BL Smokers is tucked between two well-known fried fish places on Pio Nono Avenue and I can’t believe I’ve missed seeing it for the full 10 years it’s been open. They fire everything up Thursday morning and smoke it until at least noon, keeping it going until they sell out on Saturday night.
If you live in this neighborhood, I don’t know why you would ever cook on the weekends. The food was great and the prices can’t be beat. Just $4.49 -- $3.50 when they’re on special -- for a turkey leg? Seventy cents for a barbecue slider? It’s to-go only, but you can feed a family of four really well for less than $25.
The plates with two sides are all less than $10 and the meats are relatively sauceless so the smoked flavor can shine. A half-pound of ribs with two sides is just $8.97, but if you mainly like the crunchy tips, a plate of those is only $7.94. A pulled pork plate or a half chicken plate are each $7.48. If you just want a quarter chicken, a dark-meat-only plate is $5.37 or get a white-meat-only plate for about a dollar more.
A half-pound plate of goat or beef brisket are each $9.35, but the way to go for those is the sampler. The brisket gets high marks for its tenderness and smokey flavor. For $10.98, you get your choice of two of any of the aforementioned meats; for just another dollar, you can choose three.
Side items include Brunswick stew made with their smoked chicken, pork and beef; baked beans simmered with ground beef; and green beans seasoned with their smoked turkey. The potato salad and creamy cole slaw were cool compliments to the smokiness of the meats, but we weren’t crazy about their chili-powder-laden sauce.
BL’s very best deals are the family packs. A pound of pulled pork, a 16-ounce slaw, a 16-ounce baked beans, plus bread and sauce for only $14.75 just can’t be beat. I personally like the smoked chicken the best, so we went back and got the Bird and Pig pack that adds a half chicken or five wings for a total of $19.15. The ribs pack with the same accoutrements and a slab of ribs is about $25; but unless you just like the bones, the rib tips pack for $23.80 is the better deal.
All of their sandwiches with these meats and chips are less than $5 with the exception of the half-pound rib sandwich and the half-pound beef brisket for about $6. The pulled pork sliders get cheaper with the more you buy. They also have a yummy foot-long smoked pork sausage sandwich for only $3.27.
BL Smokers is a solid choice for smoked meats and barbecue. Just don’t wait until late to go get some, as they often sell out.
Address: 2196 Pio Nono Ave., Macon
Hours: Noon-9 p.m. (or until sold out) Thursday-Saturday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: No
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 100
Price range: $2.99-$8.75
Rating: 3 stars