Restaurant Review: Smoke BBQ Taqueria

Smoke BBQ Taqueria in Homestead is a fairly new addition to the Pittsburgh food scene, but definitely not one to go unnoticed. I had read my fellow Pittsburgh food blogger friends raving posts about the small, unassuming restaurant in Homestead and decided I needed to get there ASAP.

Lucky for me, I heart PGH had been wanting to try out Smoke as well, so we decided instead of eating a bagged lunch at the office, we would head down to Homestead and get some tasty tacos. The exterior and interior of Smoke could use a bit of a makeover, particularly seating-wise. I am not sure how long you would have to wait for a table here on Friday night but I’m guessing if it’s crowded, it could take a while, unless you wanted to share or sit at the small bar.

We shared a table with two other women, who said they had been to Smoke before and kept coming back. Good news, I thought to myself. That plus the amazingly delicious-smelling aromas wafting from Smoke’s kitchen in the back had me convinced coming to Smoke was a good move.

You place your order at the counter, and we decided to both order two tacos and split a side. I ordered the brisket taco and the chicken taco and I heart PGH ordered the pork taco and the veggie taco, and we split a side of mac ‘n cheese…..with housemade bacon. HOUSEMADE BACON!! Oh. My. God. Once I read that, I knew I was in the right place.

Brisket Taco with sauteed onions, hot peppers, and BBQ mustard sauce.

The only real complaint I have about Smoke is the wait. Even if everything is prepared fresh, lunch for two shouldn’t take 45 minutes to get to your table. But once the tacos and mac ‘n cheese arrived at the table, my frustration about the wait subsided. The smell alone coming from my brisket taco made me a believer before I even tried a bite, and when I did, my belly was happy, oh so happy. The BBQ mustard sauce had a sweetness to it that wasn’t overpowering and the brisket was cooked nicely. That plus the homemade tortilla made for an absolutely out-of-sight taco.

Moving on to the mac ‘n cheese. I am not usually a person who gets all looney and lovesick over mac ‘n cheese, but this one had me dreaming of weekends away together and romantic nights by the fireplace. Roasted garlic and shallots, mascarpone cheese, and sharp white cheddar topped with crispy chunks of bacon…marry me? This was seriously one of the best mac ‘n cheese dishes I’ve ever had at a restaurant, so good that I want to stop writing this post and rush down to Homestead to get a bowl (or three) to take home for dinner tonight.

Chicken taco with avocado cream, pickled onions, and fresno hot sauce.

The chicken taco was also good, but I was overwhelmed by the spiciness of the fresno hot sauce. As someone who doesn’t handle heat very well, I should have taken note of the hot sauce included on the taco when I ordered, but I didn’t. And even though it was burning my mouth and I was rationing what was left of my Diet Coke to quell the heat, I still ate every bite. For someone who loves spicy things–this would be a great taco to order.

Pork taco

I heart PGH very much enjoyed her two tacos as well, the pork with apricot habanero sauce & carmelized onions, and the veggie with black beans, roasted poblano & corn relish, crispy potatoes & chili de arbol sauce.

We both agreed we will definitely be back to Smoke and I am itching to get back there as soon as possible…anyone want to join me?

SMOKE - barbeque taqueria on Urbanspoon


  1. Thanks for mentioning my posts – I love the new menu, too! Their chili is pretty amazing, and the chicken apple taco that I had as a special once is now on there permanently (it’s so much better than the regular chicken taco) – I’m so happy! Today is Monday, which stinks, because now I REALLY want some tacos, and they’re closed Mondays! UGH! Maybe tomorrow…I need to try this Frito Pie that they’ve added to the menu…

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