Do you dream of barbecue? Well, if barbecue is your thing Smoky Dreams Barbecue should be on your radar. This is the barbecue of your dreams. Kidding Around’s Melanie Coblentz had been hearing about this Carolina favorite and just had to give it a try.
The first time I’d heard about Smoky Dreams Barbecue, it was from a friend who lived out of state. He had seen them featured on a cable foodie show, and was curious to know if I had tried it. I had not, in fact I’m embarrassed and ashamed to say it was several years before I made it to the little red BBQ shed on Woodruff road. I recently went for lunch, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the food since.
Smoky Dreams Barbecue Restaurant
The Smoky Dreams Barbecue restaurant sits at the corner of Woodruff Road and Highway 14, I’m sure you passed it a million times, just like I did. While tallying the results for our 2019 Kidding Around Greenville article about favorite local BBQ restaurants in Greenville, there came a point where I didn’t even need to count anymore. Smoky Dreams was clearly the favored choice among our readers. It was then that I decided I needed to stop driving by and just go. Clearly something special was happening here.
Before you head out, make sure it’s not a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. I made that mistake and it only ended in disappointment, because they are closed. Any other day of the week, you can head over regardless of the weather. I didn’t realize this until visiting, but they have an indoor seating area that is air conditioned. If you want to enjoy the food elsewhere, they even have a drive through.
“Where Everyone is Family” is the motto of this family run business. It’s not just their motto, it’s more like a business model. They prepare the food with the same care and consideration you would if you were cooking for family. That care extends to the service you receive too. Little touches like lollipops for kids and dog treats for four legged friends are just one of the ways they treat customers like family. It’s probably for these reasons and more that Smoky Dreams has been recognized on a national level several times. The title of best in the country, or best in the state isn’t easily obtained, especially when the state in question is one of the Carolinas. These are states full of tough BBQ critics.
What to Order at Smoky Dreams
The hardest part of a visit to Smoky Dreams Barbecue is deciding what to get. The side options are numerous, and that poses a problem. I’m just going to put this out there…. I really think places should offer flights of side dishes. Shot glasses, but instead of being filled with liquor or beer, they’re filled with a selection of side dishes. Genius right? I’m just going to keep suggesting it until someone listens. I don’t even want a royalty from the tons of sales that would result. Just name it the “no decisions side dish” and make sure it’s always ready when I come to visit and we’ll call it even. But I digress.
Obviously, the sides here are incredible. The macaroni and cheese is a creamy casserole style, the sweet potato crunch is perfect without being too sweet, the baked beans have pieces of pulled pork in them, the potato salad is the best I’ve ever had in a restaurant, and the cole slaw is a mayo free version that is oh so good. Until the “No decisions side dish” becomes a reality, the other option is to do what we did. Everyone order different sides, and then share. That way no one has to decide on just two.
Our Favorites at Smoky Dreams
The stars of the show are the meats which are smoked daily on site. Choose from pulled pork, brisket, smoked chicken and ribs all seasoned with a dry rub and served with your choice of four different house made barbecue sauces. I think the term “finger licking…..” (I think this might be copyrighted, but you get the idea) definitely applies here. The ribs and brisket I had were perfect. The meat was moist and the seasoning was so spot on, I didn’t need to use the barbecue sauce. I did use it though, because it looked too good not to try. The meat had the all important smoke ring that any person who knows anything about barbecue, (or watched their fair share of food network) knows is the sign of a good plate of barbecue.
Everything we’ve tried there has been spot on. The food is delicious and the service is excellent. But then would you expect any less when visiting “family?”
Have you visited Smoky Dreams?