Smokehouse Steak & Seafood

Review by: Michael Stern

I missed the boat at Smokehouse. Arriving when it opens, at 6am, I had a very nice breakfast. But during that breakfast my waitress sang hosannas to the dozens of fresh vegetables that get laid out along the long lunchtime cafeteria line, the succulence of the Greek Chicken, the tenderness of chicken and dumplings, the juicy steaks, the wide array of fresh seafood, the banana pudding and the cobblers.

No doubt, lunch is the meal to eat. This looks like a place for serious farm-to-table feasting, located as it is right next to the bustling Alabama Farmers Market. “If there is a fresh vegetable in Birmingham,” the owner once told a reporter, “We get it first.”

The winning item at breakfast was a breaded and fried pork chop. It is thick enough to pass muster even in Iowa — juicy and sweet the way pork ought to be. The Breading around it is crunchy, seasoned only enough to tease maximum flavor from the meat within. When I asked the waitress about potatoes, she said the hash browns come frozen in a bag, but the home fries are cut here and cooked to order. They are strange potatoes — curiously greaseless wedges that have been cooked tender and do offer potato flavor if none of the raunchy, spicy excitement of spuds that have been pushed around on a well-seasoned griddle. “Do you make the biscuits here?” I asked. “They come frozen,” she replied, “But they’re pretty good most of the time.” Yes, they are pretty good. Serviceable, if not memorable.

Open since the 1950s, the Smoke House is just down the street from longtime Roadfood favorite Niki’s West — which just so happens to be run by nephews of the owners of the Smokehouse. I am looking forward to a return trip for lunch.

What To Eat

Pork Chop



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