Review: Honey Pit Smokehouse
This is a freestanding spot at the corner of Kirkwood Road and Big Bend Boulevard, formerly Steak & Rice Chinese restaurant. It has a warm, friendly feel, and the food is delicious. In some cases, it’s a little more guilt-free than the typical barbecue fare. There is a Macro Menu featuring lean protein, fish, sugar-free slaw and clean roasted potatoes, as well as a steamed veggie of the day. That’s not to say you won’t find calorie-loaded dishes like Pit Nachos and Battered Seasoned Fries.
It’s set up like a chuck wagon inside, with darker woods, booths and some tables that resemble stagecoach seats. It’s spacious, so chances are once you’ve made it through the ordering line (which can move slowly), you’ll find a seat. There are no fewer than seven different barbecue sauces, from Carolina Mustard to Fire Honey Pit, and you can serve yourself at the sauce station. Plus, there are about eight rotating sides offered at any given time, including several fresh veggies. All meals include at least one side.
I went for the Honey Pit Sampler Platter ($22.99), the Cadillac of meals here, which includes 4 ounces each of brisket, pulled pork and turkey, as well as a sausage link and a four-bone rib. Oh, and two sides and a drink. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. The typically fat-laden barbecued meats came well-trimmed, but still very flavorful. The website touts several awards earned for the spot’s unique blend of smoking woods, which impart subtle flavor.
In fact, the brisket was so tasty that I barely sauced it, and the pulled pork was devoid of annoying strands of fat. The ribs, however, were lean and not as meaty as I would have liked. A smoked salmon filet had excellent flavor and texture. The smoked turkey was delicious, and I understand it is often the first thing they run out of. It had great flavor, just slightly smoky, and retained its moisture. Try it with the Carolina sauce and the Honey Pit Original.
Among the sides, I found the Macro Slaw flavored with too much vinegar, and it was discolored. But the rich Smoked Peach Pit Beans were yummy, sweetened by chunks of canned peaches. The cornbread was a rather sweet muffin, but good. Sautéed Green Beans were buttery and tasty, and the Krazy Korn (mixed with red and green pepper bits) was very good.
Dessert includes ice cream offerings, gooey butter cake, pie and chocolate chip cookies claiming to be ‘smoked.’ I didn’t detect that promised flavor, but they were delicious, crisp and salted. A slice of apple crumb pie was perfectly sweet with a flaky crust.
the scene | Casual and friendly family-run barbecue joint
the prices | $12.49-$24.49 platters, $8.25-$12.49 sandwich meals
the chef | Pitmaster Jeff Fenderman
the favorites | Pulled Pork, Brisket, Smoked Turkey, Smoked Peach Pit Beans, Smoked Chocolate Chip Cookie
food • ŏ • lō • gy
pulled pork | Pork that is slowly cooked over low heat until it is so tender, it can be shredded easily
carolina mustard sauce | A popular sweet-tart sauce that uses mustard as its base rather than tomato sauce
baked beans | This popular barbecue side dish is misnamed as the beans are actually stewed in a sauce, usually sweet.
951 kirkwood road | 314.698.2121