Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill – Grand Rapids
I was in the mood for BBQ, but not really sure to go. I’ve found a couple pretty good BBQ places in the Grand Rapids area, but none of them are really the true Memphis style that I really like.
I decided just to go with a chain and started looking up Famous Dave’s in Grandville. It’s not the best BBQ in the world, but I remember liking the place when I lived in Peoria. I would take my parents there all the time. As I was getting ready to call in an order, I remembered another place out on 28th Street that I really liked.
When J and I lived in Lansing, we had a really hard time finding BBQ there too. In fact, the only decent place we could find was Smokey Bones in Lansing Township. We only ate there once because it was so far from our apartment, but I remember really liking it.
OK, back to last night. I was starting to call in my order to Famous Dave’s when I decided to check the Smokey Bones website. I noticed they had online ordering which I am always a fan of, so I changed my mind and went with Smokey Bones.
The Grand Rapids Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill is on the corner of 28th and Patterson which is about a mile from the I-96 exit. As I walked in to the log cabin themed restaurant on Saturday night, I was really happy I was doing carry-out. I have to say I was a little shocked by the long line. I guess I’m not the only one who can’t find the type of BBQ I like in the Grand Rapids area.
I found my way to the host station and told the guy working I had a carry-out order. He pointed me to the back of the restaurant where they have a carry-out window set up near the bar. My order was bagged up and waiting to go. Since I paid online, all I had to do was sign the receipt and fight my way back through the crowded restaurant.
As is the case almost anytime I get BBQ to go, the smell was taunting me on the way back to work. The BBQ is actually wood smoked and I could smell the spicy rub on the meat. The unfortunate thing for me is that this location is about 20 minutes from work, so I had to smell it before a long time before I could dig in.
My co-workers were a little mad at me when I got back for not asking them if they wanted anything. They could smell the box of food as I walked back in the door. I wasn’t going to eat around them, but I had to play secretary for a little while which meant staying near everyone else.
What I had hidden in that box was a pulled pork sandwich and fries. The pork is prepared exactly like I like it. It’s large chunks of slow smoked pork served on a toasted bun without sauce. I love places that serve the meat naked allowing me to decide how much sauce I want. On good pork, I go really light on the sauce and this was good pork. I used about half of the small cup of spicy, tangy BBQ sauce on the sandwich and haf on the fries.
A few years ago, Smokey Bones was purchased and is being rebranded as more of a fire grilled bar than a BBQ place. This is kind of disappointing to me because as far as chain BBQ places, they are by far one of the best. It’s been a while since I’ve had such good BBQ and it was worth the trip out to to that side of town.