Sunday, September 24, 2017

Barely Off the Beaten Path ~ Cumming's Smokey Q on Lake Lanier Serves Up Flavor Heaven

Anyone who remembers the late great Atlanta syndicated columnist Lewis Grizzard knows he was the Will Rodgers of 20th century Georgia. He waxed humorously & poetically on a myriad of subjects, none more profound than Lewis Grizzard on BBQ.

Those comments barely scratch the surface on Grizzard's BBQ Rule Book. Here we shall recap the rules plus toss in what minimal additional wisdom of our own we can muster.

  1. BBQ a/k/a barbecue is a noun. It is not a verb. You do not barbecue anything.
  2. You grill beef, pork, chicken, burgers & hot dogs. You do not barbecue those things.
  3. To say you barbecue anything would make barbecue a verb. Barbecue is not a verb.
  4. Anyone who claims to barbecue anything is either a Yankee or a Yankee rube transplant.
  5. You eat BBQ, which properly makes that a noun in this sentence.
  6. BBQ is made from pork or chicken.
  7. The BBQ Rule Book says BBQ is not made from beef. This debate rages on to the west.
  8. Yankee snobs think BBQ is not fine cuisine. BBQ joints do not welcome Yankee snobs.
  9. Many BBQ gurus were trained at the CIA. Others were trained at the CIA. Some at both.
10. BBQ gurus in Rule 9 prove snobs in Rule 8 to be idiots. Rule 8 idiots then disappear.

On the Lake Lanier shore in Cumming Georgia at the legendary Bald Ridge Marina is a BBQ establishment Lewis Grizzard would love. And patrons of Smokey Q would love Lewis.

Founded in 2016, Smokey Q replaced very respectable sandwich shops that had occupied the space for years. The problem was few go to a sandwich shop by either car or boat to hang out. Every other Lanier marina had festive destination dining spots & watering holes. With the arrival of Smokey Q Bald Ridge has not only a festive destination spot, it has one like no other on Lake Lanier.

Smokey Q's founder, owner, manager, chef & waitstaff Rudy Connor was born in Alabama & later lived in Louisiana. He graduated from the University of Alabama but is not obnoxious about it. This is good for a business owner who wishes to do well in Georgia. And do well Rudy does.

Little is known about Rudy's culinary training. He may or may not have trained at either CIA. No claim is made here one way or the other. Rudy did not authorize the use of these logos.

Rudy may or may not have resided for 5 years in Switzerland. Switzerland is known globally for secrecy, fine cuisine & the extreme scarcity of superior BBQ. This makes for a mysterious 5 years. It may or may not make for a great cover story. Best not to ask too many questions.

Some claim Smokey Q has a remote & mysterious location one can only access via passage thru a manned security gate. One must answer questions by uniformed security officers to be admitted. This bears an uncanny resemblance to the Swiss border.

In truth getting to Smokey Q is far less complicated & intimidating than a Swiss border crossing. If you can find the Cumming Costco you are almost there. Drive toward the lake. When you get to the security gate toot the horn twice, close your left eye & whisper the top secret password "Smokey Q". Security will then let you in without signing anything free of charge. Not very complicated at all.

Getting to Smokey Q by boat is even less complicated. Sail or motor to Bald Ridge. Tie up at dock. Go to Smokey Q. Even less security interrogation & red tape. It's all because you are going to see Rudy at Smokey Q. There may be some mischief but there will be no trouble.

However you arrive at Smokey Q even a Yankee snob can figure it out.

Upon arrival you will know you have arrived. Smokey Q World Headquarters is conspicuous by the abundance of available parking & absence of valet parking attendants.

This is when all the fun starts if all the fun has not started already. You are about to eat.

But not so fast. Chill. Before you eat we must tell you how Rudy will help you chill. Smokey Q now offers Game Day Specials that include $3 beers, 50 cent wings & hours later than Rudy claims to stay open anywhere we can find. In other words he'll stay open pretty much as long as people are eating & watching games & enjoying themselves. Within reason.

Lewis Grizzard would have no qualms with the Smokey Q menu & what is missing from it. Rudy & Smokey Q abide by Rule 6 & Rule 7. Beef is also known by foreigners as brisket. Brisket is known as pointe de poitrine to very very foreign people like the French. Who cares what the French call anything? They are usually even bigger snobs than most Yankees.

Beef & brisket can be considered BBQ only by metrosexual urban cowboys in alien faraway western lands such as Texas & Oklahoma. To Lewis's certain dismay this outlandish variety of BBQ has even found its way onto menus elsewhere in Cumming & to the north in bucolic Dawsonville. We might say nice things about such menus if the menu owners pay us. But they have not offered that yet so we will not say nice things.

