E: Y’know, if I wanted to go wrestle an alligator, I don’t think I’d be able to at the Smoken Bones Cookshack.
I had certain expectations when we decided to go here. I thought I’d follow in the footsteps of the late great crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin. Instead I’m in the realms of mediocrity. I really don’t think the name of this place means anything, other than sounding cool just to get the attention of diners from down the street.
Anyone walking this beat won’t really find authentic Cajun food here.
J: Ed and I usually play the part of good cop/bad cop. In our past reviews, we’d point out the faults in the food but equally we tried to praise their strengths. I hate to say I’m playing the role of bad cop.
With the money I shelled out (now with HST), it wasn’t worth it. What I have to say isn’t pretty.
E: Cops? I’m almost ready to go KKK. I can’t say this place surpasses my experience at Cafe Orleans in West Edmonton Mall during the 90’s. While they aren’t around now, Smoken Bones barely recreates the taste and feel of the ol’ South. I remember my experience vividly because one of my friends in Edmonton teased me for years since I was raving about the gumbo from Cafe Orleans.
Station Road will not replace Bourbon Street anytime soon. I’d say this place is more like a fusion of modern art with southern style cooking. I was hoping for some delectable scents of smoked meats. Instead, all I saw was art nouveau; the meals were nicely presented and that’s it. The jambalaya was very uneven in consistency. I had more salmon bits in my bowl and they weren’t all that filling.
J: I had a good helping of clam and even less of the shrimp. But where was the rice? At least some rice could’ve soaked up the spicy tomato sauce. It killed the clams. And I must ask who decided to decorate my Jambalaya with a mint leaf?
E: It wasn’t me, but I’d revisit this place to see if it does live up to its creole style aspirations. I’d go back to try the gumbo and crispy corn fritters.
Not everything could be sampled all in one night. Even with the choice of the various side dishes from the menu (only two items were allowed), it can make for a balanced meal for the average-sized appetite—but I’m hardly that. Oversized? Yes, I admit it.
The dirty rice cakes were crispy on the exterior and soft in the interior. The combination of okra, chorizo sausage, onions and bell pepper was tasty. Three more of those would fill me up. I only ate one.
J: My side dishes were all disappointing. The decision to add more cheese into the macaroni & cheese was overkill. It made the dish too fatty and rich. The corn bread was more like corn meal than bread. It had an undercooked synthetic taste to it. Even the Wholesome Farms whipping butter couldn’t save it. But what of the deserts?
E: I absolutely loved the Banana Foster. There was a consistent rum flavour that I enjoyed with each bite. And if this place really wanted to earn a high note in my books, it should’ve been flambéed on the spot.
And I think the idea of mint over caramel is a better choice than over James’ main dish.
J: My bread pudding was a shocker. There were raisons in it and I don’t like them in baked goods. It should’ve been listed on the menu. Apart from one side of my pudding being burned, it was delicious. They gave me a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream lightly laced with caramel and sprinkled with cinnamon.
This desert was the highlight of my meal and that isn’t saying much.
E: Overall, I’d say this place is a mixed bag. One will never know what they’ll get. With all the positive reviews I heard, I’m thinking shades of grey here. I’ll have to hit the Deep South for some delicious ‘gator and I’ll wrestle one down to have as my next meal than to rely on some shop that claims to offer the various tastes of Louisiana.
J: Dinner and a new pair of alligator boots? Now that’s a dining experience to remember!
2½ Blokes out of 5