Tampa >Food & Dining > Smokey Bones
8020 Citrus Park Dr., Tampa, FL | Directions 3362528.065319 -82.571629
Neighborhoods: Citrus Park Community
DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT – My wife and I were shopping in Tampa and I wanted Barbeque. I used my GPS and decided on Smokey Bones. I called and asked if they had ribs and was told that they served Baby Back Ribs and St. Louis cut which is my favorite.
We drove over to the restaurant and I was impressed with the buildinging exterior and interrior. We were seated quickly and examined the menu.
My wife ordered the Fish and Chips dinner and I ordered a full Rack of St. Louis Barbeque Ribs. We didn't order any appetizers because we knew that we ordered more than enough to eat.
I sat back to talk with my wife expecting at least 20-30 minutes for our food to be done. I was in shock when the waiter returned in less than 10 minutes with our order.
My wife tried hers first and said that the fires were cold and the fish tasted very fishy. I took one of her french fries and could immediaitely taste that they were not freshly done. Then I tried a piece of her battered fish. It was greasy and had a very fishy flavor which means that it was not fresh fish.
Then I cut off one of the ribs on my rack and bit into the second rib. I never eat the outer rib. It was so dry that I thought that I was eating jerky. I tried the rib next to that and it was also overly cooked. I called the waiter and asked for a different rack of ribs. The manager brought me another rack in less than 10 minutes. I was impressed with the speed of service. I cut off another rib from the new rack and it was soft. But I noticed a lingering flavor in my mouth that I did not like about these ribs. And believe me when I say, "I love ribs", but not these.
They had 4 different sauces on the table. I doused a rib with one sauce and I did not like the flavor. I tried every one of their 4 sauces and didn't like any of them either. So I got disgusted and stopped eating.
I could tell several things about this restaurant. First, there is no quality control in their kitchen. Second, they have never taste tested their recipes or they would have corrected that nasty flavor in thier barbeque recipe.
Overall I would say that if I never ate in Smokey Bones again that would suit me just fine. So if you are really desiring BBQ, and someone say's what about Smokey Bones? Don't even think about it.
Actual smoked bones may have been better – We had visited this particular Smokey Bones a few years ago shortly after it opened and remembered the tasty ribs and juicy burgers. When we happened to be in the same neighborhood today we stopped in. We were seated quickly and received our drink orders promptly. Although it was the day before Valentine's day and the mall accross the street was packed, the restaurant did not seem particularly busy. The staffing was more than ample, there were at least 5 servers in the general area we were in.
Our waitress appeared to only be handling 3 or 4 tables, which were not full the entire time we were there. I ordered the classic burger (med well) with blue cheese and coleslaw and he ordered the stacked baked potato with pulled pork and a salad.
We then waited about 40 minutes for our food, excessive but I was patient, figuring that my burger carried the brunt of the wait. When our order finally arrived, I began to disect my burger. Standard procedure goes something like this; top half of bun to side, eat pickles, put lettuce on burger, no ketchup, no mustard, sometimes mayo, eat with knife and fork. Upon chewing, many times, my first bite and attempting to swallow it, I realized that the burger was horrifically dry. On inspection, I found that the bottom half of the bun wasn't even moist. No wonder I felt like I was eating cardboard. Then we attempted to flag down a server but now there wasn't a soul around and when one would fly by they avoided eye contact and somehow missed the waving and "excuse me"s that were being brandished about. When we finally gained the attention of one gentleman, we asked him for mayo and he looked at us like we were some kind of alien creatures and asked what was wrong. I told him simply that the burger was very dry and could I please have some mayo. He said he would get the manager. What? Why? Huh? But he was gone. When the manager came she asked what was wrong... mind you I was totally willing to eat the burger at this point, but I told her that it was very dry and I just wanted some mayo. She offered to recook it, but not wanting another 40 minute wait I just asked for mayo for the third time.
I got my mayo. I ate the burger. I exercized my jaw muscles. We got out of there.
Overall: burger - good flavor but far too dry, coleslaw - flavor was good but less celery seed would be good, baked potato - dry and overcooked, salad - mushy tomatos and wilted lettuce and far too little given dressing for such a big salad, service - was okay but I would expect better with the staff/patron ratio the way it was and what was the deal with the mayo request?
What happened Smokey Bones? You used to be good. I'm sorry but I'd grade you a D+ today.
Better when owned by Darden – We were huge patrons when this restaurant was owned by Darden. After being sold off to Sun Capital which apparently also has Red Lobsters under their restaurant belt too, the place is just not the same. The appetizer choices are virtually all fried and disgusting. No more goodies like spinach artichoke dip. We ordered ribs as usual and that's when we realized this could not possibly be the same owner. The ribs were dry and had a different taste. No more yummy barbeque sauces...what they offer (weren't enough bottles to supply each table with one) tasted like a bottle of too tangy sauce you buy in the store. The mashed potatoes had no seasoning and tasted like they were literally mashed and slopped on our plate and I would have preferred a can of Beenie Weenies to what the hell they served me and called it baked beans. The divider to our booth was half torn down and when I went into the ladies room I turned around and walked out. A door was broken and three toilets were clogged. When we complained to our waitress, she said, "I never ate here when it was owned by someone else so this is all I know and to tell you the truth, my mother makes better ribs then these." She did not get the manager or offer us some kind of incentive to ever come back. We picked up the moist towlettes and Red Lobster was emblazened on the back. We decided that we will just wait on barbeque in the future and save it for a trip to N.C.'s Rib Country restaurants. Now there's someone that knows how to do barbeque right. Sun Capital is in it to turn a profit and they have done this by cutting the quality of food and allowing the building to deteriorate. They are definitely not looking for repeat eaters, just repeat drinkers at the bar to watch a game and then get the munchies. They could eat cat litter for all they care. We would not go back even if offered free meals. It was really disappointing.
Find Another Place – Bad Waiters! Dry and tastless BBQ. Don't go here. Period.....
Not going back – I have eaten at this restaurant 4 times. My food has been good 100% of the time (ribs, spinach salad). However, the past two times the service was so bad, I've given up. Tonight we entered the restaurant and waited at the hostess stand for 5 minutes for someone to greet us. We got to our table and were given children's coloring menus with no crayons (not that big of a deal). Then the kids, of course, wanted to listen to the tv. Only 3 stations had sound on our little table speaker and not the stations they were interested in. Ordered appetizer and told waitress were weren't given tableware please bring with appetizer and we needed crayons. Wait a long time for appetizer, finally get it...not hot, not warm, no tableware and no crayons! Wait a long time for dinner...ribs are o.k., children's cheese burger like a hockey puck and bun stale! Never had drinks refilled and had to hunt down a different waitress to ask for our bill, who looked at me like "Don't you know I am not your waitress"! Didn't mention they were out of chicken strips for the kids. The kicker is.....got a receipt with a survey, tried to fill out survey about my recent visit......survey program not working!!!! I'm Done with this place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mountain-lodge decor and slow-cooked meats draw barbecue lovers and sports fans to this woodsy chain restaurant. – In Short
Rustic accents like logs, lanterns and fieldstone may adorn the exterior, but inside, it's all about ceiling-mounted TVs for fans who want sports with their spicy food. A large bar with a giant television dominates, while flanking wooden booths come with audio selectors and easy views of nearby screens. Sundry meats are cooked in-house over hickory wood: pulled pork (hand-pulled daily), baby back ribs, barbecued chicken, smoked beef brisket and various combination platters.
Everything is good – Everything we've ever had there is good. Love the pulled pork.
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