Cookouts might be full of grilled meat and veggies, but they’d be nothing without a sweet treat at the end! Sweeten up your next Ponte Vedra beachside cookout with one of our favorite summer desserts. Desserts come in all shapes in sizes and flavors. You can go the tangy route, the rich indulgent route or you could go the refreshing route. Whichever type of dessert you choose, you just can’t go wrong with sweet.

 

Lemon Tart

 

Summer and citrus go together like sand and the ocean. Lemons are so fresh during the summertime and complement any meal you’ve got on the grill. A sweet and a little bit salty crumble underneath a layer of tart and tangy lemon custard is a match made in heaven. Serve this dish with some whipped cream for guests to pile on as much as their taste buds desire.

 

Berry Parfait

 

Whipped cream and berries…does it get any more simple and delicious? Masurate the berries before assembling the parfait with sugar, lemon zest and some juice so that the berries pack a punch of flavor. Layer the berries you just perfected with the whipped cream, and just like that your dessert is ready for enjoying. Cookouts have a lot that goes into them and this dessert will take a little bit of the pressure off.

 

Summer Fruit Pie

 

Nothing screams America quite like homemade pie. The great thing about a summer fruit pie is there’s so much flexibility with the ingredients. In the mood for strawberries and peach? Awesome. Want to go for something a little more tart like blackberries? Throw ‘em in! If you choose to stick with the seasonal theme, we suggest strawberries and peaches. Throw in some lemon zest and you’re well on your way to rocking the dessert table.

 

Peach Crisp

 

Layered peach slices with melted cinnamon sugar and butter and granola on top all baked to a gooey perfection is definitely hard to resist. We suggest that you get the first plate of this dish because it’ll go quick. It’ll be a crowd pleasing dessert for a big cookout. It’s hard to go wrong with these ingredients and your fellow partiers are going to a adore your baking skills.

 

Killing it in the kitchen is a masterful skill that will certainly make your friends jealous! Pick out a dessert you know you’ll enjoy and make it your own! We’d like to think of this as a suggestive list of desserts to inspire your next cookout. But hey, if you and your group aren’t much of the cooking type, stop by Valley Smoke for some waterfront sweets.

 

It’s that time of year again…red, white and blue everywhere! We love a good American celebration, but there are definitely a few requirements to celebrating the holiday in style. You’re in luck, because your local modern BBQ restaurant is full of fun ideas to make your Fourth of July the best one yet.

American Classic: BBQ

Not only is BBQ a southern delicacy, it’s an American tradition (especially on Independence Day!) The sweet and tangy taste of barbeque sauce is sure to leave your guests wanting more. Our Valley Smoke Beef Brisket is an awesome option that’s sure to exceed any and all expectations. Plenty to share and, best of all, plenty to enjoy!

Patriotic Sippin’

Celebrating Fourth of July definitely calls for a whole lot of red, white and blue. Don’t skip out on the theme when it comes to your drinks! We suggest sticking to drinks with strawberries or blueberries to keep the color scheme and tastes in line with the holiday! You’ll feel extremely patriotic and while sipping on a nice red, white or blue spritzer.

Sparklers, Sparklers, Sparklers

It’s definitely not an Independence Day celebration without sparklers and fireworks! There aren’t many things that scream freedom like exploding firecrackers into the air. Here in Jax we do it big, and we don’t just mean the grand finale fireworks show. Let that American flag fly and send up some fireworks for those who have fought and are fighting for our freedom.

Backyard Games

Keep your party-goers entertained all night long with some awesome backyard games. Whether it’s drinking games or classic family fun games, you’re guests will be thrilled to keep the party going all night. We love a great old fashion game of cornhole or even giant jenga if you’re feeling adventurous. Playing games will keep your guests entertained in between eating BBQ and watching fireworks.

