Smokin' with Chris

Bar, Eatery

59 W Center St
Southington, Connecticut, 06489-3511
United States

(860) 620-9133 | map
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Ratings by wyllder:
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Reviewed by wyllder from Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5
I came here with the wife, baby, and another couple on a Saturday afternoon.

Atmosphere was cozy & relaxed. Decidedly kid friendly. The main room was setup with several tables, and seemed to be more than ample.

Wait staff was friendly and service was prompt.

Beer selection was ok for a beer bar, and pretty good for a restaurant, so I rated it a 3.5. Tap selection included Guiness, Hooker IPA, Hooker Blonde, Brooklyn Pennant, and something else I've forgotten. Bottle list was pretty much macro swill.

Food was, for the most part, spectacular.

I had the Smoked Stuffed Pork Tenderloin and it was fantastic, as were the Chiles Rellenos and the Baby Back Ribs. My wife's meal, the smoked Salmon, was overcooked and she didn't care for it very much. Side dishes could have been a bit more creative, in my opinion. The mashed potatoes & vegetable with my meal were terribly boring alongside the main dish.

Overall, I liked this place quite a bit, and will definitely make it a point to find my way back.

Jun 03, 2007
More User Ratings:
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Reviewed by ale2thechief from Connecticut

4.53/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5
Incredible baby back ribs and bacon wrapped meatloaf. Collard greens and Mac and cheese are our favorite sides. Beer selection can be a home run on many nights but sometimes they miss the mark. Usually 2 or 3 ales on tap and porters, stouts. Beer selection is likely driven by food pairing and not to cater to hop heads like me. However, the BBQ is so great that I can overlook not having a kick ass IPA. Wood smoker is behind restaurant. You can smell the food before the restaurant comes into view.
Apr 13, 2015
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Reviewed by hoppymcgee from Maine

3.75/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75
The meat here is okay and portions decent. The sides (mac 'n' cheese, mashed potatoes, fries, corn bread) need a little sprucing up. The draft selection is small, but fine-tuned.
Mar 31, 2015
Rated: 4 by Bjorn2bWild from Connecticut

Aug 05, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by grahuba from Connecticut

Mar 28, 2014
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Reviewed by hops4life from Connecticut

4.45/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
One of those places that you can't get down on. I've had full dinners, a quick brisket sandwich, long hangs with a group of friends... the service, food, and beer are always top notch. You gotta love smoke or the bbq might be a little overwhelming. The specials can be a bit of an adventure, but always have some redeeming quality. The beer selection isn't huge, but they don't keep a lot of junk on tap. Always a good/great stout or porter choice, always a good IPA, and some kind of lighter option like a weiss or a lager. Great to see that the other reviewers have been greeted by Chris and picked up on his love for beer and food. In some places that doesn't matter, but at SWC it does.
Mar 05, 2010
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Reviewed by jeffthecheff from Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5
Visited once for lunch a few weeks back for the first time. At lunch time, the place was pretty empty, but a nice quiet place to get a beer and sandwich.

This place had a nice little tap list of about 6 beers, all craft. I had a Otter Creek Octoberfest and Heavy Seas Loose cannon. There were two other regional crafts, Widmer hefe, and Guinness also on tap. I talked to Chris, the owner briefly and he told me he rotates very frequently, with no beer except Guinness staying on for more than 1 1/2 months.

I had no idea that there was a legitimate BBQ place in the area, so I was pleasantly surprised. The smoker was fired up in the back lot...yummy. I ordered a beef brisket with fries. The meat was very flavorful, and the BBQ sauce was excellent. I look forward to coming back and trying some more food.

Prices were good for lunch, my sandwich was $7 or $8 and a pint was $5. This place puts importance in its beer selection, but isn't exactly a beer destination. It is well worth checking out for great BBQ and a good pint. Highly reccomended.
Sep 13, 2009
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Reviewed by pandora31 from Connecticut

4.45/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
I have been to this place a few times and it has never been a disappointment. For the area, the selection of beers on tap is great. Tonight they had a DFH (I believe it was the Chicory Stout) , Widmer Heffe, Smithwicks, Abita IPA, Bluepoint Rasatfar-Rye, and Guiness. Although the selection isn't vast, they have good ones to choose from.
So far I have had their Cuban Sandwich and the Meat Lover's Combo. Both were amazing and served in huge portions. Also, the collard greens are a must. The vibe of the bar area is unpretentious and laid back, which I always love!
Jun 04, 2009
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Reviewed by gpcollen1 from Connecticut

3.1/5  rDev -24.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2
On my recent visit I was a bit underwhelmed with beverage moreso than the food - though I only had a few apps. Took a seat a the bar and relaxed for a bit.

