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Take a trip for Doug’s Smokehouse

Take a trip for Doug’s Smokehouse

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BBQ worth the drive, says Dining Duo

The Place: Doug’s Smokehouse Location: 1712 South Caraway Rd., Jonesboro Rating: 4 1/ 2 POWs

Cat says I don’t ever let her pick a BBQ place to review. While it is true that she has asked to go to Central BBQ a few times – and I’ve always gone – I highly doubt that I would say no to BBQ. Now, there was that time that we WERE going to go to Central, but the line was out the door, we were hungry, and I took her to the BBQ Shop instead. If you have been following our reviews you know how THAT one went. It was a disaster and Cat hasn’t forgiven me.

This time I was in the mood for BBQ. I noticed a sign on Caraway Road in Jonesboro where Tandoori used to be that said “Doug’s Smokehouse Coming Soon.” I kept my eye on it for a couple of weeks and noticed on line that it was open. Since we were going to be in Jonesboro, I suggested to Cat that we give it a try.

Surprisingly, there aren’t a whole lot of stand alone BBQ places in Jonesboro. The one that comes to mind is Demo’s. There are a few other places that have BBQ on the menu, but I wouldn’t call them BBQ joints. So the chance to try a new BBQ restaurant sounded pretty good.

When you drive in to Doug’s, looks can be deceiving. There’s just a plain sign outside, although the owner said he has a pig sign coming. And inside, it’s just classic tables and chairs, nothing fancy. You order at the counter and they bring it to your table. I had originally thought about ordering a sandwich. They have pulled pork and pulled chicken sandwiches ($4.59) and beef brisket ($5.59) but I noticed that the sandwiches did not come with any sides. There was no sandwich combo. I don’t know about you, but I at least like baked beans or fries and a drink to go along with my sandwich. So that was a definite negative for me. Doug’s really needs a sandwich combo on the menu.

Cat and I noticed that they had a dinner combo though that came with two or three meats and choice of two sides. We decided to get the two meat combo ($13.95) and split it. As our sides we ordered baked beans and mac n’ cheese because Cat loves mac n’ cheese. Me, not so much. I honestly don’t get the South’s affinity for man n’ cheese. But, Cat likes I, so I’m okay.

The food arrived pretty quickly. It was not busy inside, but we came at the early part of the lunch hour around 11. The meat came served in what I would describe as a pie tin plate or one that you take when you’re camping. The brisket was sliced thicker than I am used to seeing at a BBQ place, but it was a generous portion of four slices. Cat is the brisket expert because she lived in Texas. “It was really tender and moist,” my feline criminal cohort cooed. “Honestly, I didn’t need any sauce.” I agree. I was well satisfied with the brisket. I will get to the sauces in just a second. The pulled pork also came in a generous heap. Cat enjoyed it as well. “I like my pulled pork more finely chopped. And this was. I also liked the burnt ends too.”

Doug’s had a nice selection of homemade sauces to choose from. You can try tangy mustard, Bama white, hot n’ spicy, sweet and tangy, and “Yankee.” I sampled a little on my finger before settling on the “Yankee” for my meat. Doug explained to us that he came up with the “Yankee” sauce because he had a BBQ place in Illinois and the “Yankees” up there kept asking him when he was going to come up with a sweet BBQ that wasn’t vinegar based. So this was his answer. I liked it. I’m not big on vinegar based BBQ sauces. Then again, I’m a Yankee. So this sauce was perfect. In fact, it is probably my favorite BBQ sauce ever. Cat loved the tangy mustard, Bama white (a horse radish based sauce) and the hot n’ spicy – in that order. “Some people don’t like a lot of selections for sauces,” Cat said. “But I liked the variety. I liked every one of them.”

Now for the sides. Cat loved the mac n’ cheese. It was cheesy and creamy, but also had a flavoring that gave it a bit of a zip that she couldn’t quite put her finger on. Doug later told us that it is a family recipe that uses a garlic cheese sauce. I found the beans to also be to my liking. I like the brown sugar type with a bit of a spicy zip, and Doug’s were to my liking. It also came with Texas toast, which Cat snitched mine.

Cat and I were both pleased with Doug’s. I thought it was a good value for two people – AND we had meat left over to take home. Cat dinged Doug’s a star though because the woman working at the counter wasn’t that pleasant. But the sauces, the meat, and the fact that Doug came over to our table and talked to us added back half a star.

Doug’s also has Baby-Back Ribs on the menu ranging in price from $8.95 for three (plus two sides), six ($12.95) and a full rack for $17.95 plus the two sides. They also have nachos (Pork or chicken ($8.95) and loaded fries with pork or chicken ($8.95). Doug’s also offers bulk to go ($9.99) for pulled pork and pulled chicken, brisket ($12.99), brisket burnt ends ($14.99) and a side of ribs ($16.95), as well as family packs for $17.95 that comes with a pound of pork or chicken, two pints of sides, package of buns, and choice of sauce. And, if that’s not enough, for those wanting dessert there is Death by Chocolate and Cobbler of the Day for $3.99.

Our bill came to $17.51 with a drink and a water. I thought it was a pretty good value for the amount of food we got. As I said, we had meat left over to take home. Cat says that Central BBQ in Memphis will always be her favorite. But I definitely redeemed myself with Doug’s for our awful outing at the BBQ Shop. In fact, Cat thinks Doug’s is better than…are you ready for this…Rendezvous. So if you are in the mood for BBQ and happen to be in Jonesboro, you ought to give Doug’s a try. Between the sauce selection and the meat, there should be something to please everyone.

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