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Smoqued BBQ sticks out like a sore thumb in the Orange Circle, but in a good way because that thumb is covered in delicious BBQ sauce. Located in the circle of downtown Old Towne Orange among the vintage storefronts and historic decor, Smoqued BBQ is dedicated to bringing you the best smoked BBQ in Orange County.

Everyone has a differing opinion of what is the best style of BBQ is and where you can get the best BBQ. I personally prefer savory over sweet, and dry rub over the sauced-only styles of BBQ. I am also not a fan of vinegar-based BBQ, but won’t turn my nose up at it. Smoqued had a great variety of hot, mild and tangy sauces to accompany the different BBQ’d meat offerings. I appreciate they had a delicious dry-rubbed base of spices so you didn’t have to over-sauce your meat if you didn’t want to.

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I loved the burnt ends appetizer.  It’s a 1/2 lb. of double “smoqued” brisket cubes caramelized in their house BBQ sauce. Price? $11.49 (according to their website). This is on the higher-end of what I typically like to pay for an appetizer but I am not sorry because this was simply delectable. I would totally get this again, and it feeds at least 3 people so $12 just became $4 of awesome meat in my mouth. Let’s see how many inappropriate meat references I can make in one post…

The beer offerings were impressive. Their tap list on a typical day has good stuff like:

Current Tap List (according to their website):

Bear Republic: Pete’s Tribute Brown Ale

Eagle Rock: Populist IPA

Firestone: Pivo Pilsner

Hangar 24: Double IPA

Lost Abbey: Devotion

Lost Coast: Winterbraun

North Coast: Blue Star Wheat

Ritual Brewing: Fat Hog Barleywine

Tusting Brewing Co.: Red Hill Red

On the day I visited (for Valentine’s Day: ooooo!) it was a Hangar 24 tap takeover. I had a delightful Winter’s Warmer and a titillating Chocolate Porter to top-off my mouthwatering BBQ meal. If you know me, you know I have had my fair share of Hangar 24 beer, thanks to my fiance Sean working for them. I don’t ever seem to get board of their beer, which is saying alot.

I can’t wait to come back to Smoqued. The atmosphere was downright neighborly with their edison light bulbs stationed delicatley above the tables and the different woods for smoking greeting you at the door. ‘Till we meet again!

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