Now back to what Smokey Q does serve up that no other place anywhere does serve up. Killer BBQ pork & chicken, smokey wings, a Philly cheesesteak & smoked chicken Philly, pork ribs, pork & chicken tacos, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans and mac & cheese. All are Rudy's private recipe, made fresh & made by Rudy. Smokey Q's Special Red & Carolina Mustard sauces are Rudy's private recipe, made fresh & made by Rudy.

Rudy also makes his own private recipe rubs. He does not sell his rubs but should. Another thing he should sell but doesn't is his baked wings before smoking them. The rub alone gives them a flavor that would make Lewis smile. Rudy claims space limitations make selling those a challenge. The only challenge Rudy can not overcome is he that went to U of Aladamnbama.

Yet another thing Rudy makes but does not sell due to space limitations is a BBQ staple, Brunswick Stew. Rudy's Brunswick Stew will make your whole family smile, but you can only get it by advance special order or having Smokey Q cater your event. Rudy offers no link to his catering business, so we let Flynt Waters tell you about it in the recent quote above.

We would show you photos of the food if we had them which we don't. We ate the food. We would blow the amazing aromas of Smokey Q at you if we could which we can't. Plus the photos & aromas would only drive you nuts that you are wherever you are & not at Smokey Q. So instead we show you the menu to fill space & confirm what we said in the paragraph above the menu. Some things you gotta wait for & experience in person for yourself.

Another thing Smokey Q serves up that no other place anywhere serves up is the Smokey Q vibe. We can fill more space & write more words by showing you & talking about the vibe.

Smokey Q walls are covered with music, cinema & history memorabilia from Rudy's private collection. The collection is eclectic. Eclectic may or may not be a French word but it sure is not American. Words like eclectic give Smokey Q the vibe no one else can claim.

Rudy insists this poster is more about quartet music than about the "other talent" for which the Clermont Lounge is known. Sure Rudy. We believe you.

Some artwork is about talent we know but in some language other than American. Like maybe French. That might be spoken in secret & mysterious foreign places like Switzerland. Things may or may not be starting to add up.

Oh yeah. Big screen TVs. And the large outdoor patio. The eclectic indoor dining room has many big screen TV's. So does the large outdoor patio. Both will soon get more big screen TVs. And the outdoor patio will soon be heated & semi enclosed so it won't be quite as outdoors. But it will stay heated. In other words everything that is now already real good is about to get even real better. Everything.

As if we haven't told you enough about what Smokey Q serves up that nobody else does. There is still more. Another thing Smokey Q serves up that no other place anywhere serves up is the Smokey Q perfect customer reviews. Actually customers serve those up. Smokey Q does not serve reviews.

Here we gotta get real serious. Almost. Name one other business that has been open for over a year that has not one less than perfect review. You can't do it.

Better than a perfect score can not be achieved without brown nosing the teacher for extra credit bonus points or bribing the scorekeeper. Kinda like the University of Alabama. Rudy refuses to brown nose or bribe anyone without some guarantee he can not get caught. We hope to not get caught for using gettyimages without paying them.

Smokey Q has nothing but 5 Star maxed out reviews. But they have only 22 of them as of this second. Smokey Q deserves more 5 Star reviews.

Rudy has too much integrity to ask specifically for 5 Star reviews. But he says he would simply like more candid reviews. And he will to his part to make sure every customer has a 5 Star experience. We on the other hand have very little integrity.

For every customer who leaves a candid review Rudy may or may not give away a free trip to Switzerland. That is a place where he supposedly lived. Rudy did not necessarily approve this contest or announcement. Rudy did not really approve any of this. 

Note: See revised genuine Call to Action below:

Because of everything we have said you must go to Smokey Q & eat. And you must stay there a while. Or maybe in spite of what we said or how we said it. Either way you must go to Smokey Q. Rudy is way better at food & Smokey Q is a way better place to be than we are at talking about any of it.

Who knows? If you go to Smokey Q you may or may not see something like this next year.

Do not go here for more information about Smokey Q. That link will tell you they are closed when in fact they may be open. Rudy is a real good food guy but maybe a not so good internet guy. Other info there may or may not be true or accurate. Kinda like all the info here.

Rudy even plans to expand the Smokey Q menu. It is perfectly okay to ask Rudy what BBQ stuff he may add. But do not ask him what new stuff he may barbecue. Rudy wants his BBQ food to disappear. He does not want to have to make any Smokey Q customer disappear.

If you've been to Smokey Q please take note. Smokey Q still has great Facebook & TripAdvisor reviews but more of them would really help.

Please click links below and leave a review on TripAdvisor and/or Facebook. The next time you're at Smokey Q show review on your phone to Rudy, mention this, and he is very likely to give you a free draft beer.

If he smacks me for this I will have to take the post down.

But I hope he won't smack me.

And remember that Smokey Q is open all year!

Lewis Grizzard approved this message until someone can prove otherwise.


Rudy Connor
Smokey Q at Bald Ridge Marina
1850 Bald Ridge Marina Road
Cumming GA 30041
Smokey Q Website

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