Midwood Smokehouse: It’s Legit
I was recently invited to sample the food at Midwood Smokehouse in Cross Hill Market, and Y’ALL. It’s the real deal. Although free food is usually always going to rank high with me, I was thoroughly wowed by what’s going on here.
I admit that at first I was a doubter. “Isn’t Midwood a chain?” I asked myself. Well, only on a technicality. Midwood Smokehouse is based out of Charlotte, and Cola is only their third location. They also keep it local in a very real sense. For example, the collards are sourced locally, and the pickling’s all done in-house.
Matthew Berry (pictured above) has served as pitmaster for five years, studying the art of bbq across Texas and the Midwest, and he brings his wealth of knowledge to the kitchen at Midwood. He explained to me that the brisket, my favorite item, is smoked for 12-14 hours. Other must-eat dishes include:
the smoky jalapeno dip,
the utterly ridiculous everything-but-the-banana pudding nachos,
and, of course, the banana pudding itself. It probably goes without saying, but Midwood does not use a Jell-O pudding packet. Their banana pudding is made totally from scratch. Using my spoon to crack the fresh vanilla wafers adorning the top was reminiscent of getting into a good crème brûlée.
I think what impressed me most was the variety on the menu and the ambiance. It’s not uncommon to find a buffet with all the sauces (mustard, vinegar, and that sweet red stuff), but Midwood offers a range of takes on bbq in a nicer, sit-down atmosphere with a bar that boasts a long list of beers and bourbons.
So, you should go. I’ve been more frequently than is probably healthy, but Midwood is a great place for anybody: your friends that you want to drink and split brisket-y nachos with, out-of-town visitors who need to sample some good bbq, and kids (Midwood has a kids’ menu with real food on it AND changing tables in both restrooms, THANK GOODNESS). If you’re looking for something familiar, you’ll find your mustard-based bbq and mac and cheese here. And if you want something a little different, like "burnt ends" in a Fat Tire sauce, this is the only place in Cola to get it.
Thanks for Errol Tisdale for taking the photos and for helping me eat all this food.