Friday, May 13, 2011

First Bite: Midwood Smokehouse

First Bite is a a look at a restaurant that’s opened recently, based on one visit, not a full-fledged review.

The food: Barbecue, naturally, but with range: there's pulled pork, beef brisket (fatty, lean or both), smoked sausage, smoked chicken, St. Louis-style ribs (dry or sauced) and smoked prime rib. Three sauces: S.C. mustard, Eastern N.C. style vinegar, and Midwood Signature. And what we had was really good. Pork comes in small or large plates and the flavor is terrific; I'd wish only for a slightly lighter hand with that tangy vinegar sauce. Chicken is moist and the mustard sauce stellar: a glossy version with a sweet edge. Ribs were a might lean, but again, beautifully flavored. A little fan of pickled onion comes atop meats, a great detail. This is longtime Charlotte restaurateur Frank Scibelli's newest outing, and he might just have the next Big Daddy's on his hands, in terms of popularity and hitting the zeitgeist at just the right time.

The look: Think spare and smart. The former Cafe Central's mirrored bar back stayed, but now sports daily specials, slogans and the like. Battered tin signs and old photos dot the woody interior.

The service: Friendly, casual and pretty quick on our visit, and capable (and more than willing) to explain dish details and make recommendations.

Details: 1401 Central Ave.; 704-295-4227; about $7.50-$19;


fQ said...

Just had my first meal there. Pulled pork was very good. Service was outstanding. So was the milk stout the server recommended. Will definitely be back.

mgh said...

I agree with your review. Very good bbq, and my kids want to go back for more ribs & sweet potato fries.