We could really sum this up with just a few words — gourmet southern food with waterfront views. Brunch is practically a weekend pastime here in Jacksonville, and we’re prepared to make the case for Saturday and Sunday mornings at the pit. Between the fresh-pressed juices and our modern twist on classic brunch favorites, you’re in for a treat when you spend your morning at Valley Smoke. 

Shareables Even the Kids will Love

Encourage the little ones to venture outside their pancakes and waffles comfort zone. Start your meal off with an order of beignets or mini jalapeno cornbread muffins. We promise that caramel sauce and powdered sugar coating the beignets are irresistible even to the pickiest eater. 

While the adults sip something strong to kick off the weekend, your kids will love the pre-brunch snacks. It’s not every day you find appetizers at a brunch spot! Many of our team members are parents themselves, so we understand the value of getting good food on the table right away. 

Space to Relax Before and After Your Meal

Sometimes all you need on a Sunday morning is a delicious meal and some relaxation. Play a little putt-putt on our green, chase the kids around in the grass or kick back on the cushioned chairs at the end of our dock. 

We certainly know a thing or two about great food here at Valley Smoke, but we also consider ourselves relaxation experts. When we’re not in the kitchen, we’re at the end of our dock with a cold drink. There’s just something so special about the peace and quiet of the Intracoastal

Brunch Entrees Like You’ve Never Experienced

We wanted to do something different with our brunch menu to set us apart from other Jacksonville brunch spots. Our specialty is great meat, so it’s only natural for our brunch menu to be an extension of our lunch and dinner. 

Some of your BBQ favorites from dinner have made their way onto the morning menu. Big fan of brisket? Yeah, us too. Brace yourself for the brisket hash and eggs with peppers, sweet onions, crispy potatoes, cheese, fried eggs and salsa. If you have more of a sweet tooth, you’ll feel right at home with our southern fried chicken and waffles with a local honey sriracha gravy.

Spend Your Weekend with Us at Valley Smoke

With a brunch menu this good, we don’t blame you if you come two days in a row. Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. Be sure to book a reservation to get your favorite table. 

Don’t forget about brunch cocktails! We offer our full bar menu during brunch, but the Valley Smoke Bloody Mary packs the perfect punch to start your day off right.

If you like to sip something strong during your main course, you’re in good company at Valley Smoke. Whiskey isn’t just a spirit reserved for dark speakeasies or stately libraries. Nope. Modern whiskey drinkers like you enjoy a chilled glass of the good stuff just about anywhere. If you’re craving a top-shelf cocktail (or something a little cheaper, we’re not judging) with your meal, here are our favorite entree pairings to round out your drinking experience.
Ribs from the Pit are the Perfect Whiskey Partner
Heritage St Louis Style Ribs go great with just about anything, but especially a strong whiskey cocktail. The Valley Smoke whiskey wall boasts countless different varieties of everyone’s favorite dark liquor. While you can’t go wrong with any of them, some of our signature cocktails pair especially well with our BBQ meat.

Aahhh, the Old Fashioned. We mix Eagle Rare 10 year bourbon with Luxardo cherries, Bittermilk Old Fashioned mix and a fresh orange slice. It’s classic, it’s honest and it just tastes right. This simple libation is the perfect complement to a good ‘ole rack of ribs.
Whiskey in One Hand and a Valley Smoke Reuben in the Other
When you think of a great dinner to accompany your equally-as-good glass of liquor, you likely don’t think of a sandwich. Well, hear us out on this one. Whiskey is a complex, rich drink that pairs perfectly with fresh rye bread and mild slices of deli meat. That’s where the Reuben comes in.

Our Valley Smoke Reuben is a favorite amongst team members and customers alike. We thinly slice our house pastrami onto marble rye. Then, we top it off with sauerkraut, baby swiss and Russian dressing. It’s dang good — and even better with a Roscoe Sunset. This cocktail combines Elijah Craig small batch bourbon, Pama pomegranate liqueur and fresh lemonade.
The Gentleman’s Favorite: Steak and a Strong Beverage
At risk of becoming a cliche, it’s important we mention just how good the Valley Smoke steak really is. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t even bother putting this classic pairing on the list.

Indulge in a perfectly cooked 14-ounce ribeye that’s finished with southwestern chile butter, arugula salad and fries. Sound outstanding? Oh yeah, we know. Top it all off with a Manhattan. Well, not just any Manhattan. Prepare yourself for Col E.H. Taylor small batch bourbon, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters and a Luxardo cherry. It all sounds similar to meals of your past, but it’s just so, so much better.
Reserve Your Table for the Perfect Whiskey Dinner this Summer
Whether you want a spot indoors with views of the whiskey wall or a table outside overlooking the Intracoastal, we’ve got ‘ya covered over at Valley Smoke. Make your reservation here. We can’t wait to see you!

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!

Now that Halloween’s over, it’s finally time to think about Thanksgiving, everyone’s favorite holiday! Whether you celebrate with family or friends, begin your day with a marathon, parade or snuggled in bed, it’s important to focus on what’s really important and leave the stress of meal planning to us. These side dishes are the perfect accompaniment to grandma’s traditional turkey, will impress the in-laws and are super easy to bring to your best friend’s potluck.

