Posts Tagged ‘Claudio Ergui’

Posted by Chef John Berry of MenuMagic
May 2010 Edmontonians

Heeee’s back! Smokey Joe Goldfedder, the master of southern BBQ has returned to his roots. After several years of retirement Joe decided to help new owner Jenny Morris resurrect his namesake diner on the corner of Stony Plain Road and 152nd Street to its original glory. Several previous owners tinkered with the recipes and it just didn’t work, according to Joe.
There is nothing quite as unique as the flavour of Oklahoma Pit BBQ. Since the 1980s, Joe and his family served up the best BBQ for lunch or dinner I have ever tasted. Bear in mind, the style and cooking that we call BBQ/barbecue/barbeque is not the American way. Our version involves grilling our meats, poultry and fish over charcoal briquettes or natural gas/propane burners and closing the lid on the cooker. Oklahoma Pit BBQ involves low temperatures and plenty of hickory smoke for a long period of time. You can use whatever type of wood you’d like for smoking but, to my palate, hickory is the best.

John and Joe

Joe brines some of his meats before smoking and, let me tell you, the meat just falls off the bone. Smokey Joe’s, which has had several previous locations—the most notable at Meadowlark Mall—uses a huge commercial smoker, especially designed by Joe. Hundreds of pounds of beef, pork, chicken, turkey and ham can be smoked at one time. For blocks around, the sweet aroma of hickory smoked meats wafts through the neighbourhood.
The house speciality has to be Joe’s very popular beef ribs. Best have a good appetite, ‘cause these are not wimpy beef bones. Billed as “brontosaurus” bones, they pack plenty of meat. Or, if your preference is for pork ribs, you can’t go wrong with these St. Louis-style succulents.

John helped Joe and Jenny re-launchSmokey Joe's

Joe also serves up an excellent BBQ beef brisket that’s very tender and flavourful. Then there’s the chipped beef on a bun: essentially the ends and leftover chunks of the brisket, chopped fine in a food processor and served on a sesame bun. Top it with Joe’s homemade BBQ sauce (mild or hot) and you have an irresistible sandwich, which just screams bring on the baked beans, fries and coleslaw.

Seanna Collins of EZ Rock & Global, Tara Lopez of CJCA The light, with Edmontonians publisher Sharon MacLean and the legendary Joe.

If it’s chicken you’re after, Joe’s smoked wings simply can’t be beat. And when the menu says “mild or hot”, ask for a sample—here, “hot” means southern USA hot, not the kind that’s slathered on the wings at the neighbourhood pub. And, the smoked turkey and ham are equally delicious.
Can’t decide? Consider the “Big Oh” meal that gives you plenty of everything, including sides. Just make sure you bring three friends to help you devour the 10-pound platter.
The other thing that is unique to Smokey Joe’s is Joe himself. He’s indeed a piece of work. Always ready to greet new customers and old alike with a smile, he quickly follows with a barrage of redneck heckling. He makes any redneck comedian on TV today look like a nursery school teacher. Yet, after decades of this abuse, people keep coming back not only for the food but to be insulted. It just wouldn’t be the Smokey Joe experience without the octogenarian making the timid run for cover.

Maria and Graham Hicks of the Edmonton Sun with owner Jenny Morris

The decor is still back-road diner… the tables are still covered with trademark brown butcher paper… and crayons are still provided for the little and big kids. And usually the good artwork finds its way to the walls.
There’s a whole new generation of Edmontonians who have yet to discover what real BBQ tastes like. But, after their first bite, the look on their faces is one of discovery and delight.
As Joe would say, “What’s stopping ya? Git on in here and try some.” It gets busy mid-week and on weekends… “So y’all best be callin’ ahead.”—780.413.3379. √

The Smokey Joe's team for Media Night: Lucy Noble, owner Jenny Morris, Chef Claudio Ergui, Smokey Joe, Chef/MC John Berry and Emy Almeria


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