The Smoke (Collingwood)

The Smoke Collingwood

Collingwood has a thriving restaurant scene, especially in the Blue Mountain area. During a girl’s weekend, we decided to venture away from the Mountain and try the restaurants within the town itself – the first being a BBQ joint, The Smoke, which was featured on You Gotta Eat Here.

As their name indicates, the restaurant is known for smoked foods; not only meats but also fish and bananas used in ice cream. So, it’d be a shame to visit without trying something prepared using their namesake method. The smoked BBQ wings ($12) were fantastic, so delicious that we put in a second order right afterwards. The BBQ sauce had a light tanginess to it but wasn’t too strong to mask the aromatic smokiness. The wings were grilled after being tossed in the sauce to help provide a deeper caramelized flavour.

The Smoke sampler ($29) was perfect for our first visit, allowing us to share and try the ½ rack of back ribs, 8oz of pulled pork and 6oz of beef brisket. 

At the restaurant, they cook their meats in the smoker then cry-o-vac and chill them. As dishes are ordered, the meat is revived in a sous vide water bath before being finished on the grill. This method certainly makes for a juicy and tender meat, but also dampens the strong BBQ flavour.

However, if anything is lacking in the flavour department, the bottles of sauces at the table will correct the problem. I love the fact that we didn’t have to choose when we ordered and could take our time trying all of them. Indeed, everyone had their favourites. For me I found the smokin’ hot BBQ sauce great with the ribs, the smoky sweet BBQ sauce with the brisket the slightly vinegary Carolina mustard sauce great with pulled pork.

For the sides, two orders of mac ‘n’ cheese ensured we wouldn’t have to fight over it. The penne was nice and al dante but the cheese sauce could be stronger. Maybe it’s due to the meats and sauces being so intense, the pasta’s smoked cheddar cheese sauce didn’t stand out at all.

With all the heavy meats, the leafy garden salad ($8) was a welcomed side and had a great mustard dressing. Meanwhile, their soup of the day ($9), a potato cheddar, was thick, velvety and flavourful.

The complimentary corn bread was pretty bad – horribly dry, crumbly and lacked flavour… even a pat of butter couldn’t revive it. If the recipe can’t be improved, The Smoke should consider offering another carb instead. Based on the Charleston episode of Parts Unknown, supposedly the best one to pair with BBQ is plain soft sliced bread.

But, I can overlook this small misstep … really who needs to fill up on bread when you have such amazing smoked wings?

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Collingwood, Canada
 Address: 498 First Street

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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TheSmoke Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato