Recently, driving through Fort Morgan in route to Nebraska, we were getting hungry. Our 20-something driver suggested sandwiches at the local Starbucks. Not stale Starbucks sandwiches, I thought. I quickly looked up “Best Restaurants Fort Morgan” on my phone and discovered a tiny, whole-in-the-wall BBQ joint, All About Smoke, that had terrific reviews. Those reviews were spot-on.
All About Smoke is co-owned by young husband and wife team Tara and Matt Fisher. They sell breakfast burritos (at the killer price of $2.85), featuring different meats each day. But their mainstay is their meat sandwiches— brisket, pulled pork, and bourbon pulled pork, all of it is smoked right on-site.
Co-owner Tara waited on us and, since we couldn’t decide on the meat, she brought samples of each. I ordered the bourbon pulled pork ($8.45) and my companions ordered the pulled pork ($8) and the brisket ($9.95). For $2 more, you can get double the quantity of meat, but it’s unnecessary because they’re with portions. The meats are served without sauce and diners have their choice of regular, apple, or hot BBQ sauce that’s made in-house.
Each sandwich includes a side (baked beans, fries, coleslaw, Hawaiian coleslaw, potato salad, pasta salad, mac and cheese, fried okra, or au-gratin potatoes) and a big 12-ounce fountain drink or iced tea (sweet or unsweetened).
I felt the plain pulled pork was just that—juicy, but too plain with not enough assertive flavors. So I ordered the bourbon pulled pork sandwich on a soft, chewy brioche bun. I added a mixture of the regular and hot (not too hot) BBQ sauce. The bourbon pork was juicy and tender with lovely notes of both smoke and sweet and earthy bourbon. The BBQ sauce lent a nice complexity without being overly sweet. However, the sandwich would have benefited from a good shake of salt (we ordered it to-go and didn’t get any salt packets).
Two of the folks I was traveling with are Texans and mighty proud of their state’s world famous ‘que. So I was impressed when one of them, Diane Sitton, who ordered a brisket sandwich said, “I was impressed that the brisket was all meat and not just a bunch of fat. It had a nice smoky flavor with a dark crust that’s terrific. This could compete with Texas BBQ.”
Now that’s high praise.
The same couldn’t be said for the coleslaw and fries we ordered as sides. The fries were standard pre-made ones. This restaurant would benefit from hand cutting and frying up fresh potatoes for fries. The coleslaw, a combination of super-crunchy cabbage and carrots, was a bit dry and cried out for more acidity and salt, salt, salt.
Our iced teas, both sweetened and unsweetened, were big and freshly brewed black tea with none of that fruity nonsense fancy places often use.
Real Bottom Line: All About Smoke is a BBQ gem in a little town where there’s not a lot happening food-wise. The portions are generous; the meats tender and juicy. This is a young couple that knows their way around a smoker and for a small price, you’ll get a seriously tasty sandwich. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor