The Smoke Haus emerged in Swansea back in 2012, taking inspiration from American diners with flavoursome steaks, bbq ribs and more.
The Welsh appetite for smokey flavours of Kentucky grew and the passionate owners expanded into Cardiff just two years later. Between then and now I’ve not escaped the countless pictures on social media of those glazed ribs, donut burgers and massive portions!
In this time I’ve resisted temptation, however when an offer to explore their menu and new location in Birmingham landed in my inbox, I let my rumbling stomach talk me into the four hour round trip…
I usually visit Birmingham at it’s busiest for the German Christmas Market, so it was refreshing to come back and experience the city in the summertime.
After stopping off at my usual haunts (Basically Selfridges Department store in the Bullring), I headed over to Brindleyplace, around twenty minutes walk from the shopping centre and Birmingham New Street train station.
Brindleyplace has a wonderful atmosphere and The Smoke Haus slots in handsomely above The Slug & lettuce.
Based around a narrow canal with twinkling lights, it’s an idyllic setting on a warm summer evening in the city – oh how I wished this wasn’t a flying visit!
If you’ve been to Bristol Harbourside or the Oracle in Reading, this’ll all feel quite familiar.
My first impression of The Smoke Haus was their fun and tongue-in-cheek approach to food.
The restaurant walls have been graffitied with quirky quotes, sayings and phrases besides an array of iconic portraits. It’s like Planet Hollywood and an urban skate park have collided, the up-and-coming business even had their own funky merchandise on display.
The menu itself is rather extensive with nine appetisers, eleven sides and six desserts to compliment your main event.
To start, we shared the chicken wings that come plain, bbq or spicy.
The bbq flavour wings were my favourite, oh that thick New Orleans inspired sauce almost had me licking my fingers…
I wasn’t struck on the side sauce and celery – fortunately the succulent chicken wings didn’t need any greasing up or added flavour.
With a growing heap of used napkins, my messy food adventures continued with a classic burger with extra toppings.
I upgraded the skin-on fries for sweet potato (personal favourite), cheese fries and chilli fries are among some of the alternative options.
The portions are very generous and I struggled to make a dent in my bowl of fries (fortunately takeaway boxes were offered for left overs).
I think my decision to not have a double burger was also wise as the patties are extra beefy, phewph! If you’re a meat-lover this is the stuff of dreams, but I personally enjoy the toppings and bread just as much and would’ve loved more of this (the sweet fried onions were delicious).
Other mains include grilled sandwiches (take away available), mixed grills, hot dogs, steaks, chicken, salads and vegetarian plates.
The mac ‘n’ cheese grilled sandwich caught my eye in particular – ideal comfort food and something I’d probably pick for an extra filling lunch.
Above: The Hog Father Burger
After not long returning from the States, the flavours and menu items all rang true, particularly the curious mix of sweet and savoury.
Also on offer are chicken and waffles and the aforementioned 8oz donut burger. I’m so unsure about these combinations but they seem to be popular choices!
That said, I was totally ready to squeeze in a sweet treat after the meat feast.
The waitress highly rated the brownie – no further persuasion required and it was to die-for!
Very rich, warm and chocolatey, the brownie is definitely one for a sweet tooth/chocoholic.
I shared my dessert and tried some of the Mississippi mud pie and actually ended up going back to that a lot more because it’s lighter texture and taste were most welcome after the heavy main course.
The starters and desserts went down a storm and I’ve heard good things about the nachos and fried pickles.
Meat-lovers should absolutely try this place sometime, my burger was enjoyable, but I’d definitely want to try their steak or glazed ribs on a future visit.
As the night drew in, the restaurant was packed out with a good mix of families, friends and couples. It was great to see the business already making waves in England and I’m confident this won’t be the last opening from them.
The Smoke Haus Birmingham, I salute you… excellent location, great atmosphere with a quirky, youthful image to boot.
Full menu and more info available here:
Disclaimer: My food was complimentary however all opinions are my own.