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Saturday 5 January 2013

Holy Smoke BBQ, Calgary, Alberta - Mind blowing, gut busting smoked beef brisket, ribs and BBQ sauces

Rating Food 9/10, Service 8/10
While in Calgary during the holidays, we needed something quick to pick up, unhealthy (we were craving something greasy, salty goodness) and eat before we drove back to Edmonton.  We debated if we wanted burgers (Peter's, Clive Burger, Alley Burger was out since food trucks don't operate in winter), Vietnamese "dumpster" subs, take a stab at what was around or in Cross Iron Mills, or to maybe just pick something up along the drive back like Nathan's or Five Guys.  Then my boyfriend remembered a tasty smokehouse he hit up a little while back, and since we were close by- brisket and ribs it is!
There's two locations in Calgary - we just went to the one closest to us.  Situated in a tinny strip mall, its easy to miss... and the parking lot and all the limited seating was full when we found it on a late Sunday afternoon... this is only a good sign!!

After the lovely ladies behind the counter gave us a run down of what some of the meal items were - usually translated into a lot of meat, or a heck of a lot of meat, my boyfriend was tempted to go with the Manwich, which he had the last time he was here (you get a massive serving of brisket on top of pulled pork with a special sauce on a bun), but he went with a large pulled pork sandwich, and some ribs (each rib sold separately) instead while I go with the small beef brisket sandwich.

While we waited for our sandwiches to be assembled, I went over and sampled a good portion of their wall of sauces, which covered a range of salty, savory, sweet, spicy, and burn hole through your tongue spicy.  They even had a Festivus cranberry sauce during the holiday season.  My favourite was the garlic honey sauce to go with the pulled pork and ribs.

 And "small" was relative.  I could barely pick up my small beef brisket sandwich when it arrived!  Super moist, tender brisket was served pulled rather than sliced and piled high on a soft bun, and topped with a big slice of pickle.

The brisket was almost delicately smoked, without the crust of spices you typically find on some briskets - and didn't miss it as the lovely rich savory beef brisket really had a chance to shine.  I didn't really find a sauce that didn't overpower the brisket, and didn't care.  The brisket cooking juices all nicely concentrated down gave the brisket plenty of moisture and stood well on its own. Nom!

My boyfriend's pulled pork was a huge serving of tender moist smoked pulled pork mountain on a large soft bun, topped with a smidgen of coleslaw...

and topped with a splash of "special sauce that we only put on the pulled pork" that was tangy sweet and a good hit of chilis. My boyfriend loves a bit of extra sweetness on his pulled pork, so he went off to load up his sandwich up with more sauce.

Finally, almost too full to even touch the ribs, we loosed up our belts and dug in.  Maybe it was because we were so full by the time we got to the smokey ribs, but we didn't find the ribs had the same wow flavor factor as the brisket and pulled pork.  We remedied that by liberally drenching the ribs in the various sauces. Easy peasy fix :)

So, if you feel like throwing those New Year resolutions to the wind, and have a gut busting and delicious smoked beef brisket and pulled pork sandwiches, head on down to Holy Smoke BBQ and you won't be disappointed.

Holy Smoke BBQ
Address 420 16 Avenue NE Calgary, AB T2E8K9 (the one we reviewed) and 4640 Manhattan Rd SE Calgary, AB T2G4B5
Phone (403) 263-4659 and (403) 605-9365
Hours Daily 10am-9pm
Holy Smoke BBQ on Urbanspoon
Map to Central location
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Map to South East location
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