After my initial visit to the original location of Smokehouse Sandwich Co. out in Richmond, I came away indifferent. The sammies weren't terrible, in fact, they were "okay". However, I felt the portion size was smallish while the flavours were far too mild. So I was a bit surprised to find out that they expanded into Downtown within Cathedral Place. With all of the sandwich options in Downtown Vancouver, I thought it would be in tough with the competition. Grace and I decided to check out the place for lunch armed with a couple of Social Shopper coupons.
We decided to go for all of the available meat options including the Wilbur with cumin-spiced pulled pork with aioli & coleslaw. Let's get this out-of-the-way first - I liked the light, airy and crusty toasted bun. Some people might find it boring, but in general, it is pretty versatile and does hold up to the wet ingredients without being dense and hard like the one found at Hubub. As for the pulled pork, it was appreciably more moist and tender than the first time I had it in Richmond. However, for some odd reason, the flavours were less apparent this time around with the cumin being rather faint. Tart with a zing, the pulled tamarind chicken in the Sarah was dry and mealy. That was partly alleviated by the abundance of sesame ginger oil dressed carrots and daikon. This tasted almost like a Banh Mi because of it.
My favourite protein of the bunch was found in the Billie. It featured fatty and tender slices of salt-cured pork belly. Rounded out by the same aioli as well as salsa and lettuce, this was a pleasant sandwich, if not a bit sparse (in both ingredients and texture). However, it didn't take away from the buttery and meatiness of the mild-flavoured pork which wasn't necessarily accented properly by the salsa. I would've preferred something brighter and acidic like pickled fennel or onions. Lastly, we had the Samson with coffee-crusted strawberry glazed beef with aioli, red bell peppers and lettuce. The meat itself was money being melt-in-our-mouths tender with a sweet and smoky flavour. However, the raw red peppers would've been better if they were roasted to bring out more of the intense sweetness rather than having a raw taste. So the verdict with this location? Indifference again. Meats were on point, but the flavours were not quite there while the sides were woefully weak.
- On point meats
- I liked the bun
- At least when we went there, it was peaceful (not sure it that is good for them though)
- Flavours were not quite right
- Sides are terrible except for the chips