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Sometimes I get really, really lucky (so far only twice, but hey, I think it’s a start) and Danny will suggest that we go to Smoke for breakfast.  As soon as the words are out of his mouth, my mind goes directly towards their mouth watering-out-of-this-world pancakes and I say a silent “Yay!”.  For those of you that have already decided to stop reading because you do not think pancakes are anything special, be advised, even if you don’t like typical pancakes, you WILL like these!  So read on and be tempted.

This particular morning, Kandace (sister, #2), was able to join us.  When I called to invite her she mentioned that she would try and squeeze in a quick workout before we got there.  Good thing (I thought to myself) because she’s about to have some amazing ricotta pancakes and she doesn’t even have a choice to say no!  No need to feel guilty about these extra calories.

We had such an amazing time with great food and great company and I’m so glad Kandace was free this particular morning.

Kandace and I at Smoke

We started with a super spicy Bloody Mary.  Now this drink definitely helps make your eyes open a little wider in the morning and it’s not due to the alcohol content.  This drink has some powerful flavors going on.  Danny even mentioned this alone could be a meal.  The $11 bottomless mimosas can also be a nice way to start your weekend.  As a side note,  can you tell that sometimes people get annoyed (Danny) at my photographing everything 🙂

Bloody Mary - made with hand ground dried chiles

We had a great table by the window to the porch, where we could see one of the smokers that they use for cooking.  For those of you wanting a quieter atmosphere, ask to be seated in the front room by the fireplace.  Very cozy.  The tables are decorated in a nice fresh color scheme, complete with pink pigs on plates.

I love going to Smoke because they care about the ingredients they use and I don’t even feel guilty eating the meats they serve because of it.  The chef has a flare for using  “homegrown, handmade local eats” in the dishes he serves.  There’s even a garden located on site…which is as homegrown and local as you can get.  They even can vegetables and make jams and preserves, as well as they bake their own bread and tortillas.  We chose 3 different entrees and you be the judge of who chose better…

1/2 lb. Pulled All Natural Whole Hog NC Style and Blue Cheese Cole Slaw - subtle blue cheese flavor

Smoked Brisket Cornbread Hash with Poached Egg, Green Chili Rajas and Pearl Onions - perfectly seasoned/cooked potatoes on the bottom

Pulled Whole Hog BBQ Eggs Benedict (on top of English muffin) with Goat Cheese Potato Cakes

The sauces on the dishes are amazing.  Sometimes hollandaise sauce can go a little wrong, but not here, here it’s perfect.  The goat cheese potato cakes were a little lacking, as the goat cheese was hard to detect, but perhaps that’s how more people like it? I will most definitely be ordering the Smoked Brisket Cornbread Hash again.  Layers of flavors all topped with a perfect egg (nope, not sour cream).  Pork, brisket, steak, salmon you cannot go wrong.  Girls, if you’re wanting to convince your guy to take you here, headline with the smoked meats.  The place is called Smoke for crying out loud and the typical man will be thrilled at the chance to go to a restaurant that features a smoker.  They do not have to know that each dish is perfectly positioned on the plate with fresh ingredients and served by a fireplace, that’s just a nice surprise once they get there 😉

You know how I like to figure out a way to order multiple entrees, well here they make it easy.  They let you order half plates for half the cost.  So that means you can order half of the Pulled Whole Hog BBQ Eggs Benedict (one pictured is the full order) or one of my favorites, the Smoked Salmon & Collard Green Eggs Florentine for about $7 and then top it off with a half order of the Heavy Handed Blueberry & House Made Ricotta Cheese Pancakes for an additional $5.  It’s nice to not have to choose between savory or sweet for breakfast!

And for the grand finale……..drum roll please………….

Heavy Handed Blueberry & House Made Ricotta Cheese Pancakes with Vanilla Poached Apricots and Cream

Because pancakes this scrumptious deserve multiple photo angles.  Holy crap these things are good!  They are served covered in a divine apricot sauce that adds something so special, you can’t even remember them being served any other way.  These are grown up pancakes that are all dressed up and ready to be served alongside a mimosa.  All pancakes should aspire to this greatness.

So there you have it.  You’ve been amply told of the delicious wonders that are waiting for you at Smoke.  If you don’t find yourself at this restaurant in the next few months, shoot the next few weeks, then you are missing out.  I did my best.

What to Order:

1.  Heavy Handed Blueberry & House Made Ricotta Cheese Pancakes with Vanilla Poached Apricots and Cream

2.  Smoked Brisket Cornbread Hash with Poached Egg, Green Chili Rajas and Pearl Onions

3.  The Full Monte Steak, Eggs, Biscuit, Potato Cakes & Peppercorn Gravy  (Go to dish for the guys and the girls who want them to order this so they can taste everything.  Or for Shelley, because petite little Shelley is awesome and can order the biggest plate in a restaurant without batting an eye and it’s one of the things I love about her.)

What I still need to try (and if you get to these before me, please let me know how it went):

1. Cheese Grits – Hominy Casserole

2. The Omlette with the Salad and the Things Inside – 4 ingredients in an omlette served with a salad on the side (looked quite interesting sitting at the table next to me)

3.  Lunch and Dinner, yes Smoke, I will be back