Think you’ve experienced the meat sweats? You ain’t see nothing unless you’ve checked out Dubai’s newest smokehouse.
There’s no shortage of Deep South-inspired meateries in this city, but The Blacksmith is among the most authentic in town – culinarily, at least.
Its interiors, unfortunately, aren’t exactly the riot of rustic you might be hoping for (it all feels a bit characterless) – but thankfully they speak nothing of the food.
It’s a promisingly short menu, and absolutely nothing is at odds with the theme – no stray lasagnes or sneaky plates of potato skins here. This is a place for barbecue purists.
We kick off by ordering smoked chilli-rubbed wings and armadillo eggs – to the uninitiated, essentially jalapeño popper-stuffed meatballs – followed by a barbecued sirloin and Texas brisket sandwich. Despite being ravenously hungry, we wimp out and order the smaller, “boy-sized” version of the latter – a decision that turns out to be a smart move, especially given our propensity for saucer-like eyes vs belly.
First to arrive is a plate of mighty, meaty orbs. They might be described as “bite-sized” on the menu, but you’ll need the jaw of a boa constrictor to consume one whole. Unable to unlock our jaw, we set about them with our cutlery instead. They’re tasty, sure, but the shoutiness of the fennel seed feels almost frantic. Before we’re overpowered, we slither over to the superbly seasoned, spicy and only slightly sticky chicken wings, savaging the entire portion in minutes.
Mains arrive, and our restraint is rewarded. Layered with thick slices of 14-hour-smoked meat, green beans, onions and sauce, if this is how large the juvenile brisket sandwich is, we’re just fine never growing up.
It puts the rib-eye in the shade, for while it’s a rich, tender steak, the thick fat isn’t quite cooked down enough.
With some serious seasoning skills up its sleeve, superb service (it really is) and chicken wings we’ve been thinking about since the minute we left, The Blacksmith has some serious potential.
A little more effort into the setting and this will be the barbecue spot to beat.
The bill (for two) 1x smoked chicken wings Dhs36 1x armadillo eggs Dhs36 1x rib-eye Dhs179 1x Texas brisket sandwich Dhs99 2x soft drinks Dhs32 Total (incl service) Dhs382
The bottom line Mad about meat? You will be.