Munching on some awesome lunch specials from Smoque. From 12PM each day Smoque does a $15 burger and side combo. For $15 you can pick any of their burgers including their weekly specials, and pair it with a decent sized side. Not a bad feed for lunch, it doesn’t look massive in pictures but its really quite filling.
Sadly, we didn’t have time to have their American BBQ but I have had it before and it’s pretty fantastic. I know some people grumble a little about the price and how its not as tasty as the ones in America. I do agree, it’s not the cheapest meal ever, definitely not as affordable as the states but it’s one of a kind. You can’t really find this stuff in Sydney and there are like one or two in Melbourne but they aren’t any cheaper than Smoque. As for taste, well, I like it! Again, nothing like what you get in Texas but really what is? So taking that into account, I reckon Smoque does a pretty rad job.
Anyways, on to our burgers.
First up, the Veggie burger with mac and cheese ($15), smoked mushroom, pumpkin, onion, zucchini, rocket and buffalo haloumi. I was a big fan of this burger, I normally stay away from veggie burgers, they tend to be made out of chickpea patties which are really oily and kind of a waste of calories since they don’t taste that great. This burger had haloumi for a patty, which I really preferred to the standard chickpea. The pumpkin and onion brought a lot of sweetness to the burger and complimented the saltier flavours of the mushroom and haloumi. There was also a nice bit of rocket for freshness. Really weird how a couple of quite strong and contrasting flavours can work so well together, bit like a Reuben!
As for the mac and cheese, it was fantastic! A little salty but great with the burger. The mac and cheese was super creamy and cheesy. The cheese just permeated through the whole dish, covering each piece of pasta really heavily, which I guess is why it came out a bit salty. The macaroni pasta was a bit like a cross between normal pasta and gnocchi, quite a bit denser than normal pasta but it was really required to combat the strong flavours of the cheese.
Next up, the Southern fried chicken burger with coleslaw ($15), Southern style fried chicken, honey mustard mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion on a brioche bun. Delicious bite size bits of crunchy friend chicken, just like you get in the South, super tasty. I was surprised that it was smaller bite sized bits of chicken rather than a large patty, it made things a bit harder to handle, but it also increased the net amount of delicious chicken skin that was available. A solid trade off! The meat was really nicely spiced and flavoursome, this was balanced off with the crispy fresh flavours of the lettuce and tomato.
I didn’t get a chance to try the coleslaw but it was a really generous serving and it looked really creamy, with sultanas throughout it as well!
Finally, a Pork loin sandwich with fries ($15), Chicago style smoked pork loin, Italian style pickled vegetables, herb sauce and melted provolone cheese. Another really delicious burger, a lot of cold cut sliced pork on a butter brioche bun. The saltiness of the pork was balanced beautifully with the sourness from the pickled veggies and the whole thing was just covered in the wonderful herb sauce which was really different to any sauce I’ve ever really tried before! The provolone cheese gave everything some much needed moistness because with the amount of sliced pork on there, things could’ve got really dry really quickly. Overall this was really delicious, and followed a lot of flavour choices that you find in a Reuben sandwich, which I love.
The chips were great, they were crunchy and crisp on the outside and lovely and soft on the inside. The chips were also seasoned in house spices, not sure what its made of but it tasted really good. Nothing overly flavourful or spicy I guess the mildness of the flavouring made it quite addictive and not sickening.
Here is a close up of the pork loin sandwich. The sandwich was pretty blurry in the first picture but the house cut fries were just so delicious they deserved a mention. Look at that generous serving of cold cut meats and yummy cheese on a perfectly toasted brioche.
I really enjoyed these burgers from Smoque, I reckon I’ll visit them more often for lunch, especially with all these lunch specials and weekly menu items. I think they post this weekly on their Facebook page. I’ve seen some pretty cool things recently, like a prawn po boy and other awesome American goodies. Oh, on a side note for those who are interested, they also play ESPN. I only realised because once we were there and a couple of our friends were really distracted, I eventually figured out that they were watching the Pacers and Heat play in the conference finals.