SmoQue Shack – Jamaican jerk chicken


The meal: ***

I am not fond of spicy food and this was just on the verge. This was a side that I ordered with the ‘pulled pork poutine’. The chicken was tender and full of flavour throughout and not just on the surface.

The price: $$

– Strawberry Sherbet


SmoQue Shack – Pulled pork sandwich


About the meal:
The sandwich comes with a side – my choice here was coleslaw. The sandwich itself was good, but really thanks to the meat inside, the buns were just OK. The pulled pork was cooked so that it was very soft, and with enough sauce to give it flavor and make it moist and juicy. I still prefer the pulled pork in the poutine though!
As for the coleslaw, I found it rather plain and falvorless.. Some may disagree with me because of calorie reasons, but I like my coleslaw creamy, and this one was light. Overall, it is a decent meal, nothing extravagant.

About the place:
Nice cozy atmosphere. When it gets busy, it might get a little tight though as the tables are close to each other. The staff is usually very friendly, but when it’s late or busy, I felt like I got less attention from my server.
Little bonus – I also noticed that the portion sizes may very depending on the time of day at which you visit SmoQue Shack.


SmoQue Shack – Pulled pork poutine

pppoutine pppoutine2

The meal: ***1/2

This has to be by far, my favourite poutine in town. Forget Smoke’s Poutinerie because this here is some quality poutine. I’ve heard from friends that Quebec is where the best poutine resides but until then, the ‘pulled pork poutine’ is the undisputed champ.

The fries are home cut, well spiced and not too soft, the pulled pork is delicious (on par with pulled pork found on the best Ottawa rib festival stands) and the amount of gravy and curds is just right. We don’t regularly eat poutine but when we do, it’s Smoque Shack’s ‘pulled pork poutine.’

The price: $$

– Strawberry Sherbet

SmoQue Shack – Mac & cheese


The meal: **

This snack was the reason I was introduced to Smoque Shack. According to my friend, the mac and cheese was to die for. I’m not a big fan of mac and cheese so I didn’t quite feel the same way after trying it. I found the only thing that made it different was the fact that it was baked. The plate above is considered a side. The portion is small and cheap which entices you to order more sides and believe me there’re plenty of options to choose from. What I really love about this place is that you can never go wrong. There’s not a single time I’ve ordered something and regretted it.

The place: ***

The restaurant is well located (close to the Byward market) but doesn’t stand out. If one was to walk by without knowing the address, they probably wouldn’t spot it. The atmosphere is homey. This has a lot to do with the country theme. There aren’t many seats in the restaurant but I’m yet to see the place fully occupied.

The price: $$

– Strawberry Sherbet

Mystico – Arnisia paidakia sharas


The meal: ***1/2

The arnisia paidaka sharas is a dish composed of charcoal-grilled lamb chops with your choice of side (I chose potatoes) and fresh salad of the day (Greek salad). I very much enjoyed the meal. The lemon flavoured potatoes went well with the tender and well seasoned chops. As RaspberryCream mentioned on her ‘rack of lamb’ post, the lemon flavour can get you off guard if you’re not fond/familiar with Greek cuisine.

The place: **1/2 (check out RaspberryCream’s ‘rack of lamb’ post)

The price: $$

– Strawberry Sherbet

Mystico – Rack of lamb

Rackoflamb     Greeksaladside

About the meal: The rack of lamb comes with a side – my choice was the Greek salad. As you can see, it’s a decent portion of sides, considering not only the bowl of salad but also the rice and potatoes that come with the meal (they are hidden under the lamb in the picture above). The rice was well spiced and well-cooked, not hard like you may find in a lot of restaurants. So were the potatoes. However, a heads up for people who don’t like sour foods because this meal (and a lot of others on the menu) is cooked with lemon, which in my opinion adds tanginess to the meal, but people unfamiliar with this kind of taste may find it unappealing.

Like any meats, you had the choice of the degree of redness for your meat. I had mine medium-rare and it came out very nicely, juicy and once more, full of flavor. The meat was also very tender.

About the place: This is a higher end restaurant, so the prices are higher than average; for the quality of the service we got, I personally found it so-so. I felt like the waitress was getting annoyed at the questions asked about the meals. Another thing I didn’t particularly appreciate was the darkness of the place. The lights were very dim but it wasn’t a classy atmosphere kind of lighting, it was more of a “dark” atmosphere in the sense that you could feel that the place was not well lit. That made it a little difficult to read the menu as well. Overall the decor is nice though, and there is a bar for those interested in sitting there for a drink after their meal.

I really did enjoy the bread and butter served prior to the meal, and the fact that the waitress was nice enough to bring us a refill of the amazing buns!


Ottawa ribfest 2013 (Gator BBQ) – Chicken and rib combo


The combo selected was comprised of some ribs (the option of beef or pork) as well as a half chicken.

Personally, I found the chicken a little dry, and the flavor was solely on the external part of the meat, where the special sauce was applied prior to grilling. As you ate the meat closer to the interior, the taste was really not there.

The pork ribs were good, well seasoned and not too fatty; and well cooked – an important factor for pig meat! As for the beef ribs, saving the best for last, they were AMAZING! Tender and very flavorful, with a good amount of sauce to make it juicy. I just couldn’t get enough of these!

If there is one thing I would advise you to get from the Ottawa ribfest, it would be the beef ribs from Gator BBQ!