EAT This Week: Smokey’s Kitchen’s Sampler Platter

This week's featured EAT dish is Smokey's Kitchen's Sampler Platter.
Robert Galloway/Sierra Sun

To try and decide each week where and what to eat in and around Truckee-Tahoe can be a challenge — there are so many amazing choices. In this feature we’ll dive into dishes that will surely satisfy those hunger pangs and leave you wondering where to go next. 

It’s inevitable. The weather warms up and that smell of barbecue fills the air. It’s actually one of my favorite smells ever. If I was shopping for cologne I might seriously consider a barbecue scent – although all I really need to do is spend some time over a grill and I can get that smell naturally. Or, I can just head over to Smokey’s and get the best of both worlds and not have to cook at all. 

There’s a lot to this week’s feature. Their sampler platter gives you the option to pick two or three different meats (from pork ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, pulled chicken, chicken wings, and smoked sausage links) then two sides (too many to list here) and corn bread or a biscuit. It’s actually one of the better values given the portion size and the smorgasbord of options. It’s like standing in front of a barbecue vending machine and figuring out which item to pull the trigger on. 

For me, I went with the ribs, pulled pork, and links. Taking a Memphis-style approach to their barbecue, Smokey’s Kitchen features scratch-made dry rubs for their meats that are applied and left overnight before getting smoked the following day. In the case of their pork butt, it gets smoked overnight. 

Regardless of the option, each one comes to the table with the perfect amount of smoke and spice flavor. You get the option to choose which sauce you want to have with each (or let that flavor stand on its own and choose no sauce). The two that stand out the most are their spicy habanero and their sweet Memphis-style.

The ribs strike a perfect balance of having pull, but still melt in your mouth tender. The sausage drops a little heat, but also provides that signature snap that you’re looking for in a link. The pulled pork has the right amount of crispy charred pockets while still staying supremely juicy and tender. 

I could probably write a whole other column on their sides (maybe for another time), but if you’ve been to Smokey’s in the summer, you know sometimes you might face a line out the door. In that case, just sit back and smell the smoke and tell your belly that everything will be alright soon. 

Smokey’s Kitchen and Catering is located at 12036 Donner Pass Rd. in Truckee. For menu and more information visit them online at or reach them via phone at 530-582-4535. 

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