The Smoke Haus has been on my to do list for a few months now, but for some reason or another, I never made it there until the idea of becoming a Super Burger Bro and submitting a review of my burger to a blog was put to me.
The Smoke Haus, not to be confused with The Smokehouse in Pontcanna, can be found on Mary Ann Street, close to The Motorpoint Arena. The outside is modern looking and leaves you in no doubt of the kind of food on offer. It’s big and bold and in your face.
Walking inside, you could have been in any American-styled diner. The stereotypical theme is all around you. Bonus points for showing College Football though, minus points for sitting us in a booth where none of us could see it.
3 people took our drinks orders, just none of them decided to deliver them for about 15 minutes, thankfully we didn’t get 3 drinks each.
It reminded me a little of a less glamourous Hard Rock Cafe or TGI Friday’s. It had a motorbike in the corner, some graffiti on a wall and framed pictures of movie scenes. It was just a little bit underwhelming, but the menu made me happy.
Other tables around us were getting their meals while we waited. The portions were generous and I have to admit to having pangs of food envy as someone took delivery of their steak.
I saw a burger being delivered too, it was delivered on a tray with one of those greaseproof paper tray liners. Personally, I’d prefer to have my burger sat on some kind of item that doesn’t soak moisture up slowly. Something a bit like, I don’t know, a plate?
Much was expected of this meal, in spite of the warning signs, which I had chosen to ignore.
Where do I start? I should probably start with the burger, considering that is the food item which has been chosen to be the star of these blogs, but I’ll leave that on the back burner for now.
The sides. Prawn Twizzlers with sweet chilli sauce. Like a conical seafood spring roll multiplied by five; these were a welcome addition to my life. I’ve never had these anywhere before and I reckon that if I owned my own eatery, these crispy fishy, fingerfoods would most definitely have their very own box highlighting their presence to the reader.
The sweet potato fries were my little treat to myself and I looked forward to comparing them to the standard fries on offer, except that all three of my friends had clearly decided the same, so no comparisons are available at this time. Sorry about that. I can tell you though, that the fries did the job, in that they were both sweet and potato-y?!?
The burger of choice, which had been picked for the purpose of sending my hungover state back to the depths from whenst it had originated was The Hog Father; A Haus cheeseburger topped with smoke haus pulled pork, smoked streaky bacon and warm bbq sauce.
The food would be cooked to order, so I wasn’t expecting a 3 minute turnaround. The restaurant wasn’t overly busy and there was plenty going on behind the servery, where you could see the chefs plying their trade.
After about a half hour, an aesthetically pleasing tower of burgers, cheese, bacon and pulled pork sat upon the obligatory lettuce and tomato inside the glistening brioche bun; my mouth was watering and my tastebuds tingled in anticipation.
The burgers, in my opinion, were too finely ground, which resulted in a sort of factory-made texture. The flavour, unfortunately, matched. The pulled pork fared no better. A lack of a bbq, smokey flavour or sauce, was the most disappointing aspect of this dish; if you’re going to call yourself “The Smoke Haus” then you’d think that getting a smokiness into your food would be the very least you could do.
I don’t believe that a burger should be eaten with a knife and fork. To me, a burger is a street food that should be taken in hand and dealt with accordingly. This bad boy just wasn’t going to play ball. I did try to eat it from my hands, but the contents of the burger were slipping around making it impossible; but I won’t hold that against anyone, as it was my choice to add another patty into the mix.
I cut through my burger with my cutlery and then feared that the tray liner was then going to be part of my dinner too. My fear was pointless though as it turns out that my cutlery skills are pretty good.
Unencumbered by mouthfuls of paper, the burger was about to get munched in the way that the god of burgers intended.
I don’t know what the average burger is, but I’m fairly sure that this was probably a little above it in the grand scheme of things. Maybe they are catering for the masses, which would be a shame, as the menu looked like it wanted to take people exploring a culinary world which they may have believed only existed in the US of A. They just seemed to miss the mark.
So there we have it. A better than average burger in a decent venue at an alright price. It would appear that we’re grading things out of 5, so Smoke Haus Hog Father, you get a 3.