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Smokin' Joe's

Not Rated.
Smokin' Joe'sSmokin' Joe's
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

45 Ratings
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.22%
Taps: 60
Bottles: 350
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

2001 E Carson St
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15203-1901
United States
phone: (412) 431-6757

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @smokin_joes

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: WilliamPhilaPa)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by irishevans:
Photo of irishevans
4.58/5  rDev +11.4%

Been here under two types of circumstances. late night on a weekend, and afternoon mid-week. I'll review according to the latter, as that's typically when beer geeks go out to be beer geeks.

A- feels a little divey, but in a very comfortable way, like a real steel city bar ought to. people are cool, mind their business generally and if they do chime in on a conversation it's usually beer related, and nobody was drinking crap. [this is in contrast to the weekend evenings, when it's the usual E.Carson Street Crowd, and when I was there on such a night a group of about four yuppie types dressed in button-up collared shirts looking like they should have been in line at a velvet rope club about to be rejected by the doorman, came in ordered Bud Lights and started the adolescent posturing one would expect from a kid on his 21st birthday, but these guys had to be late 20's early 30's, boasting that they were Jets fans not Steelers, then asked me if I was a jets fan too. my responce was that they needed to go back to the hotel bar before they got hurt, they didn't listen, and while waiting for a cab to go back to my folks I did see them get their asses rocked by some other fellow Yinzers, that they were starting with in somkin' joe's]

Quality of what they have is stellar. lots of good brews and tons of Local stuff (props for supporting the local beer scene unlike the main competitor Fat Heads, which has no business being in the burgh at all). other than that, lots of reigional beers, and tons of good stuff from the country, continent, and world over.

Srvice was great Both trips. the bartenders know enough of what they are talking about when it comes to beer to help out even the most novice of palates find something from the world of craft, and they are super friendly too, even if they are swamped with E.Carson weekend tourists (as I call them).

Selection is likely the best in the Burgh. 60+ (more like close to 70) taps, and a LONG bottle list. Also like I said before, examples from each of Pittsburgh's breweries/brewpubs, and lots of PA beer on top of that, while still having a ton form the country/world over.

Didn't eat here.

prices aren't bad, they take little advantage of location for pricing.

I like the place, but if I want to sit and enjoy a beer here afternoon, if I'm out with a herd of friends for the infamous E.Carson Pub Crawl, I'll still want to take a longer stop than usual here and quickly have a pint or two of some GOOD beer.

[again, all review points are based on the experience midweek in the afternoon]

irishevans, Jan 20, 2011
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the service has sucked everytime i went, but they have a great selection on tap and in bottles. worth a shot if youre on carson. def not a super party atmosphere, but good enough to keep entertained. ive had a the food a few times and its TYPICAL bar food, do not plan to be impressed.

basickness, May 10, 2013
Photo of Kwak
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%

Stopped in hear after hitting the tiki lounge and was very impressed.
we walked in and it was tight in front of the door but opened up in the back so we found seats at the bar.

the selection was awesome great bottle list great taps to many to list.
the service was good they handed me a book with the beer list and knew everything on it and were able to steer me away from some of the crap.

the food was good all we got was wings the burger and fries but was good bar food.
good beer good food good service would go back anytime

Kwak, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of John_M
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%

After my stop at Fathead's, I thought I'd poke my head into Smokin Joe's before calling it a night (it's just a a couple blocks down the street).

The first thing that struck me about Joe's is just how small the place is. As you walk in, there's a sizeable long bar on your immediate right, with a few tables and chairs far in the back, down a narrow hallway. There's also a couple of table and chairs up front by the bar area as well, but still... 40 or 50 people in this place would completely fill it up. Otherwise, there are a few flat screen TV's over the bar area, and the usual bar brick a brack throughout. Atmosphere is very informal and laid back, and I found this to be a very comfortable place to hang out with a beer or three.

As for the beer list, this place completely blows fatheads out of the water. They advertise 60 beers on tap (I think there were a few less today), and then there are over 200 beers in bottle as well. Interestingly, despite the heavy emphasis on good craft beer on draft and bottle, Joe's also had miller lite and bud lite on tap (the bartender said they had just removed the bud lite tap handle, but it was still on the menu). I was a bit surprised, as they also had both beers in bottle format, and in my experience, macro drinkers could generally care less whether there swill is in bottle, can or on draft. In any event, the selection here is otherwise just outstanding, with a much more varied and diverse selection than what I had over at Fatheads.

