Smoqe is a BBQ and Wood Fired Pizza restaurant just off the freeway, south of Santa Cruz in Aptos. When I stepped up to the counter of this clean modernly decorated restaurant to order I felt both bombarded and excited when I saw the pretty extensive menu. The cuisine consists of high-quality various BBQ meats served as sandwiches, tacos, ala carte, or on pizza with such additions as cheddar, avocado, and arugula or smoked bacon and an onion ring. I was impressed with the flavor combinations and pretty much wanted to try it all but realized that I would have to keep coming back to really get a good feel for the entire menu. They have a nice selection of beers on draft as well including Affligan. After you order you take your number, find an unoccupied table and sit down while you wait for your food. The three times I have been to Smoqe the service is always fast and the bus boy has always been really friendly and efficient each time but I have dined at either before or after dinner rush.
We lived in North Carolina for two summers and so we absolutely love Carolina-Style Pulled Pork (Vinegar-Based) from Pigman’s Bar-B-Que so to find out their is a great BBQ place in Santa Cruz that does pulled pork with slaw on the sandwich made us happy. The only thing missing off of the menu is hush puppies, but that’s OK because we don’t need to gain an extra 10 lbs. just from that additional carbs of goodness.
So far we have tried the pulled pork (as ala carte, the sandwich, & on sweet potato fries called “Pulled Pork Fries”), brisket, ribs, and the bison burger as well as some of their salads (avocado salad with sourdough croutons and a piece of smoked bacon) and sides (mac and cheese, sweet potato fries, garlic truffle fries, homemade BBQ chips). The wood fired pizzas looking really good if you enjoy a crispy, thin crust. It actually looks really crispy and there is a real art to accomplishing pizza like this. Next time we will try the pizza or the amazing looking desserts or…. whatever else can serve us up a good 4,000 calorie dinner. The prices range from $8-20 for sandwiches, entrees, pizzas etc… So it is a bit higher priced but you feel like it isn’t because you take a number and sit at your table after ordering at the counter. Hmmm…. You got me there!