Fork & Fire Smokehouse and Taproom review, Gloria Wolf

BBQ Chicken



RATING 4. stars out of 5 Prices, moderate. 

Fork & Fire Smokehouse and Taproom (Oro Valley) has a BBQ inspired menu with a variety of foods for every palate. Starting out with something from the Taproom, we asked about several beers. Our server brought multiple small glasses for tasting, making it easier to decide which beer to choose. We decided on the Barrio Rojo Red Ale and the 1554 Black Ale, both delicious. It was still happy hour, before 6:00 PM. Not only did we have a delicious beer, but the price was right.

Our table was partial to the pulled pork which was spiced to perfection and did not need the BBQ sauce provided at the table. The three sauces were hickory, tangy, and hot. The hickory had a standard BBQ flavor. The tangy sauce was a bit more lively with a heavier acid flavor and the hot sauce had a nice kick, but not too hot.

The plate includes a half pound of BBQ meat served with roasted vegetables a side and bread. Unfortunately, the vegetables went uneaten as they were bland compared to the rest of the food. The side of coleslaw was very popular. Just the way a coleslaw should be, tangy and bright.

One of the featured selections is the Dickman’s “Ugly Steak.” You can purchase the 6 oz steak or get a smaller cut by selecting the Ugly Steak Wedge. The wedge salad was served with two large wedge chunks smothered in blue cheese dressing, bleu cheese crumbles, bacon, and tomato. Along with the small cut of Ugly Steak it was the right amount for a smaller appetite.

According to Dickman’s Facebook page, the “Ugly Steak” is a sirloin cut, seasoned, and marinated for grilling. My Ugly Steak was cooked to perfection and was the right accompaniment to the wedge salad. I love this synergy between two local purveyors of fine foods. After you visit the Fork & Fire, be sure to visit Dickman’s Meat & Deli on Oracle Road.

One order was for pulled pork sliders. These were more than sliders. Three nearly full-sized sandwiches came with the order. Expect good-sized servings of each item on the menu, some of which could be shared with only your favorite people.

Our server provided the just right amount of attention to our group and we never wanted for anything.

This restaurant is not your quiet, reserved dinner location. This is a party place and when the weather cools, it will be a great location for a gathering on the patio. You can also order take-away and reserve on-line. Fork & Fire has all the conveniences and a fun party atmosphere.

Gloria Wolf, food critic

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10 months ago

It is a great barbeque place and as good as Phil’s Barbeque in San Marcos CA.