2 Smoking Barrels had been on my radar for about 12 months until I finally had the opportunity to go. Their quite limited lunch opening hours, number two hours (12PM-2PM) per day five days per week, meant that it took a couple of goes before I was able to time my post-nights nap and wake up early enough for the drive back from Nowra to Sydney, passing through Wollongong in the middle. I ate in the last fortnight of their location on Flinders St, though hopefully as they expand into their new premises next month (far past once this post is actually published), they might also expand their hours.
2 Smoking Barrels offers generally standard American BBQ fare, with a mixture of rolls (burgers), meats, and sides on offer. Like sister restaurant Babyface Kitchen, some classics here are enhanced by an Eastern influence, for example their pit smoked beef brisket roll ($19), served with a drizzle of miso ranch sauce along with the standard “Carolina” barbecue sauce, a combination that actually does work. Sauce aside, the brisket in the burger was deliciously juicy and tender, with a good ratio of fillings to bun, but what in my mind was a bit of an extreme price.
The hot links ($10 for 100g), again served with a mixture of sauces, were equally juicy and flavourful, so much so that I found myself dripping juice onto my shirt at multiple times throughout this meal (in my defense, I had just worked 13 hours, napped for two, and then driven for one). Despite the quality, again the value proposition seemed suspect.
COMMENTS My friend, colleague, and housemate asked me if I thought that 2 Smoking Barrels was “worth a detour” on the way up from Nowra back to the inner-West of Sydney. Worth a detour kind of implies something specific when it comes to restaurant reviews, in a two-star kind of way. That said, I do think it’s worth taking 15 minutes out of a 2 hour trip to go to this restaurant if you really want to go. What you’ll need to consider for yourself is if it’s worth the money spend.
2 Smoking Barrels
2/83 Crown St, Wollongong NSW 2500
(02) 4295 0135