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2.5
  • Food2.5
  • Service3
  • Value2
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews24

Smoken Bones Cookshack

1701 Douglas Street, #7
Victoria, BC V8T4K6
Tel: (250) 391-6328
Neighbourhood: Downtown
  • Cuisine: American, Barbeque, Canadian
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • Service: Takeout, Catering
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Late night
  • Features: Cheap eats, Television, Live entertainment, Wheelchair accessible
  • Hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30AM - 10PM, Fri - Sat: 11:30AM - 12AM, Sun: 11:30AM - 10PM
  • Smoken Bones Cookshack serves a menu of Southern influenced BBQ. All food is made and prepared on site using raw non processed local ingredients. No unnatural flavourings, preservatives or additives are used during the cooking, smoking and curing processes. Phillips Brewery is featured on tap, a brewery practicing an artisan method of making beer using scratch ingredients. Also available is an incredible selection of custom-created cocktails and fantastic bourbons. Smoken Bones recently reopened in a new spacious location in the historic Hudson's Bay building in downtown Victoria.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 24 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Solid choice
By thecritic of Vancouver (376 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, December 10, 2007 - 2:03pm [Dine in]

I enjoyed the food here even though I am not a huge fan of southern bbq restaurants as I find things are oversauced. We ordered way to much food as is customary for this type of restaurant and thought everything was pretty good. Service staff was young but efficient and always had a smile on their face. I would return if I ever had a craving for bbq in Victoria.

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What a disaster!
By Rick1196 of Victoria British Columbia Canada (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, February 14, 2011 - 5:38pm [Dine in]

We went to this restaurant the other night and it was horrible. My meal was barely warm while my wife's was hot. We finally got the attention of our waitress, and asked to have my meal reheated. By the time my meal came back my wife had finished hers. I had by this time lost interest in the whole event, and had filled myself up on the large portion of fries my wife had ordered with her meal. I had a few bites of my meal and to say the least it was a mammoth disappointment. Thinking that if it was reheated propely at home and not just microwaved, I asked to have it packed up. The waitress made it very clear that I was really just too much of a bother. I did reheat the meal in the oven the next day, and it was still mostly inedible.
I see they are now in the Entertainment Book. Some times that is not a bad sign, but it can also indicate that a restaurant is in trouble. It's pretty clear where this one stands.

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Mmmm d'em bones!
By NikkiJ73 of Victoria (22 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 13, 2008 - 10:57pm [Dine in]

I have been dying to head out to Smokin' Bones for about 2 years now, but it's not really in an area that I frequent and basically out of the way. I was with a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago, the rain was coming down and we both felt like something yummy and comfort-food-like, so I suggested we head out and try it. This isn't the type of restaurant I would usually frequent for lunch as I know there is going to be a lot of food and it will be heavy. We both opted for the Po' Boy Sandwiches, the pulled pork and the beef brisket, each accompanied with a side of our choice. I was feeling like a purist and went with the bbq beans and she went with fries. We were surprised how quickly our food came, our server was very friendly and attentive and the food was delicious! Both sandwiches were over flowing with meat and the only change I would've made, would be to maybe toast the buns slightly first to better absorb some of the sauce.

We left feeling so full, but with the food being so tasty, I would love to go back again for dinner some night and be able to try more things...and definitely leave room for dessert as they have some great looking offerings there and in the display near the door they have home-made chocolate truffles that look fantastic!

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Wow these guys need to hire a cook
By Kevin Silverstone of Victoria and Area (17 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 9:51pm [Take-out]

Ordered Pork ribs, fried oysters, and poblono stuffed peppers.
The oysters were unedible as were the stuffed peppers and the ribs were tough and chewy. They tasted like they were doused in liquid smoke and then drowned in cheap BBQ sauce. There was nothing resembling a southern style BBQ.
Dont waste your money here they want alot of it for very poor cooking.
Should have read the reviews before going here.