As for service, I thought it was pretty good. My bartender (Mike) was quick and knowledgeable, and was able to handle a good size Saturday night crowd with practiced ease. I was also impressed by his handling of the crowd, which generally seemed to consist of many college age patrons, some of them very much the worse for wear. When a couple of attractive, extremely drunk young women came in for a round of cherry bombs, he very politely advised them that he couldn't serve them. Naturally, the women were not pleased with this response (though clearly the last thing they needed was any more alcohol), but the bartender maintained a polite and professional attitude throughout, despite the threats and verbal abuse from the young women.

Prices were some of the more reasonable I came across in Pittsburgh. It seemed to me that on average they were in the $4.50 a pint range, and that included tax (most of the other places I visited would tack on tax to the listed pint price).

I liked this place a lot and wouldn't hesitate to stop by again any time I'm in town.

Note: This is a great place, but the service can be a bit lacking when it comes to updating the beer list. Always be sure to ask if there are any changes or update to the beer list; there are usually a number of selections that are incorrect. Last time I was there the list indicated they had hopslam (it had blown several days earlier), and the list and "new beer" chalk board made no mention of the Nugget Nectar they had recently tapped. It's not enough to make me go elsewhere (the beer selection is always excellent), but it can be annoying.

Have had several food items, all of which were completely forgetable and unremarkable. I ordered the wings last time I was there, as I couldn't recall what they were like. After I got them, it was pretty clear why I couldn't recall what they were like. Not awful, but nothing distinctive or remarkable either. Hopefully I'll remember not to order them again next time I want to order food (I normally get food at Piper's Pub across the street, and suggest anyone else planning to order lunch or dinner do the same.)

John_M, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of therica
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%

Smokin' Joes is incredible !!! A massive selection of great on-tap beers (65?) and also cool tshirts ha ha.

It's not as large or as deco-impressive as a place like FatHeads but on the other hand it's a bit more down to earth and it's less of a restaurant and more of a bar with some decent food.

There's a great digital jukebox that always seems to have something playing, or you can pay and select your own music which will eventually play. That's a plus over most of the other local venues which have pre-canned music playing or sports tv games running.

A definite place to visit, more than once.

therica, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of jts2003
3.76/5  rDev -8.5%

You can expect a good time if you get out of there before 10pm. It is a great place to start an evening with many beers on tap, and even more bottles. Many seasonal and local brews on hand ranging for all tastes. After 9 or 10, you cannot stand still in the same place, or sit, without being pushed and bumped. You will also lose quality of service very fast as the bartenders become overly busy and often become visually flustered. Also annoying when what seems to be the perfect beer for you at that moment has just had the keg kicked.

jts2003, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.71/5  rDev +14.6%

We stumbled upon Smokin' on our way to Fat Head's. What a great find! 60 beers on tap, better selection than Fat Head's and cheaper too.

Great service, cool bartender- she was on top of everything, so nice! Didn't try food, but had a bunch of beers for less than twenty bucks. Great price! An enormous sampler of five beers is only $7.95.

They fill growlers too- will have to ask about that next time.

Their beer selection includes some rare offerings, their extensive menu is a delight to peruse. Atmosphere is nothing special, feels like an old neighborhood bar, a little run-down, but fine. Not crowded on a Saturday evening, nice.

will definitely stop again, every time we're in Pittsburgh!

DoubleSimcoe, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of IronCitySteve
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%

A: Walking in, the front bar area is very tight and narrow. Lots of people congregating around the bar, which makes pasage to the back room tables or the upstairs a challenge at times. The bar is quite long with ample seating.

Q: Never had a problem with outdated bottles or beer that did not taste quite right on tap.

S: Never had a problem with any of the bartenders or waitresses, they are really nice and quite knowledgable about beer, the problem is, there are not enough of them, especially when it is late at night or during a Pens/Steelers game. So the service is good, just not enough of it...

