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Who knew tortillas and salsa go so well with BBQ: Smokin Q’s review for Cleveland’s Best Barbecue contest

August 6, 2018

Who knew tortillas and salsa go so well with BBQ: Smokin Q’s review for Cleveland’s Best Barbecue contest

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio – If you like your barbecue with a decidedly Texan bent, you should head to Smokin Q’s BBQ on SOM Center Road in Mayfield Village.

Smokin Q’s is a newer edition to the Greater Cleveland barbecue scene, having opened in June 2017, but didn’t take long to establish a name for itself because of its unique approach.

Smokin Q’s is one of 20 finalists in Cleveland’s Best Barbecue contest. Each establishment was nominated, and then voted into the finals, by our readers. You may vote for your favorite BBQ joint once daily here. The poll resets each morning at 9 a.m.

We visited Smokin Q’s on July 30. Scroll down to see our taste test review of its foods.

Executive Chef Zach Ladner celebrates his Texas roots with a menu filled with Tex-Mex twists.

Smokin Q’s BBQ and Beer House

Address: 718 SOM Center Road, Mayfield Village

Phone: 440-646-0429

Website: smokinqbbq.com

Social media

Facebook: www.facebook.com/smokinqsbbq/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/explore/locations/1792787727635518/smokin-qs-bbq-and-beer-house/

How many different kinds of BBQ are on the menu? Six meats: Brisket, Pulled Pork, Baby Back and Spare Ribs, Smoked Chicken and house-made Jalepeño Sausage.

How many sauce options? Three: Whimpy (sweet), BBQ (smoky) and Hair on Your Chest (hot).

Best Sellers: Brisket and Pulled Pork.

Most unique item on the menu: El Jefe BBQ platter – tortillas, cheese tamale, salsa and guacamole with the meat of your choice.

Specials: Daily specials offered.

Cleveland’s Best reporters Yadi Rodriguez, Kristen Davis and Brenda Cain, along with celebrity host/comedian Mike Polk, visited Smokin Q’s BBQ and Beer House on July 30.

At each of the finalist restaurants, we’re sampling all kinds of barbecue, including ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken -- as well as many sides and a dish the restaurant felt was its best or most unique offering.

Taste Test Review

Pork Ribs: “The meat falls right off the bone, it is so tender,” Rodriguez said.

“The ribs were tender and meaty with a great smoky char,” Davis said.

Pulled Pork: “This was outstanding. It tasted like it was marinated in awesome,” Polk said.

“I liked that it wasn’t drenched in sauce so you could really taste the meat,” Rodriguez said.

Chicken: “This was one of the more juicy barbecued chickens I have had,” Cain said.

“Mild flavor – basic chicken taste. Doesn’t really taste like barbecue,” Davis said.

Brisket: “Good sized slice of meat and the rub had just the right amount of kick,” Rodriguez said.

“Exceptionally prepared, seasoned perfectly. It made me feel terrible about every attempt I have made at preparing brisket,” Polk said.

The Sides

Baked Beans: “Sweet with a real kick to them. Too spicy for me,” said Rodriguez.

“Lots of flavor. Sweet and hearty. Much better than traditional baked beans,” said Davis.

Mac n Cheese: “Decadent with thick noodles. A nice twist with the queso,” said Polk.

“Outstanding. This was some of the best mac ’n cheese I have ever had,” said Rodriguez.

Brussel Sprouts: “I don’t like brussel sprouts, but these had a good flavor. Maybe it was the sauce,” said Cain.

“Crunchy, but I wasn’t a fan of the creamy sauce,” said Davis.

Sweet Potatoes: “Really nice presentation with plenty of nuts and other goodies topping it,” said Davis.

“Very sweet. Not a big fan of the sweet potato,” said Rodriguez.

Corn Bread: “This was a fun take on cornbread. It was kinda like cake,” said Polk.

“They put pepper in the butter so it was a great twist to a traditional side,” said Cain.

The Sauces:

Whimpy: “Very sweet with a nice spice,” said Rodriguez.

“Even though it was sweet, you could still taste the smoke,” said Cain.

Hair on Your Chest (HOYC): “I loved this sauce. It was hot with a purpose! Delicious,” said Polk.

“Nice fruity flavor, not just hot,” said Davis.

BBQ: “Not a lot of smoke in this one, but it was very tangy,” said Davis.

“Sweet, but with a good kick,” said Cain.

Why not join us in our quest to find the Best Barbecue in Greater Cleveland. The schedule for our visits is posted here.

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