Pillbox

Brunch Buddies: Smoke Barbeque Taqueria

My mother came to Pittsburgh recently, which meant that I had an excuse to go to several new and exciting restaurants and break her bank account. One of these new and exciting restaurants I went to was Smoke Barbeque Taqueria in Lawrenceville, a Mexican restaurant that primarily specializes in large tacos and queso.

The location:
The restaurant is located near Row House Cinema, but the entrance isn't particularly flashy or easy to see. This fact combined with my mother's awful sense of direction led to us getting lost for a minute. However, the location is fairly intuitive, and its proximity to Row House is a huge plus. The restaurant is also cash only, which was somewhat inconvenient for us. However, they have an ATM located in the back of the restaurant, so they clearly anticipate people not having cash.

The food:
My mother and I ordered the house queso dip with chips. The queso had chicken, avocado, black beans, onions, and hot sauce in it. We each also ordered tacos, which were quite possibly the largest tacos I've ever eaten. I don't exactly remember what we ordered, but one taco had chorizo in it and the other was the house special of the day. This was clearly a more Americanized take on Mexican food, which would normally be a criticism. However, in this case, the food was incredibly rich, flavorful, and actually much better than I anticipated it being. The chips and queso came first, and the presentation of the food was an absolute surprise. The chips were most likely house made and were not like traditional nacho chips, and the queso was one of the heaviest things I've had in a long time. Despite all the food being very rich, it wasn't overbearing to the point where I couldn't eat anymore. Overall, the food was a delight and not at all what I was expecting.

The vibe:
Lawrenceville has a number of restaurants that look a lot more upscale and bourgeois, and Smoke Barbeque Taqueria falls into the same category. The interior decor was this nice small space that somehow managed to feel open. Everything was made of wood was a really nice touch. Everyone was having a great time, and the music really complemented the good vibes.

Lit or nah?
This place is definitely lit. I'll definitely be returning to this restaurant several more times to try every queso and every taco they possibly have.