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Go here for drinks..not food
By mklee of victoria (17 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, February 27, 2012 - 2:25pm [Dine in]

I went to Smoken Bones for a birthday dinner recently and it wasn't very good at all. Several people at the table ordered ribs, which I thought should be good since its a BBQ place, and they had to be cut apart with a steak knife. 2 people ordered soup and it had to be sent back because it was terrible (I pretty much never send food back at a restaurant, but I tasted it and it was awful). The pulled pork wasn't great, the fried pickles had way too much batter, and pretty much the only good thing we ordered was the yam fries. It was pretty sad and we are not a picky group. However, the drink menu was fun and the few cocktails I tried were really good, the server was also friendly and helpful and I felt bad for her for having to serve such bad food. Don't go here to eat, seriously.

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not a fan
By caremal of BC (13 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, April 26, 2010 - 10:20am [Dine in]

nothing to WOW about. the inside of smoken bones is nice and it made me want to stay and eat there but i did't so i did take out instead, twice, tired from work(sad). i normaly dont do take out cause the food is never the same when you get it home. but if u got it freshley done and you live right there i was like "why not" but i was wrong. first time doing take out was ok we got the "bbq taster" but i felt like it was a day old food and everything was coverd in the same sauce. now the second take out happen last night. i place the order and i tip the girl, good. but there was no thank you( lack of careness) i was told it would be 25min but it took 45min and a sorry with no meaning. not happy. the rib and pull pork all taste the same because of the sauce. the cole slow was blan no flavour, the hush poppies was burn and bitter, the potato was week lack of seasoning. so i fine the food was poorly done with no love in it. and chargeing what they did i dont think it was werth it. PIG is much better even though there menu is smaller, but the staff there has love.

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Food is okay but service is poor...
By animao of Vancouver (18 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, June 25, 2009 - 11:49pm [Dine in]

We've read some of great reviews about this restaurant - so on our mini vacation, we made a point of driving out from Victoria to Langford to try it out. It's a bit hard to find, and access to the street is limited. Anyway, after a couple of detours we found it. Parking lot was busy, so we took that to be a good sign. The restaurant was about 2/3 full but we were seated immediately, which was great since LittleMao was hungry and making noise. The waitress came within a couple of minutes and mentioned that the kitchen was running behind. I asked how behind and she replied 10 - 15 minutes. We ordered the sampler plate (pulled pork, pork ribs, beef ribs and three sides: home cut fries, mac and cheese and cornbread) and an ice tea. The waitress came back with some crayons to keep LittleMao amused. That was the last we saw of her. Tables beside us, were complaining on how long their food was taking. I tried to get the waitresses attention, but to no avail. We contemplated leaving, but since it took 20 minutes to drive out.. I was lucky I had some baby cookies to keep LittleMao somewhat placated for a while. Our food finally arrived 45 MINUTES later. When I asked, why the excessive wait, I didnt get a sincere explanation but more of a rant - "someone didnt show up in the kitchen, we've got new staff on the floor, so anyway, here's your food", which kind of surprised us. But on to the food, the beef ribs were really good, probably one of the best we've had. The pulled pork was a bit dry and the pork ribs were meaty but overdone. The sides were okay, but LittleMao really didnt care - she was really hungry. The waitress never came back to ask how our meal was, and at the end, I finally had to ask another waitress to get our bill.. it arrived so fast, that I thought we were in a time warp. For $55, I dont think it our meal was worth it. But again the service lagged, we ended up going to the till and paying our own bill. Did I bother complaining or asking to speak to the manager? No, because I most likely will never go to this restaurant again but I knew I'd take the time to comment on this website. Buyer beware!

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Copious & Appetizing
By Bigg-LT of Victoria, B.C. (14 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 28, 2007 - 9:28pm [Dine in]

I am a huge fan of Pulled Pork Sandwiches, and that is exactly how I got wind of this place. Since my first attempt here I have stapled Smoken Bones as a personal P.P.S. favorite. The meat they use is extremely delicious and very tender, a prefect rendition of the Southern BBQ thing they're after. I've had almost everything on the menu now and I am fairly confident that if you like meat, you will enjoy your meal here.

