The bottom line: Worth another visit
I have struggled a bit with writing this review. I have heard so much about the Midwood Smokehouse. If you have ever visited the restaurant list for Trip Advisor you will see that this restaurant is one of the top rated places to eat at in Charlotte. I have countless friends visit the restaurant and tell me the same. Maria and I spent a week talking about this place before we went and sending links back and forth on all the yummy menu items listed. You can imagine the extremely high expectations that I had. That’s the thing with expectations though. Lean too much to one side or the other and you are bound to be disappointed. Alas that’s a discussion for another time.
Let me start by telling you about the setting. The restaurant is small but with a sizeable patio area. The patio is heated during the cold weather so it’s still pleasant there. They have a bar to chill at if you arrived at one of their rush hours. The service was very quick and friendly. Our party was quite large and we did not have to wait long for drinks or food. There is a full bar available along with an extensive beer selection (not as extensive as some of the local beer pubs but more than enough options). They also have a list of bourbon cocktails that are served with a two ounce shot. I ordered a cocktail called ‘Smoke This.’ This drink was made with Jack, smoked ice, sherry, pecan syrup, and lemon. I typically don’t drink bourbon but the cocktail list was very appealing. The drink was strong enough and not too sweet despite the syrup. It also had pieces of floating pecans in it.
For dinner I had a dished called ‘Burnt Ends’. The dish consisted of caramelized brisket cubes made with a beer BBQ sauce. Two other friends also ordered the same dish. We all came to the same conclusion. The meat was a little chewy and dry. Pickled onions are served on the side. I combined the onions with every bite of meat and this helped with the dryness. The sauce served with the dish was great, tangy and not spicy. I picked the BBQ baked beans as a side and they were deliciously spicy with lots of flavor. The hush puppies were perfect, a good size, and not too dry. Others at my table ordered the Mac and Cheese and it took all the self-control I had to not snatch the dish off their plates or to beg like two-year old after a toy for a bite of this heavenly looking cheesy fluffiness. I ended up going for modesty and not begging but you can bet that the next time I visit I am getting the mac and cheese.
It is worth mentioning that others raved about their food. This restaurant comes up in conversation occasionally and everyone’s eyes seem to glaze as they reminisce about their dishes. Although the meat wasn’t as good as I expected I would definitely go back. I am shalking this one up to a not so good day with that dish. There are more than enough items on the menu to try on a future visit.
The bottom line: One visit is not enough!
Click on the link to Midwood’s Smokehouse website and I guarantee you will immediately get hungry. At least that’s how I felt when I looked into Midwood Smokehouse as our next spot to go to.
I grew up in NYC so when people talk BBQ and BBQ sauces I often find myself at a loss. Before I headed to this restaurant I got a crash course in NC BBQ sauces from a native and this is what I learnt: Eastern NC sauce is vinegar based so it’s more acidic. Western NC sauce is tomato based so it’s sweeter. Midwood Smokehouse uses the NC Eastern sauce, South Carolina mustard sauce, and some house specialty sauces. In the BBQ world the sauces seem to be very important!
For my dish I went with the Carolina Pork Classic BBQ which is hickory smoked pork lightly dressed with the Eastern NC sauce. My sides were hush puppies and sweet potato fries. Boy is my stomach churning now as I am writing this and remembering all that yumminess! (Is that even a word? haha) To start off you can taste the smokiness of the pork with every bite you take. The meat is tender but I was also oh so happy I had gotten some pieces of burnt edges. They were so crispy and delicious! The sauce complements the dish and does not overpower the taste of the pork at all. You can feel the vinegar in the sauce as it is tangy, but the sauce and the meat are so good together you can’t imagine it being any other way! The pork also has just the right amount of seasoning to make it dangerous…that is you can just keep on eating and eating non stop. The hush puppies were also very good. They were not dry as some I have had before and they had a good taste. The sweet potato fries were also good but they were cold. It could have been that I didn’t eat them until I finished my BBQ, yet it was a little bit of a let down since I like them hot.
To accompany the food I ordered a drink called Jack’s Beehive. It has Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Lemonade, and Ginger Ale. Yeah, it’s as good as it sounds. The drink is sweet but not sugary and it was made to where you can definitely taste the Jack. I stuck to one because you can do some trouble with this. It goes down smoothly and before you know it you just might need to order another one.
I will for sure have to go back to Midwood Smokehouse sometime soon. It is a small place but it does have an outdoor patio as well that would be lovely to sit at during the spring/summer season. We had great service and our waiter was so nice and engaging. He also kept checking constantly on us and gave us his opinion on what to try. I would recommend this if you are out with your friends or on a date and want some great food and a place to have a great time!