WFC Restaurant Review – Smokey’s

The most important thing that I have learned today abut eating out in Brighton is that you have to book in advance. Admittedly it is the height of the summer, and things are very busy. Also the Australian cricket team is in town, so there are lots of hungry, and thirsty, Australian fans to cater for. Even so, if you want to eat at a really good restaurant in Brighton at the weekend then you need to book in advance. You can’t just go out of an evening and expect to get a table anywhere popular.

The chap I spoke to at The Little Fish Market said that they are fully booked in advance most weekends. This was a great shame, because the place looked lovely and the menu was interesting.

On the other hand, it meant I had to go in search of somewhere else to eat. Fortunately I had somewhere in mind: Smokey’s. I knew that they were down on the sea front, but I hadn’t quite twigged that they are almost next door to the Metropole. And they are, as the name suggests, an American barbecue restaurant.

There are some downsides. Indoors was fully booked. As it was a nice evening, I was able to sit at one of the outside tables, but the outside furniture is not very comfortable at my size, and would be even worse for the gravitationally challenged. Make sure you get a table inside.

Also the beer selection is poor. I ended up with a bottle of Blue Moon, which is actually quite nice, but is an “American craft beer” brewed by Coors in Canada. They could do so much better.

As for the food, the buffalo wings I had to start were spectacular. When they said spicy, they meant spicy, and the barbecue sauce was great too. The pulled pork main course was OK. It was a very big mound of meat, and it was very tender, but the sauce was nowhere near as tasty as for the wings. I guess it isn’t supposed to be spicy, but even so I’m sure there must be places in Kansas, or even Chicago, that do barbecue better.

What I will say is that this place does barbecue very competently, which is a very unusual thing over this side of the Atlantic. Better still, they do breakfast. If you find yourself fed up of the traditional British heap of oily stuff fried in more oil, and are hankering after some huevos rancheros, blueberry pancakes, or even just that weird stuff that claims to be bacon but has no meat on it, this is the place for you. And, being almost right next to the hotel, it is very convenient.

With all that pulled pork in my stomach, I decided to take a very long walk along the seafront. It was a lovely evening, if a trifle chilly. The mad British had decided that, with temperatures dipping below 20C, it was cold enough to go swimming. I declined to join them.

Brighton can be incredibly beautiful at this time of year: sweeping vistas of elegant Georgian sea front terraces. Sadly come the end of October it will probably become afflicted with gale force winds off the Channel and driving rain, but if we do get a few calm days I can see Kevin and I having breakfast at Smokey’s and then walking it off along the promenade.

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