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Inconsistent - sometimes great, sometimes not
By More_Cowbell of victoria, BC (21 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 9:41am [Dine in]

I've been here three times now - after seeing this place on the show You Gotta Eat Here. I love the big ambience and the wide-open space (check out the massive bathrooms), and the local beer selection. Food-wise, I find it to be sometimes great, but too often mediocre, from a lack of attention by cooking staff. The wait staff are friendly but I've twice had to ask to have my table wiped down due to crumbs and grease.

Pulled pork bun/brisket: both are good, but they don't give you much bbq sauce, nor do they provide it in a bottle on the table like Pig does. They last pork sandwich I got didn't seem to have any sauce on it. They should include a bowl of it at least on the side.

Sausage: the house-made sausage is good and has a distinctive flavour from the caraway and other herbs. I would have a hard time eating a whole portion.

Deep fried pickles: major fail here as they use a fish and chip batter and excessively salty pickle wedges. This dish only works with a breadcrumb breading and smaller pickle pieces. They need to go back to the drawing board with this one.

Pulled pork poutine: not bad, but the Pig poutine has the edge here. Again, needs a side of BBQ sauce.

Sides: Hot and miss. The fries are nice and thick, but sometimes aren't cooked enough or have too much seasoning on them. The cornbread has been good, but sometimes is too dried out. The fried cabbage is bland and misses something. The vegetable side changes daily but is usually good. The slaw was okay but kind of boring.

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dissapointed
By llama of victoria (3 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, September 30, 2012 - 10:32pm [Dine in]

The server gave us nice pleasant service. However, it was overpriced, the meat dishes were lacking flavour (which for a "southern cookshack" is not a good sign, no mashed potatoes!!, and...horrible lighting, needs better ambience, design, table layout. Overall we were not impressed. I have heard from others the same, and we won't be back until some effort is made to make some needed changes.

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good and bad
By Marcia of Victoria (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 12:31pm [Dine in]

We went to this restaurant the other night and found the food to be "lacking" any quality. We waited for a long time before our meals came and I just found it a little disappointing. My husband enjoyed it more than I did. We really don't think we would go back.
Having said that, our server, Heather, was high quality. She was sweet, efficient, always smiling and made our visit there much better. She is a credit to the restaurant.

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Terrible Food and Staff Incompetent
By saraho of Victoria, BC (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, February 17, 2012 - 1:35pm [Take-out]

I had a GC and decided to use it last night to order take out and my goodness was I glad I didn't spend my own hard earned money on such terrible food. It was a disaster. Not only did i have to wait 10 mins for the staff to figure out how to cash my GC my food tasted like crap and was freezing cold. My boyfriend ordered a burger which is pretty simple and shouldnt be that hard to make taste good and it was terrible. I had a pulled pork sandwich that was dry and nasty. We both ordered yam fries. Firstly, the yams were not peeled before hand- LAZYNESS.... they were ice cold and they were burnt. All in all an terrible experience and I don't reccomend going to this resturant to waste your money.
Hope they pick up their socks and make it a good place to dine. Looks like bad reviews since they have moved to Downtown Victoria.

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Save your money dont go there
By sassyl of Victoria BC Canada (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 4:02pm [Dine in]

Wow I could not understand how this place can be still in business ! my lunch was serve cold and the taste witch taste ? , the only thing that I could taste was that awfull taste of burn and that cheap glaze they put on top !! the chicken that they serve with the combo was problably been pick up at Costco 3 days before and they just trow in the microwave for for me , but not long enought cause was so cold inside. I never had such a bad lunch in Victoria before. Hey go to Swiss chalet or Montanas way way better and better pice too. Oh yes also the combo was serve with a coldslaw that taste like old cabbage with a ton a mayonaise.
Hey you have to paid to learn I guess ! well save you money and be smart learn from the other who did not listen to the review LOL.

