A well-rounded meal begins with the first sip of your whiskey cocktail and the last bite of that sweet dessert. The Valley Smoke pit crew looks at BBQ as a science and eating as an art. Swap paint brushes for a fork and knife and we’re in business! In a society where dining is often rushed and true flavor pairings are no longer savored, we’re here to bring back the beauty of the perfect meal.

Tried-and-True Tips for a Well Balanced Dinner

1. Savor cream-based foods during just one course. A heavy appetizer like a cream-based soup may be too much if followed by creamy side dishes during the main course. The one exception to the rule is dessert, of course. If you’re in the mood for a scoop of ice cream, we say go for it.

2. Avoid ordering different menu items that have duplicating flavors. If you opt for a burrata appetizer, you likely wouldn’t order a burrata pasta dish. (You’re in luck! We focus on meats for our mains here at Valley Smoke.)

3. The sauce is such an important part of the flavor profile that we recommend you enjoy each sauce only once. If chimichurri plays a major role in one of your side dishes, it may not be complementary to order a main course with the same flavor profiles.

4. It’s rare to see sweet fruits as the focal point of an appetizer. Why, exactly? Sugary foods dull the appetite, which is why chefs typically save them for the last course. Grapefruit and watermelon are the only exceptions!

Complementary Elements are Key to a Great Meal

The perfect meal blends contrasting flavors and taste elements into an excellent combination of courses. Here’s what we’re talking about:

1. Complementing Textures: There’s just something so refreshing about a perfectly moist piece of meat contrasted by crunchy grilled veggies or a crisp salad. Soft and crunchy textures blend together so well, which is why soup and salad is the perfect combo.

2. Complementing Flavors: We’re talking about fresh herbs, marinades and seasonings. Certain foods lack bold flavors, like romaine lettuce. Subtle foods are the perfect complement to flavor-forward dishes.

3. Complementing Colors: A colorful plate of fresh food is a true sight for the eyes. Focus on a combination of colors when creating your main dish. Bright shades of green, yellow and red (we’re talking about veggies, here!) alongside meats are a sign of a healthy, balanced meal.

Experience the Perfect Meal at Valley Smoke BBQ

We’ve traveled far and wide to create dishes juuuust right for our friends all over Jacksonville. When you walk into Valley Smoke this season, you’ll find seasonal ingredients, top-quality meats and outstanding cocktails.

Make a reservation here and come on by this summer. We can’t wait to see you!

Walking down the condiments aisle in the grocery store is absolutely exhausting. If you’re not careful, you could get lost in a sea of BBQ sauces for hours! From the housemade stuff you find at Valley Smoke to the jarred options at your local supermarket, we’re here with the top choices to flavor your meat this summer.

Kansas City Classics

Sweet and smoky KC sauces are the perfect complement to a hot summer meal. The Valley Smoke BBQ pros draw flavor inspiration from our whiskey wall, local cuisines and adventurous palates.

We might be biased, but our favorite version of Kansas City BBQ sauce is what we make in-house. It’s the perfect thickness and mixture of sweet molasses, vinegar and a couple of other secret components. Hey, I guess you’ll just have to stop by and try it!

If you’re in a pinch and need to pick something up from Publix, you can’t go wrong with Sweet Baby Ray’s. This bottled option has served the masses for decades. The sweet, tangy profile and extra thickness is great for any backyard BBQ.

Can’t-Miss Mustard Options

South Carolina brought mustard-based sauces to the world of BBQ, and boy are we thankful. This popular option graces your dinner table in the form of a thin sauce with a distinct zing. Valley Smoke regulars love our take on this Carolina classic. Drizzle some of our mustard sauce on some meat from the pit for a serious flavor experience.

It’s hard to find a good grocery store option of a Carolina Gold, but Trader Joe’s does a solid rendition of this cult favorite. Their name brand BBQ is made with pure cane sugar, which is a rarity in the world of mass-produced corn syrup sauces.

Vinegar-Based Varieties Dominate the Scene

An absolute staple in any serious BBQ joint is a ho’made vinegar sauce. Yep, we’ve got it going on at Valley Smoke with our vinegar version. We worked tirelessly to develop two sauces (that’s right, we have TWO vinegar options) that strike the perfect combo of vinegar and spices. One is more traditional while the other kicks it up a notch with red peppers. Whether you want some heat or like to keep your cool, we’ve got what ‘ya need.

Stubb’s Original is a good store-bought option that’s been around for ages. It even used to be served in a whiskey bottle! No wonder we like this option. Give it a try if you don’t have time to pop into Valley Smoke for a bottle of our version.

Find Your Favorite at the Valley Smoke BBQ Pit

We serve BBQ lovers from the First Coast and beyond seven days a week. From our twist on Sunday brunch classics to slow-roasted meats, every one of our BBQ sauces is the perfect complement to your order.

Make your reservation to snag a table with an Intracoastal view. We can’t wait to serve you!

The BBQ pit crew over here on Roscoe knows allll about the perfect grilled meats and veggies to try out each season. What you’d eat when it’s cold and rainy outside is often very different than what you’re in the mood for on a sizzling hot day in Florida. We’re here to talk about the best foods to throw on your grill this summer and a few Valley Smoke favorites you’ll have to stop by and try. (more…)

There’s no right or wrong way to eat BBQ around these parts. Everyone has their preferences and the team at Valley Smoke embraces different likes and dislikes. Whether you prefer KC ‘que or something a little more southern, make 2019 your year to experiment with fresh flavors.

 

Barbecue is all about combining tender meat, great sauces and good company. Grab a few of your friends to sample some different approaches to everyone’s favorite type of food. Valley Smoke offers a selection of freshly prepared sauces to every table we serve. Give our Alabama White a try for something out of the ordinary! (more…)