Go-to barbecue at Smoke Shack

Smoke Shack barbecue
Mac and cheese, brisket, pork ribs, sausage and potato salad.

When my wife and son asked where I wanted to go for my birthday, it was an easy choice: barbecue at Smoke Shack.

Why Smoke Shack?

I still think it’s one of the most solid, consistent and all-around excellent barbecue in the city. I absolutely raved about it in 2014, and touted the brisket grilled cheese in 2016.

But the landscape has changed, and it’s no longer one of very few top-notch barbecue spots in the city. It is still very good, and definitely worth a visit. Now, there’s just more destination barbecue in San Antonio.

The brisket is tender, juicy and blissfully smoky. Ribs still have a nice smoke flavor and maintain a little texture on the bone. The sweet, honey glaze can put off some, but it’s a memorable rib anyway.

And the brisket grilled cheese has graduated from occasional special to featured menu item. It’s every bit a glorious as the name sounds. Crisp white bread, melty American cheese, smoky and a little saucy chunks of brisket, all together in a wonderfully excessive sandwich.

Mac and cheese with corkscrew pasta and chunks of brisket is almost a meal itself, while the feta-spiked vinegary cole slaw helps balance a lot of the rich meats and the potato salad feels like a mashup of potato salad with a baked potato.

In today’s barbecue landscape, Smoke Shack is like a trusted friend that I will return to for celebrations or just times when I need some good smoked meat.