The first thing to catch your eye at Smokey’s BBQ & Grill is the open kitchen. Even from the street, passerby can observe fresh meat as it is cut and prepared.
Owner Tyrone Perry said he designed it that way to let diners in on the enjoyment.
“Barbecue is supposed to be fun. That whole part of seeing the process — cutting steaks, rubbing meat and prepping chicken in the window — that whole fun process and the work that goes into the meat and the love that we put into it. We do everything by hand. Everything is homemade. We pride ourselves on that. We want to show it off,” he said.
With that in mind, Perry worked with an architect to create plans to remodel the historic Helena Hotel on 25th Street in downtown Ogden.
“I wanted a waiting area and glass at the beginning so you could see us prepping he meat. I wanted an open kitchen view from the time you walk in until the time you sit down. I feel that people are more comfortable and at ease going into a restaurant with an open kitchen,” he said.
The irresistible smell of barbecue is the other thing that draws customers in off the street.
All of this is a fulfillment of a dream Perry has had for at least 25-years.
Perry was influenced by his grandfather and grandmother, originally from a town near Lafayette, Louisiana.
“I got my passion for smoking meat from my grandfather and I get my recipes for cooking my sides from my grandmother,” he said.
Perry worked for Kimberly Clark for nearly two decades. During that time he ran a catering business for private parties, summer events and festivals. He also entered contests and won awards for his barbecue.
He is most well-known for his baby back ribs ($23.99/full, $18.99/half), hand-rubbed with his secret recipe blend of herbs and spices, pit smoked for four hours, and doused in house barbecue sauce.
Since the restaurant opened in May of this year, the Texas beef brisket ($15.99) has been the number one seller. The meat is rubbed in brown sugar, coarse black pepper, herbs and spices and slow cooked until tender.
“I don’t use hickory or mesquite. I use all fruitwood to give it a smooth, subtle smoked flavor throughout the meat,” Perry said.
The signature sauce is made from scratch every other day. It is tomato based with brown sugar and molasses and comes in a sweet and sassy version or spicy.
Hot wings ($10.99) are a popular starter. Whole wings are smoked, flash fried to create a crispy outer coating, and tossed in one of four sauces — barbecue, spicy barbecue, sriracha or classic buffalo.
Certified angus steaks are hand cut and charbroiled including New York strip ($18.95/12-oz.), ribeye ($17.95/12-oz.) and sirloin ($16.95/10-oz.).
The seafood section includes a southern dish — sweetwater catfish ($12.99), breaded with Cajun spiced cornmeal and flash fried -- in addition to Corona beer battered cod ($14.99) and grilled smoked salmon ($17.99).
Most entrees come with one of Perry’s grandmother’s warm cornbread muffins. Side dishes include potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw, macaroni salad, baked potato, Caesar salad, steak fries and sweet potato fries.
Perry’s motto is “Grilling is hot-n-fast, BBQ is low-n-slow.” Real wood smoked barbecue is his passion and he won’t take shortcuts that could sacrifice quality. He has combined barbecue styles from several regions including patterning his sauce after Kansas City-style, his brisket after Texas-style and his pulled pork after Carolina-style. These regions are considered masters in their barbecue styles.
“I love to make good food for people. The best part about this is following my dream. I never had things fall into place until now,” Perry said.
SMOKEY’S BBQ & GRILL
• ADDRESS: 207 Historic 25th St., Ogden
• PHONE: 801-695-8219
• HOURS: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday