SOUTHERN SMOKE BBQ & BREWHOUSE
BBQ GOODNESS IN THE HEART OF SANTA CLARITA
The Drew Barrymore dark comedy original Netflix series Santa Clarita Diet followed a real estate agent turned zombie who feasted on live, human flesh, but the real Santa Clarita diet is less barbaric, possibly messier and is loaded with guilt free goodness thanks to the first-rate barbeque courtesy of Southern Smoke BBQ & Brewhouse in Newhall.
Santa Clarita may be considered a trek by some L.A. foodies but what food lover won’t travel for good eats, especially damn fine barbeque? At Southern Smoke, the fare is billed as Southern style barbeque where slow smoked meats mix with secret Southern Smoke spices, traditional southern sides and a gourmet twist resulting in quality comfort food where food coma is guaranteed to follow. The 30 craft beers on tap will be sure to satisfy any palate.
While I have driven through Newhall, I had never actually spent any time in the sleepy Santa Clarita town. Of course, there is a Main Street and it is where the best eats can be found. And at Southern Smoke I found a casual and inviting environment perfectly apt for some serious BBQ indulgence.
I was told that the Fried Pickles at Southern Smoke are a must. And these crisp battered dill pickle spears with homemade remoulade are the perfect starter item. While I am not the biggest beer fan, this is the kind of grub that screams beer pairing. And with so many choices on tap, you are bound to find a beer to your liking. While the restaurant doesn’t have a full liquor license they have “mock” soju-based cocktails on hand and the Southern Bloody Mary with tomato juice, Tabasco sauce, Horseradish and Hans Soju Vodka is actually a good starter if you’re in the mood for some fun day drinking. It should be noted that weekend brunch is quite the scene at Southern Smoke and I’m guessing that the mimosas and bloodies flow freely.
I was here for lunch so with a fine Bloody Mary in hand, our adventure started with a meat sampling that included hot links, pulled pork and brisket. All of which were a spot-on BBQ homerun. And if you’re a fan of BBQ sauce like I am, there are plenty of tasty sauces to wet your whistle.
The burgers here are impressive and are really quite the show stopper, especially The Widow’s Revenge with three single grind brisket patties, mushrooms, onion jam, spring mix lettuce, six slices of Applewood smoked bacon, avocado, sharp cheddar, five-blend cheese sauce, topped with two fried eggs. Can you say holy moly? This is burger heaven! This is the follow-up burger to The Widow Maker. While these are pricy burgers (The Widow’s Revenge is $23) we’re talking a full satisfying meal on its own. Or you can share this bad boy burger so you don’t miss out on the BBQ. Needless to say, this beast of burger screams beer pairing.
Another house burgers that does not disappoint is the PB&J, yeah, I said it. There are also sliders on the menu in case you don’t want to fill up on burgers. And of course, there are sandwiches, including brisket, pulled pork, tri tip, and hot link.
If you’re looking for a hearty side item, you can’t go wrong with the Mac and Cheese loaded with five decadent cheeses, bacon and Andouille sausage finished with panko and parmigiana cheese.
But it’s really all about the barbeque at Southern Smoke so that meant we just had to get an order or ribs and chicken. The Jack Daniel’s Glazed Beef Ribs, Jack Daniel’s Glazed Baby Back Ribs, and Mary’s Organic Free Range Chicken were worthy of a last meal. The two and three meat combinations are probably the way to go so you can sample a little bit of everything. And if you save room for dessert, there are Southern favorites such as peach cobbler and bread pudding as well as Fried Twinkies (I’m guessing just because).
While a meal at Southern Smoke BBQ & Brewhouse can be a diet-busting good time, I guess it’s really up to you if you’ll need to add another notch on your belt. Moderation is up to you but you might be hard pressed to be on your best behavior with all the hearty, good grub on the menu.
Southern Smoke BBQ & Brewhouse is located at 24255 Main Street in Newhall. Hours: Tues-Thurs 11am to 10pm; Friday 11am to 11pm; Saturday 8am to 11pm; Sunday 8am to 10pm. Call 661-888-4585.
Story By: Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy Of: Southern Smoke BBQ & Brewhouse