The perfect barbecue. Is there such a thing? Well, my fiance Mac sure thinks so and he thinks it all happens in the city of Memphis. Now folks, you must know that Mac is from the south but just not any old state in the south, he comes from the good ole’ state of Tennessee where barbecue is like a religion. (By the way, when you say that sentence, pleas say it with a Southern accent. It’s more fun and you will get the full effect). Fun fact, Mac’s Dad Dave make is own BBQ sauce and it is the perfect Memphis style sauce. Ok, another question, what is Memphis style BBQ? Excellent question my friends, well after some official research on the Interwebs Memphis style BBQ , “is usually made with tomatoes, vinegar, and any countless combination of spices. It is generally thin, tangy, and somewhat sweet.” Good to know right? Well, Mac has been on a mission to find Memphis style BBQ in Milwaukee since we got engaged because his only really wedding request is to have it at our rehearsal dinner. So do you know what that means?! Trying out BBQ places in Milwaukee!! Boy do I luck out on this!!
Stop #1, Smoke Shack in the 3rd Ward. I was VERY impressed, but the real question is, was the Tennessee native?
First, let’s talk decor and building. It’s a small building with an outside space and although it was a tad chilly when we went, we very much loved the outside. I love the old wood and the “southern” mountain charm and I have to say, I kinda wished I was in Nashville…or wait…Memphis! :)
Next, alcohol! ! I had the light and fruity, “Jack and Jill” cocktail which was made with fresh season berries (the perfect summer cocktail) and Mac had the Bourbon Sidecar. Now, I didn’t take a sip of Mac’s drink BUT I did have three of mine so…need I say more!?
Ok, now let’s talk sauce. Do you see something missing?! Yep, sadly there was no Memphis style sauce, which of course made Mac sad BUT I am happy to report that the “House” sauce it’s rather close to what he wanted. Now, only complaint Mac had was that he wished he could have had some Memphis sauce but really, let’s be honest, when you are super picky about something, nothing by the original will do!! I’m not sure how the other sauces were, I waited until Mac taste tested them all, but the House sauce was the perfect sauce to me.
Mac’s thee meat dish is next! Yummy looking right?! Well, we went to Smoke Shack during Milwaukee’s Downtown Dining Week so this was a special on the menu but how awesome is it to get thee meats!? Mac said that the pulled pork was the best , the sausage was a tad spicy but amazing, and the chicken was his least fav. Oh and let’s not forget about the sweet potato fries. The man LOVES his sweet potato fries!!
Where do I begin with my meal?! I really could ramble on all day about how amazing everything was so let me give you the condensed version…ready…Go! Pulled pork with house sauce: Perfection. I shall not say anymore until you try it! Seasonal veggies aka the BEST brussel sprouts I have ever had: I mean, they were the best brussel sprouts I have ever had. Further description not needed. Smoke Shacks Vinegar Slaw: wonderful for the summer because of it’s light consistency. And last but not least, the Sweet and Spicy Beans: You have not tried beans until you have had these. YUMM!! All in all, I was OBSESSED with my meal! Everything was super yummy and when I go back I will get the exact same thing because I MUST have more of this food in my tummy. :)
So, have we found our rehearsal dinner BBQ yet, I don’t think so. Although Mac and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal and will for sure be back, Mac was bummed they didn’t have authentic Memphis style sauce so the search continues!! Wish us luck!! But really, go to Smoke Shack in the 3rd Ward and have some dern (yes dern because that’s what they say in the South) barbecue, you will not be disappointed!