Restaurant Review: Legacy Smoke House

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: Legacy Smoke HousePhotos by Lauren Sega.
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You might be familiar with Legacy Smokehouse and its food truck operation. Or perhaps you know its wares from its barbecue station at the Short North Food Hall. Now Legacy has an address on Greenlawn that’s all its own.

Things at the new location work a little differently than they do at normal restaurants. You actually place your order at Legacy’s food truck; the food comes from the truck. While you still order at the vehicle, there are definite perks of the new permanent location: benches outside, air-conditioned seating inside the woodsy restaurant, and a full bar. Fortunately, there’s lots of signage, so you don’t get lost in the process. Also, the gated walkway to the restaurant doubles as a line-management system, which keeps things orderly.

At any barbecue operation, ribs are the starting point. You can get a half-rack at market rate, in both baby back ($14 for a half rack) and spare ($12 for a half-rack) variations. Between the two, the baby back are better, which could probably be expected. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the spare ribs. In fact, they are both meaty and mammoth in size. The pink ring at the fringes of each ribs promises and delivers an authentic smoked flavor. The range of the smoke experience is limited though, it only penetrates to a particular depth, and then you’re left with plain meat. So, upgrade and go for the baby back ones instead. The latter version is tender enough to fall off the bone and it’s also fully saturated in the outdoorsy flavor, which is the entire reason for eating ribs.

Well, that, and they’re finger food.

Sandwiches are also on the menu, in brisket, pulled pork and sausage versions. You can avoid the entire decision making process by getting the Texas Trinity ($12) sandwich, with brisket, pork, and sausage. Of the three, the brisket is the most notable: peppery, melty-tender, and full of flavor. The pork can’t even begin to keep up with the brisket, and suffers in the comparison. The latter needs a barbecue sauce to work, the former does not. The sausage hangs out on the bottom of the sandwich. It’s good, it’s a sausage that’s not too oily and full of savory flavor. All of this makes for a tall, tall sandwich, especially with coleslaw and pickled onions in the mix.

The house Haystack ($9) is offered here, and a personal favorite. It offers creamy mac and cheese, topped with brisket or pork (always choose brisket) and crumbled frito chips. Salty, crunchy, cheesy, starchy, smoky.

On the side, there are some solid brisket baked beans ($4), and other options of coleslaw, street corn, and mac and cheese.

You do your own saucing at Legacy, and the two favorites were a sweet house sauce and a tangy mustard sauce. There’s also a spicy variant available, and a vinegar version. Watch out for the vinegar version, because it will deliver exactly what it promises: lots and lots of hostile vinegar flavor. There’s a limited audience for that, so read those labels before applying to any rib.

You can find Legacy’s new permanent digs at 340 Greenlawn Ave.

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

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