Coast Cuisine - April/May 2018
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Lisa Monti & courtesy Smokin' Jo's
115 South Beach Blvd.
Bay St. Louis
Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“The pulled pork definitely is the most popular meat item but the Bay Fries have already become famous. They’re flying out the window,” said owner Jolynne Trapani.
Since the barbecue restaurant opened March 13, customers have been heading for the order window at the shack in front of Buoy’s Bar for barbecue and sides. They’ve also been calling in orders for pickup and delivery since Smokin’ Jo’s is one of a few places in town that deliver.
The menu and the delivery service are part of what sets the place apart and the response has been favorable.
And if conditions are just right, the restaurant’s large smoker sends the scent of barbecue in the air. “Some people have said, “We can smell the smoker from my house,” Trapani said.
Back to those favorites. The waffle fries, unique to beachfront restaurant menus, are topped with fresh bacon bits, green onion, cheddar cheese and pulled pork drizzled with secret white sauce and BBQ sauce. Dorm-bound Stanislaus borders are among Bay Fries biggest fans, Trapani said.
Brisket is a special treat to smoked meat fans and at Smokin’ Jo’s it is served in slices on the Train Bridge sandwich (delicious, especially the burnt ends), on meat plates sliced with two sides, by the half or full pound and as an accent to BBQ nachos, another rising star on the menu.
You can also have it on Grace’s Barbecue Soft Tacos, which I did, along with one tortilla filled with that tasty pulled pork. The tacos are topped with mango pineapple slaw for sweetness and a spicy blend of sriracha, fresh jalapeño slices and just bit of BBQ sauce. There’s a lot going on in this serving and it’s all good.
Next time, I’m going for the sausage, which comes on a stick as a starter, as a Salt Water Slaw Dog on a bun (two per order) and on a meat plate.
“The sausage is amazing, very flavorful, not all that fatty and with a crisp casing,” Trapani said. It comes from a Mississippi family owned producer with a long reputation. On weekends, you can try alligator sausage, but order early. It sells out quickly.
Great news for ham fans. Smokin’ Jo’s will be smoking 10-pound spiral hams for every holiday, starting with Easter this year. If you missed the special order, you can get smoky slices for a short time in old fashioned ham sandwich with melted cheese served on bread toasted on the griddle.
Smokin’ Jo’s also does catering. Look for a ribbon cutting Saturday, April 28 at 4 p.m.