SMOKE Barbeque Taqueria is one of the most recent (and most delicious) new restaurants to hit the hip Lawrenceville neighborhood culinary scene. Located at the intersection of Butler and Main Streets, this fresh eatery reopened in February, 2015, after relocating from their previous site in Homestead. What was once a vacant ground floor space on a flourishing Pittsburgh street is now home to artisanal handcrafted tacos and homemade tortillas. As Melissa McCart of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette puts it, “Smoke 2.0 has a reclaimed-wood-meets-cowboy aesthetic, with paned-glass doors welded together as walls to section the room.” (Read the full article here).
The balance between entertaining and cooking in the open kitchen defines the special character of this long, narrow space (approximately 20ft wide by 140ft long). Diners, waiters and chefs are all performers, together contributing to the lively atmosphere. The lobby, dining room, and bar areas are situated near the front, soaking in the light of the garage door window and the vibrancy of the neighborhood outside. The open kitchen and other support spaces occupy the back. At the center of all this, behind a suspended tin pig sculpture, lurks the mammoth meat smoker, an industrial metal cooking machine credited with producing Smoke’s signature meats which define the restaurant’s unique character and menu.