American Barbecue done right: Holy Smokes in Poblacion, Makati – Z Hostel
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American Barbecue done right: Holy Smokes in Poblacion, Makati

There’s a song that goes “smoke gets in your eyes.” But in this side of the now multi-cultural and dynamic Poblacion neighborhood in Makati, smoke gets into the meat, that melts in your mouth, and then lasts in your heart. Holy Smokes down Matilde Street just gets American barbecue right. Let us tell you why.

Situated in an abandoned house in a sleepy neighborhood that was given a clean, beautiful makeover, Holy Smokes is well-put and well-thought out but never intimidating. That’s the idea in the first place: a sense of community while feasting over good food. Which brings us to the main point: the food — the overly sumptuous grub straight out of meat paradise and smoke heaven.

While the perfect American barbecue, especially in the Southern parts, are smoked to perfection using apple, oak, and hickory, it is difficult to find all that here in the country and could get very pricey. So Holy Smokes now uses local wood such as santol and kaimito (star apple) which give off a close semblance to the imported ones yet have a local flavor.

The smoking process goes on for 12-14 hours and the result is tender and juicy beef brisket. It is charred very lovely outside and then a pinkish streak greets you as you slice the meat.

The beef ribs is an absolute winner, too. Tender and goes off the bones with just a slight force of the fork.The roast chicken is a gastronomic feat, prepared the same way as the ribs but definitely packs its own medley of flavor and texture. And what’s the meat without the side dishes? Even these meat accompaniments are done right.

Cajun rice, cilantro rice, creamed corn, and coleslaw, although considered sides, steal the spotlight. Food for share like nachos and poutine should not be missed as well.

If you thought we’ve said everything to make you jump out of your seat and head to Holy Smokes right away, we’re not done yet. There is a local craft beer available in-store: Joe’s Brew gets it right as well — but we’ll save that for another story. But for now, make your way to Holy Smokes. Because mouthwatering, juicy, fall-off-the-bone meat and ice cold beer is never a bad idea.

Holy Smokes is located at 5834 Matilde corner Jacobo St., Poblacion, Makati City. Open everyday from 5 PM to 12 MN.

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