creamy and spicy and the cous cous fresh, the veggies and even the non veggies devoured this one in no time. Vegetarians taken care of the next in the line was the Smokey’s Super Boy burger. Super boy or more like an overgrown kid would be an ideal entry for the Man Vs Food episode and I doubt if Adam would have the superhuman strength to take on it singlehandedly. That night it was more of Men Vs Superboy and our men did good. A little over a minute and boy it was gone. The tenderloin patty which was slightly well done with no frills and some secret Smokey sauce left the foodies hungry for more. And then the lights dimmed and slid in the star of the night.
The Humongousaurus Pulled tenderloin Hotdog and it was carnage till the end. Men & girls just jumped over each other for a glimpse before 2 overzealous meat lovers started on it from either side. Some of us just got a glimpse of it, but then there is always a next time. The thing about Hotdogs at Smokey’s are that they are so generous on the meat, it is falling from between the bread even before you lift it. The cuts enormous and the tenderloin chunky and well done, the meat chewy and just the way it should be. The best part, the chef, servers and our new best friend Shivkaran were all there egging us on to keep at it. The cocktails from Lock, Stock & a Smokin’ Barrel to the Martinis & beers, are all great accompaniments, in fact necessary when you eat so much meat, but I’d rather have you try them than let the words spoil their actual “nasha”.
A dogfight is a term given to the mid-air battle between fighter planes, another naval concoction like the sliders. And the Hotdogfight we had though not as dangerous was equally exhilarating. The crispy buns, tender meat and the melange of sauces just left us gorging on one after the other.
The team at Smokey’s made sure we partied hard with their signature cocktails and good burgers have always been a #TDfc weakness. But now Smokey’s has ensured that Hotdogs trumps our love for burgers and as a “friend of Smokey’s” I reckon you give it a chance too.