Smoak at the Variety Bar

IMAG0601What can I say? Meaty, meaty goodness abounds at Smoak at the Variety bar.

Smoak is not immediately obvious, hiding as it is in a wee corner of the Variety Bar, but it is without a doubt worth seeking out. We went for pretty much opening time on Sunday as I’d hear horror stories about them running out of the goodies way before closing – imagine!

The surroundings aren’t salubrious, and no doubt there are wads of chewing gum under the table and a sticky floor but you go here to enjoy the amazing meaty treats.


The Guadelupe Peak and 3 Mini Sliders, plus a basked of nachos

I went for the Guadalupe Peak, a colossal tower of pastrami, pulled pork, BBQ brisket, slaw, pickles, onions, spicy mayo, jalapenos, sauerkraut, Emmental served in a brioche bun with a side of nachos. Ian went for the 3 mini brioche sliders, with a mix of brisket and pulled pork.

From the first bite, there is a massive explosion of flavour and texture – soft meat, melted cheese, a bit of a crunch from the sweet and spicy jalapenos. This food took me straight back to being in the States in 2011, where I tasted the best shredded brisket ever, at Hearst Castle (not a place one would suspect of such tasty meaty treats),  from cows reared on the estate.

As Ian is in the food industry and I’m a bit of a foodie, being able to watch the chef at work in the compact (i.e. tiny) kitchen was a real kick, and I can honestly say that this was one of tastiest and most enjoyed meals we’ve had out in a long time.

One word of warning – perhaps don’t go here if you don’t want your companion to see you with a giant soggy bun in your sauce-covered hands, and with a good dribble of meats juices running down your chin. And certainly don’t go here if you haven’t got much of an appetite, as portions are generous.

Smoak seems to be another display of the Man vs. Food effect currently taking over Glasgow’s eateries, but I am complaining? I am heck – bring on round two!

Ps – news hot off the press, Smoak are now going to be serving at Pivo Pivo on Waterloo Street as well!


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