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Black Dog Smoke and Ale House

201 N. Broadway Ave.
Urbana  Illinois  61801
United States
(217) 344-9334
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Midwest Living Review

Robert Loerzel
Filled with enticing aromas, Black Dog serves flavorful smoked meats and tangy barbecue sauces within its distinctive orange walls.

As you walk through the front door at Black Dog, you're immediately hit with the tempting smells of barbecue. The restaurant's wood-fired smoker and grill are constantly smoking pork, beef brisket, chicken and ribs, and the aromas fill the air. Anticipation builds. And when you actually put a forkful of that meat into your mouth, you won't be disappointed. Black Dog lets you match your choice of meat with your preferred barbecue sauce. Sandwiches or platters are available -- with the platter, the meat is served with sauce on the side for dipping. The pulled pork and beef brisket are both tender and smoky, well seasoned even without the sauce. Recommended sauces include the Carolina, which has a spiky, strong flavor, and the Texas, which is tangy but not quite as intense. The tasty side dishes include thin, crispy sweet-potato fries; vinegary red cabbage slaw; and smoked green beans. A great appetizer is the cornbread -- a large wedge of crumbly, almost nutty bread stuffed with bits of green chili, pulled pork and cheese. Sandwiches run about $6, and platters range $9$18. Black Dog frequently changes its menu and has lots of specials. That's true of the drinks, too. The restaurant always has six microbrews on tap. During our visit, the beer list included Southern Tier 2XIPA, Port Shark Attack Double Red Ale and Moylan's Special Bitter. A flight of beer, with 4-ounce samples of all six varieties on tap, is available for $6. The tin ceiling and walls at Black Dog are painted pastel orange and hung with strings of red lights. This barbecue joint has the feeling of a roadhouse that's gone a bit upscale.

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