S: There is a ton of bottled beers (200+) and beers on tap (at least 40) here. There is no shortage of varying style of beer. They do quite well keeping up with the seasonals as well.

F: Average bar food...nothing going to blow you out of the water here.

A great bar for beer quality and quantity. A must stop when on the Southside, beware of the crowds at night and during sporting events.

IronCitySteve, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of KAP1356
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%

This place always confuses me, but it truly is the best beer selection in Pittsburgh.

The atmosphere is that of any normal BMC type bar. Is it trying to be a sports bar? Is it trying to be a beer geek bar? Either way, you kind of the get the vibe of the former when you first walk in...then you see the regrigerators and the tap lines.

The quality is quite good here. They have some amazing and often times hard to find beers.

The selection, in my opinion, is the best in Pittsburgh. Not only do they have 60 DRAFT BEERS!!!!, but they have the best bottle selection of any place in Pittsburgh. Better yet, they're prices are extremely reasonable. They aren't marking up their bottles by any means which was quite refreshing.

The Service all depends on the bartender. They come across like they have the mindset that everyone is going to be another BMC drinker, until you order some Lost Abbey or inquire as to how fresh the Hop Stoopid is in the cooler. Then they become great.

KAP1356, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of portia99
4.63/5  rDev +12.7%

A - Layed back atmosphere..casual, a bit rustic and lived in for appearance. A large bar with manhy seats with ripped uphostery, about half a dozen tv's playing mostly sports related programs. Behind the bar are 4 or 5 bottle cooler filled completlely tih locals and high end craft beers. 60 taps and 1 cask beer of very high quality beers and a few rarities. A pool table and some seating spaces in the back...played a couple of games of pool...pretty quiet on a Monday night, mostly filled with locals. We fit in pretty easily though and traded friendly insults with the Buffalo Sabres fan bartender as we watched the Bruins send them packing to the off season.

Q - Quality of beer available was excellent. At least 55 of the 60 taps were unusual and high end craft beers - Founders, East End, Stone, Terrapin, Sly Fox and many others. As a sampling, we had Founders Sappy Slappy, Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti, Oak Aged Wake & Bake, Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot, Brooklyln Cookie Jar Porter...pretty rare and interesting stuff on tap, for sure.

S - Service was very friendly, especially compared to other Pittsburgh beer bars we visited. Went thru 2 shifts of bartenders and all were very friendly and enjoyed some sports heckling with the out of towners...Beers were always poured with no delays...bartenders were definitely on top of thingsk and ready to serve.

S - Selection was amazing...I rarely go to bars and find so many high end offerings that I have not already had the chance to sample. We stayed for 5-6 hours and sampled many beers, all of which were new to me....a great thing for sure...especially considering the abilitlity to try a couple of true rarities in the beer world.

F - Food was of good quality. Sampled a Caesar salad, chicken wings, french onion soup, quesadillas and a pretzel...all were good, but none were truly outstanding. Definitely shouldn't be disappointed with the food here, but other places in the neighborhood seemed to be a notch above here.

V - We kept looking at the menu and couldn't believe how cheap items were. Sandwiches and appetizers in the $3-6 range...really cheap, especially for being in the city. Overall the prices are very good and the selection of food and beer make this a good destination for some brews and food when in Pittsburgh.

portia99, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of garbercury
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%

Probably the best "beer bar" in Pittsburgh.

A--Now that smoking is banned, this narrow and cramped bar is tolerable. However, it is still narrow and cramped. The good thing is the South Side is usually crowded with college age types who are in the mood for crap beer and jager bombs, so you can often get a seat at the bar and if that is the case, it is tough to leave.

Q--Beer is fresh and top notch. Only minus, a fairly big one, is they serve all beer in Pints, not good.

S--Bartenders are solid and very prompt.

S--Selection is a huge plus here. Often get some excellent rarities (had the Canadian Breakfast on tap) and sometimes tap aged kegs. Excellent bottle selection.

If you are in Pittsburgh, do fatheads for meal and a couple brews and then settle down for a few more at Smokin' Joes...nice!

garbercury, Dec 02, 2009
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Smokin' Joe's in Pittsburgh, PA
92 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.