The Art of the Instant Classic

Good Bite

BY ANDREW FABIAN SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY SEP 8, 2020

Some people just get it. Whether by circumstance, luck or genius, some people can churn out hit after hit. The Beatles did it; restaurateur David Chang did it; Steven Spielberg did it. And in a small standalone restaurant on Tamiami Trail wedged between a gas station and an office plaza, an unassuming BBQ sandwich shop is doing it.

Smoqehouse, an up-and-coming fast-casual sandwich shop owned and operated by Minnesota transplants Andy and Heidi Kubes, features a menu of smoked treats in which not a single item is a dud. And, in a way, their Korean beef sandwich ($8) is a worthy flagship for the restaurant—it’s creative in conception and flavor profile, but never strays too far from the bottom line of simple deliciousness that smoked meat ought to be.

Two-hour smoked beef gets thinly sliced onto a fluffy ciabatta roll, then is smeared with a slightly spicy gochujang sauce. This on its own would make a sliced beef sandwich that can send Arby’s executives into a panic attack, but Smoqehouse adds a dollop of ginger and lime slaw that brings a cool tang and sweetness to the whole affair. It reads at first as though the sandwich comes chock full of pretension—who puts ginger, lime and gochujang on a smoked beef sandwich?—but the final product still manages somehow to stick to the recognizable format even if it’s added some flair of its own. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the art of the instant classic.

And that terrifying mound to the right of the sandwich? A serving of the crispiest hand cut chips this side of the Mississippi, topped with bleu cheese crumbles and garlic-thyme aioli. You’re welcome.

Smoqehouse, 6112 S Tamiami Trail, 941-923-9090

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