Kick Off Summer with BBQ from Smoke City Market

Memorial Day weekend just kicked off summer barbecue season. If you’re not firing up the grill at home, but want to order in, cater a party or just dine at […]

Memorial Day weekend just kicked off summer barbecue season. If you’re not firing up the grill at home, but want to order in, cater a party or just dine at a real casual place with a picnic feel—featuring down-home Texas ambiance and a cool vibe—then Smoke City Market is just that place.

Located adjacent to “auto row” on Van Nuys Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, Smoke City Market is a fast, casual, order-at-the-counter eatery where you’ll sit at varnished, dark-wood picnic tables with utensil-filled buckets. Surrounding walls are adorned with rusty wheels, beer and soda signs, a cow skull and other thematic décor, while the centerpiece of the room is a vintage Coke cooler.

Approximately 150 pounds of meat is slow-cooked daily on the premises in a smoker over natural oak, without the use of gas or propane. When Friday comes around, that’s upped to 300 to 350 pounds a day for the weekend. What’s unique about Texas barbecue is its simplicity. No sauces are added in the cooking process—just simply rubbed with salt and pepper. There is sauce available, however, if desired.

The main menu consists of meals, sandwiches and salads with choice of beef and pork ribs, chicken, brisket, chopped beef, sausage and pastrami. Beef and turkey breast are sold by weight, so you can order as much or as little as desired. There are 13 sandwich varieties available with any of the meats, plus specials (drink and a side) at lunch. If your eyes are as big as your stomach (or not), go for the granddaddy “BBQ Beast” sandwich stuffed with brisket, pulled pork, sausage and coleslaw.

Brisket is a standout—cut in thick slices but melt-in-your-mouth tender. A big surprise is the chicken, which is incredibly moist and flavorful, having been brined for 14 hours.

Meals come with hot or cold sides that include: Longhorn mac ‘n’ cheese; red chili; red cabbage; Texas caviar (blackeyed peas and peppers); green bean salad; tomato and cucumber salad; cabbage and apple slaw. And keeping with Texas tradition, all meals are served on trays lined with butcher paper with a slice of white bread.

Desserts include pecan pie, cookies, chocolate cake, banana pudding and seasonal cobbler.

There are eight beers on tap (Firestone, Allagash, Shiner, Mission Hills, Strand, Excalibur Cider, Abita, Weihenstephaner) and three in bottles (Corona, Einstök, Adelbert’s). Wine is available by the glass, half-bottles and bottles.

Hungry yet?

Freshly carved and priced by the pound.

The BBQ Beast stuffed with brisket, pastrami, sausage and cole slaw.

Eat-in or take-out.

Smoke City Market 5242 Van Nuys Blvd. (north of Magnolia), Sherman Oaks, 818-855-1280. Catering and delivery is available. Open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Parking on the street.



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