Monday, April 20, 2015

Savannah's Smokehouse

122 S. Main
Desoto, Mo.
On Facebook
On the web

We'd been eagerly awaiting the opening of this place. I'd been 'following' it on social media for several months. They often posted pics of the meat prep and testing, it looked awesome.
They've been open a couple of weeks, so they get the 'newbe' treatment. I can overlook a few things when a place first opens, I'll make note of it, for comparison purposes, for the next visit.
The Place:
Main Street Desoto, pretty much across the tracks from the big Arlington House B&B. (You can even see the Inn's's reflection under the 'N' in the picture of the storefront window.) I love Main Street, they do a very good job of keeping this historic and quaint, track sided street in good shape.
Savannah's occupies one of the old storefronts. There are several nice eateries along this street, as well as free standing, single screen movie theater.
The place looked nice on the inside, freshly painted walls, nice, oaky floors.
The tables were topped with red and white checkered tablecloths. Each table was stocked with rolls of paper towels and several squeeze bottles of barbecue sauce.
There was no one working the front, so we took the hint and went to the counter in the back.
Sure enough, it's a 'take your order' deal.
There were several guys working behind the counter, stripping and boxing and plating meat and sides. I'd been looking at the menu online since they first posted  it, I did not struggle with what to order.
The Food:
Pulled pork, mac and cheese and baked beans for me.
Angel asked for a half chicken with coleslaw and macaroni. Adam, bold and daring as he is, took the brisket and the same sides as me.
A pretty good sampling, we've done this before.
We were handed Styrofoam cups, like the kind you get at a church dinner. Not my favorite drink media. We paid up and set out for the drink dispensary. A simple multi spigot + ice repository for sodas and a big thermos container with buttons to select from three kinds of tea, sweet, unsweet and for some odd reason, raspberry. I chose the un-sweet. Angel got tea as well, though I didn't notice which kind, certainly not raspberry, I'd divorce her for an atrocity like that.
There were free tables all around, standard sized in the middle of the floor and high, bistro style tables along the wall. We chose bistro. Yeah, we can be hipsters too at times.
Behind me was a wall mounted speaker throwing out some righteous REO Speedwagon. That was pretty much the last of the tolerable music though, it turned out to be a radio station that soon switched to some harder hitting dance beats. Dance beats are fine if you are dancing, but a bit too pounding for quiet dining.
It wasn't long before our order was called, Adam and I grabbed the trays.
Well it looked pretty good. The meat, especially. Angel's half bird was the most impressive in appearance, dark, very dark dry rub completely covered the expired chickens flesh.
My pork and Adam's brisket looked exactly like it should. The taste would tell.
First things first though, try the sauces. There were several available, Classic, Carolina, 'Sassy' and Chocolate Chili. . . wait, what?
I'm not one of those so-called TV food experts. I don't think everything is better with chocolate, or chili peppers. . . the thought of those things together then doused over smoky meat, well my mental impression told me that it would taste a lot like 'Nope'.
BBQ Sauce Analysis:
Classic: Yup, just as expected.
Carolina: heavier on the vinegar, but not bad.
Sassy: It tasted like they peppered it up as well, not bad, just not really my thing.
Choco-Chili: Nope, didn't try it.
I ended up sloshing some classic over my pile of meat.
Adam came back with tableware.
The Styrofoam cup should have served as an omen. Bargain basement disposable items. The forks were small and flimsy, not even as stout as you'd find at a church social. More like you'd pick up at the $ store and pass out at a kids fourth birthday party. If we were having sheet cake it would probably be fine, but we would be ripping through flesh and muscle.
As for the meat. We all shared a little with each other, without anyone prompting to do so, like I said, we've been doing this for a while.
Before I rattle off a few more minor 'observations' let me say this, boldly and loudly. This is the
headline: The meat, every bit of it was very near to, or absolutely perfect. Nailed it!
The chicken was tender, moist and smoky. The pork was hearty and moist. The brisket was some of the finest I've had in a while. I could easily see what had been the main focus of this new place.
So keep that in mind as I must now deal with some more minor issues.
The mac and cheese was disappointing. The taste was good, but the cheese sauce had hardened. Half a dozen rigidly connected elbows came up in every flimsy fork full. I even had to cut some fork fulls to fit into my dainty, but handsome mouth. Not a petty task with a fork that could barely stand up under its own piddling weight. This can be fixed, they've got the taste right. Angel picked up on the problem with the macaroni as well, without my even mentioning it.
The beans were as good as any good canned baked bean. That's neither good or bad unto itself, I like a good canned baked bean. In my mind though, this is a smokehouse. Expectations for the baked beans are going to be a little higher.
The slaw was exceptionally good though, Nailed that as well. Angel pronounced it, I concurred. Creamy, fresh, not thin and sour.
See, that wasn't so bad. . . Oh, then there's the toast. Though to call it toast is a stretch. You know the dial on a toaster? The one with the color strip that goes from beige to yellow to dark orange? Well, they might want to turn it up, quite a bit. There was hardly any crunch on the thick bread. But that can be easily fixed too.
So we ate away, very happy with the meats, less so with the lackluster sides.
The meat portion was excellent. We took a little chicken and pork home, but not much. Breakfast for me would be pork and eggs. . . Mmm. I might even bite open a can of baked beans, jack them up a little with bell pepper and onion, maybe a few crumbles of bacon or breakfast sausage. . . Getting the idea?
Maybe the customers will be okay with pale toast, generic beans, clumpy macaroni, Styrofoam cups
and wafer-thin forks. Maybe, but I really think they'd like a little better.
But the meat. Oh, that meat was exceptional! Unfortunately the sides sort of knocked some wind out of it, as a whole meal.
The bill came in just under forty five dollars. Not bad for first class smoky meat. A tad high for forks and cups that aren't even as good quality as Taco Bell hands out. It's a new place, so I'm going to assume that so much time, effort and $$$ went in to opening up the place that some things were sacrificed. I really hope so. With really minor changes like that, this place could soar.
Go for the meat. Seriously, it's very good.

1 comment:

  1. Save your money, the place has gotten worse.