Openings and Closings

Smoke BBQ Opens in Fort Lauderdale With Expanded Menu and Casual Counter Service

Walk into the new Smoke BBQ restaurant located at 3351 NE 32nd St. in Fort Lauderdale, and about the only thing you'll recognize from the original Delray Beach location might be the Edison bulb sign above the order counter that reads "Pig Out."

The new restaurant is nothing like what you've come to expect from the establishment's previous debut in Palm Beach County. In the past few months, Smoke BBQ has undergone a complete transformation, developing its new Fort Lauderdale eatery as a distinctively more relaxed concept complete with a new and expanded menu that promises to serve up some of the area's best ribs, brisket, chicken, and pulled pork.

"Even though we had a successful first year with our Delray restaurant, it was always our intention to bring the authentic, counter-style barbecue experience to South Florida," says Smoke BBQ co-founder Scott Kennedy. "Counter-style gives our customers the ability to interact directly with our chef while he trims the meat for their plate. It's all about the experience."

Last December, Kennedy and Smoke BBQ co-founder Steve Chin opened the first iteration of their barbecue joint in downtown Delray Beach, what today stands as a slightly upscale, sit-down-service-style establishment best known for its Kansas City-style burnt ends, spare ribs, and a slow-cooked beef brisket prepared by pit master Bryan Tyrell.

With Smoke BBQ Fort Lauderdale, patrons can peruse various 'cue before ordering. A glass display case allows you to see before you buy, everything from 12-hour smoked brisket, piles of glistening pulled pork, and a homemade jalapeño-cheddar sausage, to what could be the area's best selection of ribs including racks of tender spare ribs, barbecue slicked baby back ribs, and beef ribs (served only on Saturdays).

Smoke BBQ's beloved Kansas City-style burnt ends — the fattiest part of the brisket drenched in barbecue sauce and smoked until they become tender cubes of beefy goodness — are on the menu, too, available only on Fridays. There's also some really good homemade cream pie.

Everything can be ordered as a one- or two-meat combo meal, both served on a sheet of brown butcher paper laid across a plastic tray with a choice of two sides. That includes a new-and-improved baked mac 'n' cheese, jalapeño-cilantro potato salad, and root beer baked beans, coleslaw and a complimentary sliver of yellowcake cornbread and a side of cinnamon butter. Sauce it up with a dousing of house barbecue or a vinegar-based Carolina mop, both some of the best we've tried, offered at each table from large glass bottles.

If a platter of meat isn't fancy enough for you, the menu also has a few signature sandwiches available for lunch and dinner. Foodies may gravitate towards the Austin, a meat-heavy monstrosity that combines the jalapeño-cheddar sausage, smoke brisket, raw onion, and pickle smothered in barbecue sauce, a combination fashioned after Southside Market in Elgin, Texas.

The Rebel Run is a Smoke BBQ creation, a two-inch stack of chopped rib meat smothered in the house barbecue sauce and topped off with a hearty layer of red pepper pimento cheese spread the consistency of cream cheese, layered between thick-sliced toasted ciabatta bread. 

The expanded menu options are compliments of Fort Lauderdale executive chef and "smoke daddy" Mike Porcari, who spent over two years learning the barbecue business under Blue Willy's BBQ owner Will Banks at his Pompano Beach establishment. At Smoke BBQ, Porcari says he is unleashing his creative side with his own recipes and cooking methods developed after years of research and on-the-job training.

"Our goals with Smoke BBQ Fort Lauderdale are simple," says Kennedy. "We want to offer the best smoked brisket and ribs in South Florida."

Smoke BBQ Fort Lauderdale is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 954-530-5334, or visit

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.