We love the Fourth of July as much as the next guy. Come celebrate in true American fashion with platters of great BBQ and glasses of any whiskey drink your heart desires. It just doesn’t get better than that! If you already have party plans, call ahead for catering options that are sure to impress the guests. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • ‘Que for 2 – 3 Meat Combo with 3 Sides, Buttermilk White Bread, Pickles
  • Farm House Mini Ham Sandwiches – Buttermilk Biscuits, House Cured Country Ham, Pepper Jelly
  • Butcher’s Block Sampler – House Cured Charcuterie & Southern Cheeses, Local Honey, Marcona Almonds, Grilled Baguette

A meal begins with your drink choice and sets the tone for all of the courses to follow…yeah, no pressure! Here at Valley Smoke, we make it easy. Although we have a robust menu, you can’t go wrong with your selections. The key is knowing which entrees, appetizers, desserts and drinks complement each other. Stick to one flavor palette and you’ll be on a fast-track to the perfect meal. Here are some of our favorites meal pairings from Valley Smoke. Bon appetit!

4 Tips To Planning Out A Tailor-Made Meal:

1. A well-balanced meal is your goal, not a meal that tastes the same from course to course. We suggest you avoid duplicating flavors. For example, if you order our Cocktail Pimento Cheese, take it easy on the cheese in the courses to follow. Lucky for you, we have plenty of delicious meat to choose from…

2. Fruit is normally never showcased during the beginning portion of your meal. This is because the sweetness that comes from fruit often dulls the appetite. For this reason, fruit shows up mainly in desserts.

3. Creamy soups are food for the soul. However, they don’t pair well with creamed vegetables such as our Poblano Cream Corn. Heavy, creamy starters shouldn’t be followed up by creamy sides. Instead, try a side like a mixed green salad!

4. Who doesn’t love sauce? Sometimes we get stuck on loving just one sauce. But the key to a complimentary meal is to mix it up a little and test out all of the homemade sauces Valley Smoke has to offer.

 

The menu is full of great options, but these options should balance strong, sweet, subtle and sharp flavors along with varying textures, colors and temperatures. The choices with more subtle flavors are mainly carbs such as rice and potatoes, which should be paired with strong flavors that can be found in meats or well-seasoned vegetables. Here’s an idea of what flavors, colors, temperatures and textures best compliment one another:

 

Complementary Courses are the Key

1. Complementing Seasonings: Starting off with a simple drink choice? Perk up your palette with a heavily seasoned appetizer to get your meal started the right way.

2. Complementing Temperatures: Varying temperatures throughout your meal creates interest and a much needed contradiction. Warm foods stimulate your appetite and appear in almost every course, so adding a cold side salad to any meal gives your meal balance.

3. Complementing Textures: Even in food, “opposites attract” is still a phrase that reigns true. Crunchy and smooth textures are ideal in meals, such as soup and salad. You could even just get our smooth Simple Tomato Soup that comes with crunchy grilled cheese croutons. Absolutely delicious!

 

 

Now that we shared the guide to help you navigate the perfect meal, here are some sample pairings for your next meal at Valley Smoke:

 

 

Mock Menu #1

  1. Chardonnay
  2. Roast Beet Salad – pecan / pears / southern blue cheese / tender greens / local honey sherry vinaigrette
  3. Heritage St. Louis Style Ribs – bacon garlic green beans / german potatoes / pickles / garlic toast
  4. Hummingbird Cake – cream cheese frosting / strawberries / coulis

 

Mock Menu #2

  1. Pale Ale
  2. Oak Smoked Burrata – arugula / tomato peach compote / Georgia olive oil / basil / grilled baguette
  3. Filet Mignon – grilled onion / smokey brandy jus / mashed potatoes
  4. Lemon Pie – cream chantilly

 

Mock Menu #3

  1. Riesling
  2. Oysters – iced raw – mignonette, house hot sauce and saltines / wood-roasted – chili and garlic butter / fried – cornmeal crusted and creole remoulade
  3. Good Breed Chicken – pickles / garlic toast / whipped potatoes / grilled broccoli
  4. Barbara’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake – vanilla ice cream / rum caramel sauce

 

 

These meal plans are just for inspiration, so feel free to substitute your own favorites to get the best tailored meal for you! We hope you feel equipped to walk in and order the perfectly paired meal at Valley Smoke. See you soon!

 

 

BBQ season is here! For many of us, this is the wonderful time of the year we get to gather around with family and friends and enjoy some delicious BBQ. So, whether you’re eating at Valley Smoke or grilling out in the backyard, you have to try these drink and BBQ pairings. It’s going to change the way you enjoy a real southern BBQ meal. From grilled chicken to marinated beef brisket, we’ve got the perfect drink for you: (more…)