Chicken & Mac – Take 2 {Hint: Pirate Bar}


In this month’s edition of Girls’ Dinner Night Out…

I’m going to tell you about another time I enjoyed Chicken and Mac & Cheese.

Jen chose to drive us all up to Stillwater for what celebrechef {I’m pretty sure I just made up that word} Antonia Lofaso declared as the “Best BBQ Ever” on the Food Network. Those who frequent this blog may know that I am not a fan of barbecue sauce.

But Smalley’s Caribbean BBQ and Pirate Bar {don’t you love that name!} is known for its Caribbean-style BBQ. I just love jerk chicken. I was game!

Though we didn’t stop in the bar area, that was no reason not to order some cocktails! Argh! I had a sip of both Jen’s Pina Colada and Kim’s Dirty Wench. {Wait that didn’t sound right.} They were both the kind of drink that’ll take you away to paradise on a cold MN winter’s day.


Me? I went with a beer brewed locally right in Stillwater – Lift Bridge‘s The Warden Milk Stout.

When I think of jerk chicken, I think juicy chicken seasoned with a dry rub. But apparently, there are several kind of Caribbean-style BBQ sauces, the Scotchies Sauce being the spiciest and most traditionally Jamaican. {It also is the runniest!}


It seems you can get a tradtional housemade American BBQ sauce as well. {I did not try it.}


Jen kindly ordered us a side of plantain chips. And they were truly like chips – thin, seasoned and crispy.

Plantain Chips

Plantain Chips

Jen was feelin’ all shrimp-y. Three skewers yields a generous number! Each meal was served with a nice hunk of cornbread with chiles. We also got to choose two sides.

Sugar Cane Skewered Shrimp 3 Sugar-Cane Skewers Sauced Your Way

Sugar Cane Skewered Shrimp – 3 Sugar-Cane Skewers Sauced Your Way | Sides: Grilled Curried Vegetables with Jamaican Sauces, Mac ‘n Cheddar with Chiles.

Kim had a little trouble choosing, so she picked a barbecue combo to try more than one meat.

Barbeque Combos Build Your Own! Link Sausage, Pork Spare Ribs, 1/4 Chicken, Grilled Shrimp, Ropas Viejas, Pork Shoulder served with two sides. Skin On Potato Salad with Bacon and Egg.

Barbeque Combo: 1/4 Chicken & Grilled Shrimp | Sides: Skin On Potato Salad with Bacon & Egg, Creamy Cole Slaw with Celery Seed and Horseradish

That looks more like a 1/2 chicken to me!

What is supposed to make this smoked chicken so special?

  • using fresh allspice in the seasoning blend
  • smoking the chicken over real Jamaican Pimento wood chips {a rare practice in the U.S.}
  • smoking the chicken for at least two days before finishing on the grill
  • serving it with authentic sauces.

Yes, I decided the chicken was the thing I was supposed to order at Smalley’s!

1/2 Smoked Chicken - Mac 'n Cheddar Made to Order (Chiles or Bacon Optional). Creamy Cole Slaw with Celery Seed and Horseradish.

1/2 Smoked Chicken | Sides:  – Mac ‘n Cheddar with Chiles, Creamy Cole Slaw with Celery Seed and Horseradish

This was so much food! I am not sure that I even ate half of it. I liked that the chicken wasn’t too smoky, either, just tender and juicy. I enjoyed all three of the sauces with it; but of the three, I think the Scotchies was my least favorite. That’s not because it was spicy; because I like spice. It was just a little runny for a sauce.

I chose the mac and cheese because it was recommended by the chef here. My only complaint would be that I would have liked the chiles to be roasted, not just cut up and thrown on the top. The cole slaw had a nice kick to it with the horseradish, but I can always use a little more. 😉

Overall, we enjoyed our meals at Smalley’s. However, after having a to-die-for shrimp pasta on NYE at our favorite Sul Lago, these shrimpies just couldn’t compare. And while it’s surely less healthy, I think I’d chose Revival’s Tennesee Hot Fried Chicken over BBQ Chicken, even if it is Caribbean BBQ. I’m not sure if that is comparing apples to oranges. Maybe I am comparing apples to apples – different styles of chicken – like Honey Crisps to Granny Smiths, no?

I would recommend, however, getting to Smalley’s Caribbean BBQ and Pirate Bar in the summer. They have a great patio not too far from the water. Get thee there if you can – ARGH!

How about you – which would you pick if you had the choice: fried chicken or BBQ chicken?



One response »

  1. My step-son lives in Austin and doesn’t like BBQ sauce – but a lot of places there think the sauce hides the meat, and serve it on the side, just for his liking.

    Me? I love all kinds of bbq sauce, but I am partial to a good fried chicken. I don’t mind some smoked meat, but I’ve had some that it literally smells/tastes JUST of smoke and it’s too much for me.

    Okay, now I want either fried chicken or bbq chicken, but not sure how that’s going to happen when I have lasagna soup on my menu tonight 😀

Leave a Reply to Biz Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.