Smokey Joe's Restaurant Press
The Lake George Mirror; May 16, 2008
by Blaze Marshall
Jerry Porreca had to make a few
difficult choices. Should he open
his own restaurant in Lake George,
and should he move from his customary Italian cuisine to his bar-b-que specials? Yes and yes were his
very wise choices!! He decided
that the Lake George region was
already saturated with good Italian
dining choices. He therefore transformed what was a roadside tavern
into Smokey Joe's Saloon & Grill.
He invested his time and money
into what has become a favorite
year-round oasis for food and
drinks located just south of Lake
George Village. A long time ago
this building housed Andy's Drive-In and more recently, John Case's
popular Lemon Peel Lounge.
Patrons now enter to find an L-shaped bar full of locals and a cozy
front dining area overlooking former Gaslight Village. During
warmer months, there is a nice
sidewalk patio and even an indoor loft for busy weekends.
Smokey Joe's has convenient
on-site parking, a rarity in the village.
Most nights you will find
folks discussing everything from
Spitzer's downfall to Harley cycles,
but the main event is surely
Porreca's ribs, beef brisket
and bar-b-que chicken. Smokey
Joe's no nonsense, simple menu
chosen by Jerry Porreca, is just
what the local and visitor ordered.
Even if he throws in a choice of
four slice pizzas to boot.
There's a choice of ribs by the
half rack, full rack or a popular "Deal for Two" that includes a
choice of four sides and some great
corn bread. There are also many
combos of ribs with beef brisket,
pulled pork or bar-b-que chicken
You can order a top sirloin
with a bleu cheese coating, great
sandwiches and hand-formed burgers, wraps or those tiny pizzas.
Lighter fare fans can enjoy a great
Caesar salad with chicken as well as a variety of quesadillas.
On this March night, fans from the
New York State Basketball
Tournament found their way to
Smokey Joe's, a testament to his
reputation for good food at reasonable prices. Two companions and I
were seated next to a party of
twelve from Peekskill who returned
to this tournament for their second
year in a row.
NASCAR Nut, Miss Picky Eater
and I were also placed next to a tiny
wood stove that offered much relief
on this chilly night. Our waiter
Will delivered our beverages.
NASCAR and I both enjoyed
steaming bowls of their award winning chili, loaded with tender pork
crusted with a cheese topping. We
also enjoyed some great deep fried
Miss Picky Eater chose a half rack
of ribs with a side of sweet potato
fries and coleslaw. NASCAR Nut
had all of that and a breast of chicken as well. The ribs are coated with
a wonderful sauce, not overpowering or overdone but tender, juicy
and lean. Finger-lickin' good, fall
off the bone, slow roasted to perfection.
Yours Truly tried the beef brisket
and was rewarded with 12-14 oz. of
succulent, moist beef, also fork tender and with just the right saucing.
I backed it up with fresh coleslaw
and some very tasty baked beans in
a dark, honey maple sauce. No
ketchup needed here to spoil the
Smokey Joe's delivers with efficient, friendly service. Its casual,
cozy atmosphere and down to earth
cooking will continue to be a great favorite of locals and visitors alike.
Jerry Porreca made the right choice
to go with his great ribs. But if you
don't agree, he still has those tiny pizzas!