From the moment I walked into Smoke Everyday I was befuddled with confusion. I knew I was at a smoke shack, as there were two barrel smokers out front. I even knew I was at the right smoke shack, due to the large illuminated sign near the door. But the moment I crossed the threshold my only thought was “Hmmm… this steak house mixology lounge seems to have a PS4 you can play while waiting for your cocktail and ribeye.”
I’ve always found juxtaposition fascinating. Whether it be my old college roommate who would routinely use words like “perspicacious” in the same breath as a 2 Chainz lyric. Or how my most obese stage in life was also my athletic peak. There is something about the tension of two conflicting realities that just makes it that much more interesting.
At Smoke Everyday there is a number of elements that are in direct conflict with each other. You have the classic neon Budweiser sign, but a Stella one alongside. There is a wooden bar at the front of the shop, but it has Edison bulbs hanging above. Behind the bar sits a decorative revolver, but on the wall there is a comically large bottle cap with two cheersing beer glasses… Ok, those last two go with each other.
In spite of all these conflictions, the food is in perfect harmony with what you’d expect from a smokehouse. That’s to say the menu is familiar (albeit a little fancy), the staff is kind and down to earth, and you can taste the wood in the food.
The ribs here are really some of the best in Chiang Mai. They come lightly sauced, but that sauce is earthy and rich to the point where I had to cut it with ketchup – being a corn syrup addicted American and all. The raw Smokey flavor was something I haven’t tasted since the last rack of ribs I did on my parents ranch in Dayton. The tenderness of that meat; simply perfect. It came cleanly off the bone, but only after the bare minimum effort by your teeth. They were exactly what I wanted, exactly what I needed.
The pageantry of it all was also a nice touch. Each slab of ribs comes with a complimentary mound of coleslaw, a few rounded triangles of pineapple and watermelon, as well as a healthy and unnecessary leaf of lettuce. All of this is served on white butcher’s paper and carried table side via a large decorative board. It can seem like a bit much, but if they took the time to make it look nice, they took the time to make it taste great.
Smoke Everyday (unless that day is Thursday) is one of the few BBQ joints that I would confidently take a first date too. It’s a nice place to celebrate anything worth celebrating. A suitable location to settle the debate of which member of your friend group really is the best at FIFA.
Price: 349 baht for the half rack of ribs, coleslaw, and fruit. 79 baht for the buffalo wings.
The Good Stuff Chiang Mai