April 17, 2015 – Miami Smokers-Miami, FL

Ah yes, the much maligned cardboard food package. For too long it has lived in ignominy of what filled its hollow inner core. Those less than enticing creations of the white-faced clown and the little red-headed girl took refuge inside and even after being freed by their executioner left a greasy reminder of their sordid past. For time immemorial this humble vessel has been unfairly targeted simply because it was the unwilling recipient of less savory edibles or should I say barely edibles. Is that fair, just or right? It is not I proclaim! Culinary justice must be served.

Upon walking through the door of Miami Smokers, your senses immediately come to attention.The wonderful aroma of smoked meat fills the air without being at all overwhelming-just for the record, I don’t think there is ever too much when it comes to smoked or cured meats. Whether you like your pork smoked, cured, roasted or as sausage, this small establishment which had its grand opening in February should be a stop. Cleary they are focused on take-out as there is just one communal table by the front window. I placed my order for the Beer Brat which was described as an “All pork brat. Wynwood La Rubia. Beer onions. Pink kraut. House beer mustard” After a little mix up, someone else at the table ended up eating my sandwich, the time had come for me to take a bite. It was well worth the wait. The perfectly cooked link was moist and loaded with the ever-wonderful sausage “juice”. That indescribable combination of salty and seasoned meat juices, fat and in this case beer-it’s truly amazing how few places can cook a sausage without making it explode and loose of all the liquid goodness inside. The accompaniments to the sausage were right on target, the sharp coarse grain mustard had just enough pop and the pink slaw had a balanced level of acidity.

After finishing, I had the opportunity to speak with the proprietors, Andres Barrientos and James Bowers. Clearly passionate about what they do and worthy of support. Based on the experience I couldn’t leave without a package of Bacon Jerky. Yes, that too was equally as good. Being able to reach for a slice of ready to eat chewy bacon meat with melty fat is a like Manna from Heaven -I’m not so sure many cardiologists would agree but oh well, their loss…..Do I have any criticisms of Miami Smokers? Yes, just one. They were completely out of men’s t-shirts-not surprising though. Doesn’t everyone want to walk around wearing a picture of a cigar smoking pig?

While opening my car door, I realized that all was right with the world. A simple construction of wood pulp would no longer be relegated to housing sub-standard tenants. Unlike Rodney Dangerfield it finally would get some respect. As to you, hamburger with a crown, I have sage advice…ABDICATE or be smoked out.