You can always tell a good place by its clientele. A full parking lot is a good sign; an old place is a good sign; and obese people are usually a good sign. Smokey's Ribs on East Lancaster has all of these. Why? Because the food is fantastic.
Two friends took me here months ago and have harassed me long enough that I finally decided to post about the restaurant. You're welcome guys.
Smokey's has good bones - and I don't just mean ribs. The place is in an old Dairy Queen and has rows of long tables so you are likely sitting with/nearby strangers. This makes for a very familial and comfortable atmosphere. Every time I've been the tables have been filled with happy, BBQ sauce covered people, smacking on delicious ribs, tender brisket and the best sides on all of East Lancaster.
Some of you may have recently read that the area around Lancaster, just east of Downtown, is considered one of the nation's most dangerous. I'm not going to comment on that (since we all know I'll get cut for insulting the area), but worry not. Smokey's is beyond that area and is almost to Arlington. It is probably one of the safest areas in town because all the people are stuffed full of BBQ and sides.
Your order options are limited to plates with different quantities of meat. You can get ribs, brisket, sausage and probably chicken. I have tried the ribs and brisket. At the same time! Once you place your order, you can move to the sides bar. This area is loaded with delicious potato salad, coleslaw, spicy and flavorful BBQ sauce, bread and butter pickles, pickled peppers, pickled okra, beans, etc. By the time you've loaded up on sides and extra sauce, your food will probably be ready. There seem to be limits on sides but nobody really concerns themselves with limitations like rules.
I've had the ribs twice now. The first time they were tender with a great crust and delicious flavor. They were so good that the second time I went I recommended them to a friend. They weren't so great the second time and I looked a fool. They were drier than before but still had the great flavor and crust. The ribs are worth getting though they may be a bit inconsistent. Go talk to somebody who has already ordered some before committing.
The brisket has been fantastic both times. It has always been tender, well flavored and delicious. The brisket, along with some of their deliciously unique bread make a fantastic sandwich. Whatever you think you're going to order - make sure it includes brisket. If you don't get the brisket, you are just in everybody's way. And I mentioned this above, but I need to reiterate the importance of the bread. I'm not sure what it is, but its really good and you'll probably remember it longer than you'll remember this review.
If you're looking for a good BBQ joint on the east side of town, check out Smokey's. It's past the stand alone Foot Locker and farther than you can imagine, but its worth it.
Smokey's is located at 5300 East Lancaster. I have given it 4 hole rating for location, look, and family style seating.
Have fun and let me know what you think.