Smoqehouse: Handcrafted BBQ Fusion on Anna Maria Island

Smoqehouse. With a name like that you'd think it has to be a BBQ restaurant - but its owners define it in a different way.

The husband and wife team of Andy and Heidi speak of their concept as an experimentation with “fire & smoke,” and how it enhances certain foods and flavors. It’s an exciting approach, and their venture has led to some fantastic chow.  

The two embarked on their first made-from-scratch kitchen in 2016 in Faribault, MN. where a vibrant downtown encourages the entrepreneurial spirit. The following year, they opened a second location in the nearby college town of Northfield, MN. Just five months later they jumped on the opportunity to open up on Anna Maria Island.

The split family and multiple-state living continued until 2020 when they moved the whole family to Bradenton. Most everything in their restaurant is built by them too, from the animal figures and the benches to light fixtures.

Heidi is the social media and marketing expert when she’s not helping in the kitchen. Andy has a long history of working in almost every position in the restaurant business. He’s done it all – from bartending and cooking to working as a chef in fine dining establishments such as Anna Maria Island’s famed Beach Bistro. 

Smoqehouse has a large following of locals even though Anna Maria Island is a huge tourist destination. Heidi and Andy have always strived to be part of the community they’re in and cater to those who come back time after time to taste something new. For this reason, they’re also conscious about keeping their menu at a reasonable price.

The range of flavors you’ll find here includes Asian, French, Southern, Americana, and just plain delicious. We were first attracted to Smoqehouse because it appeared to set itself apart from a sea of sameness along the beaches.

Our assumption was absolutely correct – it’s quite a unique place. One of their regular sandwiches that is not to be skipped over, is the Korean Beef Burger with Ginger Slaw. My friends had the Double Brisket Burger with smoked cheddar, caramelized onions, and pickles, and the Pulled Pork with House BBQ Sauce.

Korean Beef Burger

We’ve been there several times now and have always been greeted warmly with a big show of appreciation. They also know how to entice you back with their social media posts that always feature a specialty burger that is available for a limited time. You can follow them on Instagram so you never miss out on all of this deliciousness. 

When we visited this time, the special was The Diner Burger. It truly was just like being back at a small-town diner – a brisket patty topped with American cheese, shredded lettuce, onion, tomato, and pickles.

Their offerings are also not limited to burgers. Another special is the Everyday We’re Truffle’N with their house-smoked shaved beef, caramelized onions, smoked swiss cheese, and sea salt.

The list of amazing options is pretty much endless, from Smoq’d Pineapple Pork Tacos with their house pulled pork, house salsa verde smoked pineapple, Asian slaw, and pickled jalapeños to the Chicken Bahn Mi with house-smoked and chopped chicken, pickled veggies, cilantro red chile peppers, and lemongrass chile mayo. 

I Don’t Give a Fig About It

It’s always nice to offer something for almost every taste and they do that well. All sandwiches are offered as a gluten-free option without a bun and on a bed of lettuce.

The Twice Fried Hand Cut Fries are a must-have and Poutines are next on my list. Poutines are their hand-cut fries topped with fresh Wisconsin cheese curds & house brisket gravy.

The menu goes on with Fried Brussel Sprouts, Salads with Homemade Smoked Vinaigrettes, and of course, an occasional dessert. It was Heidi’s Banana Pudding on our last visit. Truly just simple goodness. 

You will enjoy the globally-inspired grub at Smoqehouse AMI whether you’re on the island for a beach day or just want to take a quick ride and enjoy a delicious meal.

Smoqehouse Anna Maria Island is located at  1701 Gulf Dr. N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm and are closed on Sundays.

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