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Smoke Shack – Wauwatosa

July 6, 2018

  • 11340 W. Burleigh Street
  • Wauwatosa, WI53222
  • (414) 431-1119
  • Website 
  • Menu

There are three things I usually look for when we travel when it comes to finding restaurants.  Pizza, breweries, and BBQ.  I had already hit the first too on this quick trip to Milwaukee.  Our last meal in town was going to be BBQ.

There were some highly rated places near out hotel out by the airport but I was concerned about finding something for the kids.  I also found a few places downtown but no way in hell I was going back downtown now that Summer Fest traffic was in full swing, so I had to expand my search a little bit and came up with something that fit us perfectly.

Smoke Shack is a two store restaurant chain in the greater Milwaukee area owned by Hospitality Democracy.  There is one located in the Historic Third Ward downtown and one just west of the city in Wauwatosa.  We picked the Wauwatosa store on Burleigh Street near I-41.  It’s in the Mayfair Collection which is an upscale outdoor mall.  The Smoke Shack is the first building you see when you turn in at the corner of 114th Street.  The building itself is a pretty simple brick box, but they dress it up with a roughed up wood arch that is meant to resemble…well….a shack.

There is a free parking ramp right behind the building.  That ramp leads you right next an to an awesome outdoor patio, but once again, it was too damn hot to sit outside.

We headed inside to find a small dining room.  The host stand was right inside the door next to the bar.  The “shack” theme is carried throughout the space with mismatched wood slats on the walls with some pieces of tin mixed in for good measure. The bar stools are backless stools with seat cushions to make them a little more comfy.

There aren’t many four tops in the space and they were all being used when we walked in.  We were told we could wait or we could sit at a pub table.  We took the pub table but a few minutes later, the host told us the table he had waiting for a party of four just became a party of five so they wouldn’t fit at the table and we could have.  We took it just because the pub tables had those same stools without backs which always scares us with B.

J and I both started with drinks.  They don’t have a great tap selection.  I think there were maybe five beers total.  I picked the Wisconsin beer.  New Glarus’ Spotted Cow.  It’s served in a Mason Jar and to be honest, Spotted Cow isn’t my favorite New Glarus beer.  I know it’s some people’s Coors Light since it’s only available in Wisconsin.  I enjoy it but I’m not going to be several cases to bring home since I can’t get it here.

J did some kind of fancy mixed drink but I forgot to write down what it was.  It was served the same way though…in a mason jar and a lemon wedge.

When the waitress brought our drinks she also bought a bowl of home made chips.  They were crispy and very golden brown.  It didn’t take us very long at all for the four of us to polish off the bowl.

The Smoke Shack’s menu is standard BBQ fare.  I found a sandwich and went that route.  The Brisket Sammich (man, I hate writing it like that) is chopped Smoked Black Angust brisket served on a light airy “custom” roll.  I was concerned with the “chopped” aspect but it was actually large chunks and not chopped finely.  The brisket was delicious.  It was tender and slightly salty.  I used a little bit of sauce on some pieces just because I wanted to try the sauces.  The sandwich was served with the kettle chips and some spicy pickles.

J ordered the Texas BBQ Nachos.  This large plate is piled high with tortilla chips, tomatoes, red onions, black beans, sour cream, white cheddar cheese and pulled pork.  There was so much more here than she was going to eat.  The portion of pulled pork was quite large.  When she got done picking, she passed the plate to me so I could try some of the pork.  It was juicy, delicious, and had the familiar tang of a Carolina sauce.

One of the big reasons we picked this location, other than it not being downtown, was the fact they had a kid’s menu posted online.  L wanted the Mac & Cheese.  The bowl of corkscrew pasta is covered in a thick white cheddar cheese sauce.  L did carrots and ranch for her side.  There’s an option to add meat to the pasta, but she doesn’t eat much meat.  Surprisingly, she pretty much licked the bowl clean.   Home made mac & cheese’s are always hit or miss with her but this one was a hit.

B did the Grilled Cheese.  He’s been all about grilled cheese’s lately so we thought this would be a no-brainer.  The sandwich is simple.  Panini bread and cheese.  There was a delicious buttery crunch on the bread.  He ate about half and a few of his chips that came with the sandwich.

Our bill for dinner was around $60.  Smoke Shack was a great choice for BBQ on a Friday night.  We wanted to stay away from downtown and try to find some of the other great options around Milwaukee.  We did that.  Every one left full and happy with their dinner and the half hour drive back to the hotel gave our food time to settle before hitting the pool for the evening.

Smoke Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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