Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Date Night at The Smoke Haus, Cardiff

the smokehaus cardiff image, american food, american beer image


I'll tell you the truth, Rhys and I enjoy any kind of time together that involves food. Some couples go to the gym together, or drink cocktails in the Bay. We like to eat, and it's all very romantic, I'm sure. We aren't ones to shy away from a challenge, or an excuse to eat all of the carbs. I know what you're thinking- "These two are couple goals." So when we were invited for a meal to celebrate The Smoke Haus' first birthday, we jumped at the chance. Well, there wasn't actual jumping- broken ankle problems and all that.

The Smoke Haus is a low lit space with exposed brick and hoards of framed photos of American icons. Imagine TGI Fridays without the glorified spectacle, and without overly chirpy (and singing) staff. Although it's dim lighting and dark decor may seem a little too gritty if you've never been there, it emulates everything that you would expect to see in an American bar. The restaurant showcases remarkable attention to detail, which is something I really appreciate in a themed eatery. By using a remote app on your iPhone, you can also control the music in the venue by voting for songs in the playlist. Thanks to us, the other guests enjoyed a wonderful noughties mix of Blink 182, Foo Fighters and Will Smith.

Keeping in with the Stateside theme, I went with a very classy and ladylike pint of Brooklyn Brewery. Anyone who knows me will argue that I am most definitely not a pint kind of girl, unless it's pink and fruity and all kinds of basic. So although my opinion might not seem valid when it comes to beers, I would definitely recommend this one if you're like me and don't have much of a taste for it. Or even if you do know what you're talking about when it comes to these things, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

the smokehaus cardiff image, american food, american beer image

the smokehaus cardiff image, american food, american beer image
the smokehaus cardiff image, american food, american beer image

The Food

After an overly long deliberation, I opted for the Monterey Jack Jalapeno Black Bean Burger with an upgrade of Cheese Fries. The cheese sauce will haunt my dreams until the day I die, during which I will demand my final meal be a plate of cheese fries and cheese fries only. I'm usually extremely fussy on vegetarian burgers- as a vegetarian of 13 years I've had a lot of these in my time, and they're usually as bad as they sound. In comparison, I practically inhaled my bean burger at The Smoke Haus. 

Rhys obviously went down the manly route of choosing a plate of meat, and went for The Smoke Haus Threesome, which was a hefty serving of smoke haus pulled pork, pastrami and slow cooked brisket with fries. Although he didn't finish it (after giving it a good go), we were able to bring home his leftovers which he was more than delighted with.

Just when I thought he was defeated, he rediscovered his man size appetite and we both went for desserts. It seemed rude not to, of course. Seeing as this was my first outing since breaking my ankle eight weeks ago, a banana sundae to me is basically a party. While I shoved my face into my sundae, Rhys went for a waffle with marshmallows. As soon as we arrived home, Rhys fell asleep which is always the tell tale sign of a very happy man.

It's worth mentioning that all of our food arrived quickly and was presented perfectly, which adds to the enjoyment of eating at The Smoke Haus. To my own knowledge, I've never actually heard anyone I know complain about any service or food they've had here, which speaks volumes. My friends and I love complaining about most things in life.

Service

Our server was lovely, polite and efficient, and she went out of her way to make sure we were happy with our meals. After spending years as a waitress and working on a bar, I appreciate the effort she put into our experience. A common misconception about working in the food industry is that you have to fix a smile onto your face for every second of the day, and people expect all kinds of things from you. These people are usually difficult to serve, and impossible to please and you can identify them as soon as you walk through the door. I'm sure our waitress has had plenty of those, but she treated us as if we were her first ever table. Someone give her a bonus, or a bottle of wine.

Last Thoughts

Although the American taste may not appeal for everyone, I would say there's definitely something for everyone. It's the ideal spot for parties, birthdays or catching up with a friend (with a big appetite). After our night, I would say that this place is ideal for a date night, as long as you don't mind getting slightly messy. Also, be prepared for a food baby because there's no way you're leaving here without one.

the smokehaus cardiff image, american food, american beer imagethe smokehaus cardiff image, american food, american beer imagethe smokehaus cardiff image, american food, american beer image
the smokehaus cardiff image, american food, american beer image
the smokehaus cardiff image, american food, american beer imagethe smokehaus cardiff image, american food, american beer image
the smokehaus cardiff image, american food, american beer imagethe smokehaus cardiff image, american food, american beer image
*Food and drinks were provided complimentary, but I was not required to provide a positive review.