By Matt Starlight
Few places in Baton Rouge better embody the hole in the wall spirit as well as Smokin’ Aces BBQ. Driving by, it certainly isn’t much to look at. Nothing but a white sign with big, red letters, corrugated sheets on the walls, a few picnic tables under an overhang to protect from the heat, and an order window wrapped in chicken wire. These are the places, however, that are usually the kings of their trade.
Anyone can hire an interior decorator and turn their restaurant into some horrible amalgamation of Buffalo Wild Wings and the ethnicity of their choice, and it seems many do. Sit down casual chains are a dime a dozen and while their national decline can only be heralded as America’s intolerance for such nonsense grows, small joints like this are usually still subject to anonymity.
Perhaps it’s the off the beaten path nature of this Government Street gem or the fact that you haven’t heard of it that makes it so good. That may be the hipster in my talking, but once my favorite restaurant is the subject of such notoriety that three more of them open and my boss asks me if I’ve been there, it’s time to move on.
Of course, none of these things make a place to eat special; it’s all just window dressing. The main draw is the food, and that’s why Smokin’ Aces BBQ is such a delight.
You can see and smell the smoke coming from the kitchen as you place your order, which we at DIG would like to suggest be the Shop Special, a combo platter of their best meat: brisket, pork, sausage, and ribs, along with a pair of sides. It’s all smoky, juicy, and full of flavor.
Whether or not your hip friends have heard of it certainly isn’t the benchmark of achievement, but you can be sure that if they have or if they haven’t, Smokin’ Aces is one of, if not the, best place in Baton Rouge for BBQ.