 

Creamy Baked Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Mac ‘n’ cheese never lasts that long, but this recipe is going to blow your mind! In a food processor or blender, combine one cup cottage cheese, two cups milk, one tsp dry mustard, a pinch or two of cayenne (depending on how spicy you like it), grated nutmeg, salt and pepper. Combine cheese mixture with 1/2 pound uncooked macaroni and close to a pound of grated cheddar cheese (save 1/4 cup of the pound for topping) and add to a buttered baking dish. Bake for 30 min at 375° then top with butter and the 1/4 cup of leftover cheese. Bake for another 30 minutes.

 

Not in the mood to prepare mac and cheese for your big group? No problem. We make the best dang mac ‘n’ cheese this side of the Mississippi…but we may be biased. Order a pint or two for your Thanksgiving dinner and find out for yourself.

 

Sweet Potato Casserole

The best part of Thanksgiving is that calories don’t count (just go with it), so we know you’ll come back for seconds of this sweet potato casserole. In a large bowl mix four cups of mashed sweet potatoes,1/2 cup white sugar, two eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, four tbsp butter, 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. Once smooth, move to a 9×13 baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, three tbsp butter and 1/2 cup chopped pecans and sprinkle on top of the sweet potato mixture. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

 

Cranberry Sauce

We fully believe this slow cooker cranberry sauce will beat all others and have you drizzling it all over the turkey, potatoes and everything else on your plate. Nobody has to know you made it in a slow cooker, either! Serve it in a beautiful crystal bowl and your guests will think you’ve been working on it all day. In your slow cooker, combine 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon and 12 ounces of fresh cranberries. Cook on low for three hours, then bump the temperature up to high for another 45 minutes. Don’t forget to stir the mixture once every hour.

 

Green Bean Casserole

This classic recipe is nearly impossible to mess up, can be made ahead of time and travels great in a casserole dish. All you need is a can of cream of mushroom Soup, 3/4 cup of milk, a pinch of black pepper, two cans of drained green beans and one 1/3 cups of crispy fried onions. Mix the soup, milk and pepper in a 1.5-quart baking dish and then stir in the beans and 2/3 cup of the crispy fried onions. Bake at 350° for 30 min, top with the remaining onions and bake five more minutes, or until onions are golden.

 

No matter how you celebrate this year, these dishes are sure to knock it out of the park. Hey, you might even get off the hook for cleaning duties! One of the best things about celebrating Thanksgiving in the south is the variety of dishes and the ability to stray away from the traditional. Happy Thanksgiving from the Valley Smoke family!

 

Whether you’re watching your alma mater and reliving the ol’ college days or rooting on your favorite pro team Sunday night, I think we can all agree that half the fun of a football game is the tailgate party. The perfect tailgate requires a great playlist, some ice cold drinks and flames under the grill. It doesn’t matter if you’re a grill master or a novice…the folks at Valley Smoke have some great ideas to help you win the tailgate (no matter the score of the game).

 

Burgers

No reason to reinvent the wheel here. Keep the day easy and stress-free with some simple, juicy burgers. Prepare the seasoned beef patties the night before the party and you’ll impress your friends on game day, not to mention you’ll still have plenty of time for a few rounds of cornhole! This may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t forget to supply the buns, condiments, pickles, lettuce, onion, tomato and whatever else you think your guests will prefer on their burgers. A perfectly cooked burger is great, but it’s nothing without the right fixins.

 

Chicken

Whether you choose to bring buffalo chicken wings, barbecue chicken breasts or beer can chicken, you’re sure to be a huge hit at the tailgate. No matter how you make your chicken, a strong buffalo sauce and a tangy barbecue sauce will give your friends options and make everyone happy. If you choose to bring wings or chicken breasts, be sure to marinate them the night before.

 

Corn on the Cob

When tables are occupied by avid flip cup players and every truck’s tailgate is covered in food and party supplies, having food you can eat right out of your hand can be a lifesaver. Unlike what you’re probably accustomed to, there are a variety of ways to season and cook corn on the cob. One easy way to prepare the corn is to remove the husk and rub the kernels in butter, salt, pepper, chili powder and lime. Wrap the freshly seasoned cob in aluminum foil like a tootsie roll, and that’s it, you’re ready to grill! This is a great game day dish because it can be prepared the day before and thrown on the grill when ready. If you’re in the mood for some Mexican flare, simply throw the husk-free cob on the grill and coat the hot corn in mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, lime juice, salt and pepper, and top with feta cheese and chili powder.

 

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Bring the heat on game day with some grilled shrimp skewers. Skewers are easy to prepare and even easier to eat at a laid-back tailgate. Coat the shrimp with salt, olive oil, lemon, parsley and cayenne pepper. If you want to make these skewers even healthier, we recommend adding some roughly chopped veggies, such as onions and bell peppers. The prep work is easy: Marinate your favorite veggies in Italian dressing and soak the skewers in water before adding the meat and vegetables (pro tip: soaking your skewers in water prevents food from sticking to the kebab).

 

Keep these great foods at the top of your list for your next tailgate and nobody will even remember the score. If you’re really looking to impress your guests and keep the day carefree, then our amazing team has you covered with carry-out options. Here are a couple of our favorite BBQ dishes that transport well and fit perfectly into any tailgating spread:

Smoked Chicken Wings

Wood-Fire Boneless Beef Short Rib

Fire-Spice Pork Belly

Wood-Fire Local Shrimp

Any dish from the Pit

 

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…)