Name: Poogan’s Smokehouse
Address: 188 E Bay St #201, Charleston, SC 29401
Order: Three meat combo with pork, brisket, and smoked sausage; Adluh white cheddar grits, brussel sprouts (link)
Monk: With John Lewis Barbecue unfortunately still not open, I had to find another place for barbecue while in Charleston over Memorial Day weekend. In the end, convenience to a local production of Cinderella (for the Monkette) put on as part of the Spoleto Festival won out and I settled on Poogan’s Smokehouse.
Poogan’s Porch, a southern restaurant with an extensive wine list housed in an old Victorian house, has been in Charleston for nearly 40 years ago. When a wine bar called Social closed on the popular E. Bay Street tourist strip, the restaurant group behind Poogan’s Porch turned the space into a restaurant of “southern cuisine with a barbecue backbone” and used the Poogan’s brand.
Mrs. Monk and I shared a three meat platter (perhaps a little begrudgingly on her part) during Sunday brunch service, choosing pork, ribs and sausage. Of the three, I liked the smoked sausage the best (it also happened to be the most plentiful portion). Though it may have been slightly dried out from being sliced well before being served but nonetheless the taste was excellent. The two bones of ribs we got were meaty St. Louis cut ribs and not overly saucy. The pork was a bit dried out and I added some of the table sauces to help.
Luckily, I was able to try some of the other barbecue dishes from the other folks in our party. The pork belly was a potential option for the combo platter and I would recommend opting for it over the pulled pork. My daughter also got a side of hash over rice that she barely touched and I liked it quite a bit despite not necessarily having an affinity for the dish.
The sides really stole the show. The Adluh white cheddar grits were cheesy, creamy, and just generally excellent and Mrs. Monk and I were fighting to finish them. The brussel sprouts had pieces of bacon or pork belly and were also very good. The tray also comes with a standard white roll and some pickles and onions. But dang, those grits man. Should have gotten a double serving of them.
Poogan’s Smokehouse makes the eighth or so barbecue restaurant in downtown Charleston, presumably catering towards the tourist crowds. It’s fine but really I just wish that John Lewis Barbecue had opened. Next time.
Atmosphere – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 2.5 hogs
Brisket – 3 hogs
Sausage – 3 hogs
Sides – 3.5 hogs
Overall – 3 hogs