Smokey's N Uncle Dave's

American, Barbecue
$$$$ ($15-$24)

Editorial Review

By Nancy Lewis
Thursday, July 22, 2004

My ideal barbecue place has a wooden screen door, a big stack of wood out front, picnic tables and a sweet hickory scent you can smell before you see the joint. Smokey's N Uncle Dave's has most of those. Located not far from Route 100 and U.S. Route 1 in Elkridge, Smokey's N Uncle Dave's is open only for lunch (10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) on weekdays. The pork is slow-cooked in commercial ovens for several hours before being finished on a wood charcoal- and gas-fired pit. The pork is minced ($8.99 a pound) and mixed with a sweet sauce with the taste of molasses, creating a consistency that is reminiscent of a sloppy Joe. But, oh, is it good. Sliced pork is also available.

The ribs ($15 a rack) share the same sweet sauce, which seems more like a glaze, but on them it obscures the smoky taste. The ribs are meaty but a distant second to the minced pork.

The coleslaw is exemplary: crunchy shreds of carrot and cabbage with a moist, but balanced, mayonnaise dressing accented with celery seeds. In comparison, the potato salad is soupy and the potatoes have a strange texture, as if they had been allowed to cool too much before they were dressed.