Saturday, May 4, 2013

Black Bear Smokehouse

A new BBQ joint in Lake County definitely grabbed my attention and when I looked on line and saw the menu I had very high hopes. Unfortunately when I got there was experience was less then impressive.
They had been open for a couple of months before I dined there, so I was hoping that most of their kinks had been worked out.

As you walk in to Black Bear Smokehouse it is big and the brick structure looks nice, but then when you really analyze it you find that the space is not used to its advantage, especially the counter where the food is served (and let’s not even discuss the bathrooms).

As we went up to the counter to order our meals the guy behind the counter couldn’t have been nicer. But looking down behind the window the side items did not look very appetizing.

My friend ordered The Big Sexy (Dry Rubbed, Slow Smoked USDA Beef Brisket married with Hand Pulled Slow Smoked Pork with Two Sides) He asked for Mac N Cheese and Garlic Rosemary Fries. First off they had to get another Brisket from the back which took about ten minutes, and they had to cook the Fries so instead they gave him double Mac N Cheese and brought the Fries out later. I tasted his Mac N Cheese and it was kind of gross – rubbery and lacking flavor.

I ordered the Vegetarian (Four Sides as a Meal).
I chose Spoon Bread, Collard Greens, Sweet Potato Casserole and Garlic Rosemary Fries.
(On a side note – when the Fries did come out they were both regular – No Garlic or Rosemary were harmed in the making of these Fries)
The Sweet Potato Casserole was so sweet, like a big serving of diabetes. The Spoon Bread was Dry like the Desert. But the Collards were pretty good.
I will say that they give you large portions for the price.

Then there was the BBQ Sauce Bar - excellent in theory but terrible in execution. They offer several homemade Sauces inspired by different regions of the South. There is a chart on the wall with descriptions and each bottle of Sauce has a corresponding number. Unfortunately there is only one bottle per number, so when you decide which one you want you have to hope that it is there. I decided that I wanted to try 3 of the Sauces, but one of the bottles was on the table of a group of people and there was barely any left, and the other two were completely missing in action.

I feel like the sauce is a big part of the draw of a BBQ restaurant for many people, and if they do not get this addressed then I foresee it being a big problem. Unfortunately for me I had such a bad experience here that I will not go back to give them a second chance.

Black Bear Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

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