Smoke and Barrel: DC BBQ, Beer, and Bourbon
Smoke and Barrel in Adams Morgan almost didn’t make it. Around Thanksgiving 2020, the beloved barbeque spot said on social media that they weren’t sure if they would survive the winter. But spring brings new life, a new chef, and a new menu to this restaurant at the top of the 18th Street hill. And I couldn’t wait to be back.
Smoke and Barrel is the kind of restaurant that works in every season. In the warmer weather, the large garage door-style windows in the front are open. This allows for drink sipping while enjoying superior people-watching in the eclectic Adams Morgan. Before COVID, I spent several Sunday afternoons in this window. In the colder weather, the dark wood and furnishings of this whisky bar provide a cozy environment.
For now, Smoke and Barrel is open for indoor dining in the basement, formally known as the “Bottom of the Barrel.” You can also eat outside on their covered patio. The main dining room is still closed as they open back up. Be sure to use their downstairs entrance to find someone to seat you.
What's New at Smoke and Barrel
The whiskey and beer menu is very extensive but the waiters are happy to help you find something you’ll love. My husband and I wanted a light cocktail on this hot summer day but you can’t skip dark liquor at Smoke and Barrel! We went with the Suns Out, Guns Out with bourbon, dry curacao, lemon, and orange bitters. It was refreshing and perfect for the weather.
Plus, the new menu is packed with great new items. Our waiter suggested the Loaded Mac and Chies which is loaded fries with nacho cheese and macaroni with an option to add pork, turkey, or brisket. We decided on pork. And let me tell you, I’ll be ordering this every time I visit. This appetizer tasted really fresh which seems like an odd way to describe fries. But all the toppings worked really well together and didn’t make the fries too soggy.
For dinner, my go-to order has always been a BBQ plate with a side. The new chef has elevated this plate with a slice of cornbread, onions, and pickles. We tried the sliced brisket with wang dang sweet tang sauce and beans as well as the turkey with smokey sweet sauce and mac and cheese. Both sauces were excellent but the wang dang sweet tang was our favorite. All the meats are worth trying too but the pork on the fries stole our hearts.
Meats can be ordered as a plate or sandwich for one or as a sampler plater that serves 3-4 people. They also offer vegan options!
Where to Find Them
You can find Smoke and Barrel at the top of Adams Morgan – about a 15-minute walk from the Woodley Park metro stop. If it’s a cold day, bundle up for the walk across the bridge that separates Woodley Park and Adams Morgan. Smoke and Barrel is open 7 days a week for dinner and offers a late-night menu on Friday and Saturday after 9 pm. Keep up with them on Instagram.