Taste for the Space winner Blue Smoke finally open: Here's what to know
- Blue Smoke finally opened at the mall, after a nine-month wait.
- The menu features brisket sandwiches, sliders, flatbread, armadillo eggs, smoked meat by the pound, sides and sweets.
- I reviewed the king brisket grilled cheese, tangy slaw and brisket fltabread.
JACKSON TOWNSHIP − The long-awaited opening of Blue Smoke finally happened.
Blue Smoke owner and head chef Jamie Moore won Belden Village Mall's Taste for the Space competition that was held last June. He was awarded a $50,000 investment prize and six months free rent to open an eatery space inside the mall.
I ventured to the Mall for a weekday lunch at Blue Smoke. About noon on a Thursday, the food court wasn’t too busy. I placed the order and waited roughly 10 minutes for my meal.
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Blue Smoke's menu features lots of brisket
The menu features several brisket and other smoked meat sandwiches, sliders and flatbread, armadillo eggs (cream cheese- and gouda-stuffed jalapeños wrapped in sausage, then wrapped in bacon and smoked, and topped with barbecue sauce), smoked meat by the pound, combination platters, sides, sweets and a kids’ menu. Backyard platters are also available but must be ordered 48 hours in advance.
Browsing the menu, the king brisket grilled cheese ($16) jumped out. It’s a slow-smoked brisket-and-barbecue sauce grilled cheese and comes with a side of brisket beans, tangy slaw, bowtie salad or house salad, and a drink.
From the choice of chipotle barbecue or honey barbecue, I opted for the honey, for a sweeter sandwich. All barbecue sauce at Blue Smoke is made from scratch daily, and the brisket is slow-cooked for about 14 hours. With gooey American cheese, sweet honey barbecue sauce and juicy brisket on crispy bread topped with melted cheese, this sandwich was a hefty treat. It was delicious and melted in my mouth.
The slaw wasn’t my favorite. I was expecting a bit more tang, and it seemed a bit watery. I’d be curious to try the brisket beans on another trip.
My husband joined me for lunch and ordered the brisket flatbread ($15), which has smoked brisket with chipotle barbecue or honey barbecue, cheese, bacon and red onion. It comes with a drink. He also opted for the honey barbecue sauce, a great choice in my opinion.
I grabbed a few bites and couldn’t get over how fluffy and chewy the bread was. This felt like a much lighter lunch than my weighty sandwich. The flavors melded together into a sweet and savory flatbread that I’d easily order again.
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A note about Blue Smoke's prices
The prices on the menu seem a tad high for a mall food court. But the food is high quality and the servings are plentiful, so the prices make sense in those regards.
Sandwiches average about $15. Specialty items, including Blue Smoke's unique armadillo eggs, range from $12 to $15. By-the-pound smoked meat ranges from $10 to $30 for brisket, turkey, steak sausage, baby back ribs and pulled pork. Sides range from $3 to $5. You can add extra meat to any sandwich or combo for $3 to $8. Kids' meals are $7.
Desserts, including cookies, pie and cheesecake, range from $3 to $8.
Backyard platters, offering large amounts of smoked meat and sides for parties, range from $15 to $200.
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Blue Smoke seating and hours
While there's only one table inside the Blue Smoke area, there is seating throughout the food court, and you can get your order to go.
Blue Smoke is inside Belden Village Mall at 4260 Belden Village St. NW in Jackson Township. The mall's hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Check Blue Smoke on Facebook for updates on early closings. For more information, visit bluesmoke.us .