BBQ Review: The Smokehouse of Laurel – Mississippi


By: Joshua Rooks


The Smokehouse of Laurel – Mississippi


Nestled next to the Sawmill Mall in Laurel, MS, this little dive is a neat place to visit. The exterior resembles a red barn and invokes a rustic visual before you even walk into the door. Outside, the wonderful scent of smoke can be detected and prepares you mentally for the down-home cooking they are serving up inside.  


The interior is a road trip stop in itself. There are pictures of sportsman and either their catch or hunt all along the walls. The décor is that of the outdoors and the tradition from which smoking and barbecuing came from in the first place. It’s all about being in touch with the wild.  


Unfortunately, I didn’t find the food to be as welcoming as my surroundings. Before I go further, there weren’t any major missteps. This was simply an example of the offerings falling just short of what my nostrils were telling me should be on my plate. The inside of the restaurant held the scent of divine smoke and meat, but the food didn’t quite match the expectations.  


The pork was good. It was very juicy, about which I am always concerned. However, it lacked a robust flavor profile. So, where it excelled in being tender and moist, it fell short in complexity of taste. I would have liked pulled pork with a more succulent flavor.  


The sides were interesting. I enjoyed the beans. They were a thick offering with dark and light beans. I particularly enjoyed the flavor as there was a distinct smoked sausage tone I was experiencing. I specifically appreciated that the cole slaw could be gotten regular or “low carb”. Low carb simply meant that it didn’t have as much sugar. Regardless, the “low carb” slaw was tasty, but a bit dry.   


The sauce was above average, but not in the pantheon of great Que sauces I’ve experienced from other Pitmaster’s. Their sauce is on the mild side, being a thick, Kansas City style that resembles molasses in look and viscosity. Due to the pork’s lack of flavor, I needed some extra sauce.  


I think there are likely more desirable items on the menu. Unfortunately, the pulled pork, cole slaw, and baked beans were not well represented. All-in-all, it was a good experience, but I will likely order a different entrée during my next visit.  


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