- The movies are filled with characters desperately trying to leave a lifestyle, only to be pulled back in -- like Al Pacino in Godfather III, or...Al Pacino. Thankfully pulled back into bbq, the owner of Holy Smoke. After cheffing at Disney's Grand Floridian, Manhattan's Ocean Club, and his own Taylor's in Old Mill, CIA alum Keith Taylor recently left the restowner biz to concentrate on catering and consulting for NBA/NFL venues, only to be offered a can't-refuse deal to co-own/head chef the brand new Smoke: a 120-seat bbq joint evocative of a classy sports bar, i.e., Roxborough's upscale answer to Tommy Gunns. Southern-style eats range from the Lazyman Fried Chicken, to the skillet-crisped/crawfish-stuffed Redfish Étouffé, to the 12hr hickory smoked BBQ Beef Brisket (w/ Voodoo BBQ sauce & fried onion crisps), to Philly Chicken and Waffles -- also on the 'til-2am bar menu, a time when dinner and breakfast can be found drunkenly making out. Booze flows from two main bars and a more intimate "On the Rocks" nook; bourbon's plentiful, but the real draw's a 14-tap system boasting the area's largest Victory draft selection outside the brewery, plus a rotating trio of 22- to 25.4-oz V-bottles, including the V-Twelve, whose eponymous ABV'll leave you wondering if you shoulda had a V-8. In keeping with Taylor's "twice the fun, half the headache" ethos, Smoke runs a $1-fare, 19-seat "Holy Roller" bus from the joint's free parking lot through the Leverington-Ridge-Main loop -- convenient, but sad, as every time you think you're off the Short Bus, it pulls you back in.
- © Thrillist 2013