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DeRushaEats: Smalley's Carribean Barbeque


What is wrong with me? Don’t answer that. But I don't know how it's possible that I haven’t visited Smalley’s Carribean Barbeque until this past weekend.

Well, don’t make my mistake. Pack up the kids, the neighbors, the Prius or the SUV, and get yourself to Stillwater. And eat. And drink.

Smalley’s has been open since 2008 (Dara reviewed it three years ago) and it’s run by Chef Shawn Smalley. It’s a Tim McKee production, as Smalley used to be a chef at La Belle Vie.

You have to order the sweet corn fritters with rum butter ginger sauce ($6.50). Crispy outside, corny inside, we were literally fighting over the last one. Amazing.

Smalley's BrisketDon’t miss the absolutely insanely tender and delicious brisket. It’s Carribean barbeque—which means lots of allspice. I had it with the Spicy Jamaican jerk sauce, which is seriously spicy. For $13, I got some of the best barbeque I’ve ever had.

My wife had the coal-roasted pork shoulder ($12), and that was also incredible. It just fell off the fork, so tender.

Each barbeque comes with two sides—and we loved the four we tried. The grilled curried vegetables were fantastic—giant chunks of green and red pepper and onion, topped with a really nice curry sauce. The fire roasted pork and beans were rich and porky. The roasted sweet potatoes with sausage and carmelized pork were as decadent as you’d expect. And the Mac n’ Cheddar with chiles and bacon—well, it’s tough to go wrong with that.

It’s hard to say the rum is the real star of the show here, because the barbeque is so freakin’ delicious. But the rum—it’s just crazy. They have about 165 different varieties (if you order Captain Morgan, I believe someone comes out and literally beheads you), including the Kill Devil shot.

This is a house-made rum, crafted from a variety of rums, including 151-proof Bacardi. Then it’s combined with syrups, flavoring agents, blackbeard whiskers, and decanted into old port bottles. It’s buttery and sweet and rum like you’ve never had before. I had three shots (sipping them, of course. I’m not a pirate, after all.).

So walk the plank, mateys (sorry, I’m no good at pirate talk)… and get to Smalleys. Soon!

Smalley's Carribean Barbeque
423 Main Street, Stillwater

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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