Mike’s Smokehouse, Chattanooga TN

Wrapping up my little investigation into all three of Mike’s restaurants, I visited his barbecue place and was really pleased with what I found. While not my absolute favorite, this is certainly among the best this area has to offer.

Earlier this month, I told you about visiting two of Mike Robb’s places and enjoying his burgers and fries. It turns out he also has a passion for barbecue, and when Sweeney’s BBQ closed this location a few years ago (they still have one on TN-58 I need to try) and left a vacant building just crying out for somebody else to smoke some pork, Robb set up shop.

I stopped by for lunch one Friday in December and was really pleased with the quality of the food. You can certainly find places around Chattanooga where, for the same price, you will get a larger serving of pork than Mike’s, but only a couple of others taste anywhere near as good as this. This is very moist and smoky and packed with flavor.

Chattanooga isn’t renowned for barbecue, of course, even though I’ve found a few places that I enjoy and would recommend. But it certainly isn’t known for brisket, and I have not found brisket this good anywhere around here. I prefer pork generally, and like Old Plantation’s somewhat more than Mike’s, but this may be the best brisket in town. It’s got a good mix of fat and is not at all dry,

I’m among those who believe that the best brisket doesn’t need sauce at all, but I did like the flavor of a couple of drops of their Tennessee Whiskey sauce every few bites. I may be a heathen to some, but I enjoyed myself. (Actually, you want to talk about being a heathen? B’s Cracklin’ in Atlanta makes some astonishingly good brisket, and a few weeks after my visit here, I just drowned that beef in Bryan’s spicy vinegar sauce. Drowned it. No regrets.)

This was a really nice lunch. I had great service and quite good food. Mike’s doesn’t seem to be known outside the area – it had never registered with me before we drove past it a couple of months previously – but it’s just a couple of minutes off I-24 and easily accessible for anybody passing through town without a lot of time for a detour. I’d be happy to stop again sometime soon, and plan to. Not transcendent, but perfectly acceptable.

Mike’s Smokehouse
3147 Broad St
Chattanooga, TN 37408


Are you planning a barbecue road trip? You can see all the barbecue restaurants that we have visited for our blog (more than four hundred !) on this map, with links back to the original blog posts!

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