Tap selections of Bass, Guinness, Harp, Hooker Liberator, Sixpoint Rastafar Rye and Widmer Hefe. Not sure if some of the taps are hold overs from St Patricks Day but yugga. I was tempted to have some Liberator but feared I would either enjoy it or be disappointed by what had happened to it. I had not had the Rastafar-Rye yet so I grabbed one of those. Not a bad rye beer at all - Ill have another.

As for the menu, looks good and full of salads as well as typical BBQ. I was just looking for a snack with a buddy so we got some chips and salsa, wings and the rib ends. The salsa was sweet and good but not what I expected i suppose. I would have enjoyed it more if I did not have to cut the huge chunks of tomato in order to eat them - there were halved tomatoes in there. On to the wings and that sweet salsa was nice to have aside from the buffalo wings. I wished there were smoked/bbqd wings on the menu but the fried were good. The rib ends were decent, essentially the end of the rack cut off when you trim the St Louis rack. I usually buy the whole rack at the store so I am familiar with the ends - and what they are like when overdone - touch as hell. These were a bit touch and I would say overcooked.

Ill give this place another look for some BBQ sometime and see what the tap list is like next time. I got a good local vibe - and that is good - but the beer and food vibe was not what i expected. For being there a bit over an hour and a $55 tab, I should have skipped this stop and headed home to my local for some raw clams and a CL Pale Ale...I'll be back someday for an update...
Apr 08, 2009
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Reviewed by thespaceman from Connecticut

4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
Came here with my girlfriend after seeing good recomendations from BA.

A nice cozy little spot located in Southington, CT. As soon as we walked in, the sound of live music and smoked BBQ fills the air. This place is already starting out good.

This is a great craft beer bar, they had about 6-8 varieties on tap which is unheard of around these parts. Nice to see they cater to a more sophisticated beer drinker. They had Magic Hat Circus Boy, Opa Opa Milk Chocolate Stout, Dogfish Head India Brown, Long Trail Hibernator, and a couple others. My girlfriend ordered a steak appetizer which was AWESOME! And I got some bruchetta, which paired nicely with my DFH India Brown Ale. The waitstaff is very attentive, they even let my girlfriend try a beer from the tap to make sure she liked it. A big plus! I talked to the owner while sitting down and told him how nice of a place this was, he was very cordial and I can see why this place has such a good rating on here.

All in all, Smokin with Chris is a good break from these trashy BMC bars that cater to nothing but zombies. This place is my new favorite spot to relax and have a good tap beer. The food is excellent, the service is top notch, and the beer selection is perfect. If your in the area, make sure you stop at this diamond in the rough in Southington.
Jan 17, 2009
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Reviewed by Hautacam from Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5
We came here on a Sat. night when J. Timothy's in Plainville was just too packed. Came in only for food....had tried the BBQ before , so we knew it was good...was not expecting good beer...I mean , it's Southington, CT. What a surprize to see six taps and all but one were craft brews. Three Thomas Hookers on tap, Allagash White, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout....Guiness was the only macro.
Met the owner , Chris...nice guy , very friendly...says he will be expanding his craft beer menu soon.... (next day, I ran into him at the Real Ale cask fest in New Haven....he's gotta be a beer lover)
Second time in the place, a week later, there was Brooklyn Smoked Weiss and Kira Wit on tap along with a different Allagash. Not sure about the bottle selection...but with his tap rotation , who cares ? (OK, I'll ask next time and post).
The food here is really good. I've had the brisket and the pulled pork and they were both excellent. Loved the brisket.The pulled pork might just be the best I've had....really tender, not overcooked... perfectly smoked. The BBQ sauces are also top notch.The side dishes I chose were excellent...sweet potatoes with apple....smoky and sweet baked beans. There are a lot more options for sides....rice and beans, cornbread, slaw, etc.
The menu has a lot of other choices besides BBQ ....pretty varied menu,'s posted on their website.
The staff was very nice and attentive...bartender offering samples without us asking.... food was served quickly.
We ate at the bar and could hear some really nice straight-ahead jazz and vocals coming from the dining room. The musicians and the vocalist were this really Southington.? I dreaming ?
I think they also have some blues bands here.
My girlfriend lives in town , so I'm guessing that we'll be here on a regular basis.
Highly recommended if you like good BBQ, beer and music.
Check it out.
Feb 16, 2007
Smokin' with Chris in Southington, CT
Place rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 11 ratings