Today I’d like to tell you about Sandston Smokehouse. Tammy found this place searching her phone one day while I was at work. At lunchtime she texted me that she had found a place that we need to visit. Sure, why not? Well this happened on a Saturday and I had to get up at 3:45 am to work Sunday. Did I mention that Sandston is over an hour away? Not that any of that mattered. After work I came home, showered, and we hit the road. I really didn’t even get a chance to check them out on the internet. And here’s what we found.
Where is Sandston Smokehouse?
Sandston Smokehouse is located in an old drug store in Sandston, VA. This also happens to be just down the road from Richmond International Airport. They’re on Williamsburg Rd. or Rt. 60. My GPS wanted me to take Interstate 295 very badly but I kept refusing and continued to take one back road after another. It probably took us an hour and a half to get there. Going home I gave up the fight and got on I-295 just outside of Sandston and it probably took barely over an hour to get home. Boy am I hard headed sometimes. It was a good ride either way. So look them up and see the best way for you to get there. For some you may be able to fly in and catch a shuttle. Just saying.
The Restaurant and Staff:
Like I said Sandston Smokehouse is located in an old drug store. It used to be the Sandston Pharmacy. They have done a wonderful job remodeling the building and turning it into a restaurant. There are still artifacts on display that remind you of the history. They turned the old store into a large dining room and still kept the counters where you could have had a snack or maybe ice cream in the drug store. The dining room was spotless and we just loved it. It had a warm and inviting feel to it. By the way, when we made our first visit Sandston Smokehouse had only been open for 5 weeks. Keep this in mind as you read on.
We were greeted as soon as we walked in the door. To give you an idea of the dining room size we were asked if we were with the party of 40 that was coming. Nope. They showed us to a table and gave us the menus to study. So even after the large party showed up there was still plenty of room. The noise level did not get too high either. Our waitress was April. She had an awesome personality and a great sense of humor, even when it was a little dry. After we told her why we were there she did tell me if it was going to be a bad review on the service that her name was Mary. Not sure who Mary is. No need to worry, even with the crowd that came behind us, our service was wonderful.
We talked to the owner, Bobby Haller, while we were there. He’s a local guy and felt the area needs a good home-style BBQ restaurant. Nice job! Bobby is a very nice guy and we enjoyed talking with him even though he had to get back to the kitchen.
My Choices at Sandston Smokehouse:
They started us out with some fresh made Pork Rinds. These things were awesome and just enough to get us excited about our meals.
My choices at Sandston Smokehouse tonight was the 3 Meat Platter with Ribs, Sausage, and Pulled Pork. For sides I went with Smoked Jalapeno Mac & Cheese and Brisket Baked Beans. I learned something tonight. Slow smoking the Jalapeno’s takes the heat out but leaves the flavor. I was impressed. So the mac & cheese was great. The baked beans were good too. Tammy liked them even more than I did. They had rice in them, making them different than any I’d ever eaten. Remember, in the restaurant business, different is a good thing.
The sausage was very good and not hot. I didn’t ask if it was made in house. I did suggest they work on a good mustard sauce similar to South Carolina Sauce for the sausage. That would make it even better. Maybe Bobby and company can work one up soon. The ribs were wonderful. They were smoked just right and didn’t need any sauce. The flavor and tenderness were near perfection. Finally there was the pulled pork. It was exceptional. Great smoke flavor, nice smoke ring, and plenty of bark mixed in. The pork was awesome without any sauce.
Tammy’s Choices at Sandston Smokehouse:
Tammy also chose a 3 Meat Platter. She went with Ribs, Sliced Brisket and Pulled Pork. Remember me telling you about the smoked Jalapeno’s losing the heat? Tammy went with the Jalapeno Mac & Cheese and Hushpuppies. Both meals came with onion slices, pickles, and a piece of homemade cornbread. The cornbread was really good too. Tonight was the first time Bobby had added molasses to the recipe and it added a great flavor.
Tammy loved the mac & cheese so believe me when I tell you that there was no heat in those peppers or she would not eat it. They did offer to replace it if she didn’t like it but that didn’t happen. Her hushpuppies were great. We loved them also.
Since I already talked about the Pork and Ribs I’ll just get to the Sliced Brisket. It was killer. If you zoom in you can see the great smoke ring and the dark edges in the picture. We both loved the brisket at Sandston Smokehouse.
Just a footnote: on our second visit we tried the Smokehouse Fries for an appetizer. You can easily make a meal out of these. Tammy said she may do just that the next time we visit. They load up their cut fries with a special cheese sauce and piles of brisket chunks. Some of which happened to be burnt ends. They’re awesome!
I did try some sauces just for the sake of trying them out. They had a good NC Vinegar type sauce. I also tried their Sweet Sauce. We have been back since our first visit and talking to Bobby I learned that the sweet sauce has mustard in it. I couldn’t tell when I tried it. The sauces were good but there was nothing that needed sauce on it.
Both of us had a piece of Blueberry Cobbler Cheese Cake for dessert. This was some of the best cheese cake I’ve ever eaten. Rich cheese with just enough blueberry and topped with white chocolate. What more can I say? Save room and bring a cooler.
Well like I said we made a second visit to Sandston Smokehouse the following Saturday. They’re closed on Sunday. I think you can figure out how much we loved it. Everyone we spoke with was really nice. They have a great location, near the intersection of I-64 and I-295 and just down the road from a major airport. We loved the food and the people. I believe that they will do very well here. I know we will be back soon.
Now For Your Thoughts:
Here’s where I try to get other’s to tell about their visits. Have you tried Sandston Smokehouse? How did it go? What did you think about your experience there? Fill us in on your visit. Leave some comments and I’ll get them posted.
What do you regulars think?
By the time I post this Sandstone Smokehouse will have been open for a little over 2 months. I know on our second visit there were plenty of locals there. Are you a regular yet? I would be if we lived closer. If so, what brings you back? Tell us more about the people there and the rest of the menu. I think we’d all love to hear more from you. Here’s your chance to help your local restaurant out by adding to this review. I love to post the comments that others leave so get them on in to me. Help spread the word about your new place in town.
I look forward to hearing from you.
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You can find them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SandstonSmokehouse/
By the way, there is a great picture of the dining room on their Facebook page.