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I told him this wasn't southern BBQ
By Paula B of Colwood (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, November 4, 2010 - 10:51pm [Dine in]

I lived in North Carolina for 10 years and am an enthuiastic foodie and was so stoked when a BBQ joint was going to open up here - I contacted Ken, the owner, and told him I was excited to try it out and he said to let him know how they were doing. After giving them a couple of weeks to work out the kinks, we ordered food to try. We ordered Pork Ribs - Brisket - Shredded Pork - Hushpuppies - Beans - Glazed Carrots - Slaw and a few other items. I contacted Ken right away to let him know that he was missing the mark for Southern BBQ and what he could do to make it more authentic. First of all - these are NOT true hushpuppies at all - this does NOT represent the South - hushpuppies are suppose to be mealy because of the corn meal and not spongy, they should almost be cake-like with a CRISP outer crust - NOTHING and I mean NOTHING was seasoned with salt or pepper,and who dares to serve food without any seasoning? who does that? NOT SOUTHERNERS, that's for sure. The Ribs were inedible, the shredded pork is suppose to have a vinegar based sauce and finish to the tongue which it did not, the "baked beans" tasted like a cup of mushy and mealy BBQ sauce and not a hint of baked bean taste. The slaw had no seasoning and the homemade ranch dressing was tasteless and completely unappetizing. The glazed carrots were FANTASTIC! but that was all. After waiting 6 months, we tried again, thinking he would have heeded the advice of someone who knows her Southern BBQ and has cooked it herself for over 20 years - food was still NOT seasoned at all, the hushpuppies were the same disaster as before and the ribs were again completely flavourless, tough and smothered in a thick, smokey sauce that wasn't salted either. We have since tried one more time with the addition of a few new items (3 strikes and you are OUT) - the buscuits are laughable, the mac & cheese lacked flavour, seasoning and tasted like flour pasted macaroni, the "cobbler" was as bland as you could find and again, the glazed carrots were fantastic! Perhaps when Southerners tell you how to fix your food properly and authentically you should listen. Most people who I've spoken with said they didn't know if it was good BBQ or not because they didn't have experience with Southern BBQ.
The BBQ Pig Joint isn't perfectly authentic either but at least they make an effort to serve a good, hearty, SEASONED version of the food I learned to love to cook and eat.

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Delicious and back on track
By denny23 of victoria b.c (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, October 4, 2010 - 9:50am [Dine in]

Being a huge fan of Smoken Bones for a few years now I was confused when it seemed to go downhill a bit however they are definately back on track. Food was outstanding and service was very efficient. Large portions and again being different than anyone else out there supporting local producers. Great meals here!

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The Kitchen needs a lot of improvement
By Foodee Guy of Broadmead - Victoria (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, August 1, 2010 - 8:24pm [Dine in]

We should have read the reviews before we went. This restaurant is resting on a reputation that no longer reflects what is happening. It appears that onetime success has led to the owner thinking he can serve VERY mediocre food and get away with it.
The Ribs, both the beef and pork have been been over par cooked and reheated so many times the are devoid of any flavor. They are not fresh that's for sure.
Over an hour to get food and then it was lukewarm at best. While they say they source local - badly prepared and overcooked food just means that it's local but bad.
The servers are trying very hard and do a good job. However they are not very proud of what they are serving. They never checked to see how our meals were, in fact it appeared that they knew how bad they were and avoided asking.
The owner should get his Kitchen clothes back on and get back in his kitchen or at least be in his restaurant and oversee the operation.
Don't waste your time on this one.
Read the reviews you can see that it started to go down hill about two years ago.
Too Bad, it was once good and has potential, but not now.

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Not Southern BBQ as I know it .
By james ewen of Saanich (2 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - 8:34am [Dine in]

This is my second visit to Smokin Bones and my last. I have enjoyed
Southern BBQ in Texas and other States but this does not even come close.
They are cooking the right meats but presenting them poorly. The Brisket
and Pulled Pork come smothered in their BBQ sauce. Not everyone likes spicy
BBQ sauce and Brisket should be sliced and sauce on the side. The prices are
perhaps reflective of what should be charged in Canada but are much less in
the USA for larger portions. I suspect that many people are unfamiliar with
Southern BBQ and can't compare. Why they don't serve it in the traditional
manner escapes me. Anyways, the "Poor Boy" brisket sandwich had great meat
and horrible BBQ sauce which should be served on the side. Not good value for
the price. Every BBQ restaurant that I have ever been in in the USA offer a
combo plate at a reasonable price. Not here. Save your money for the USA.

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Truly tasty food
By joan of Lower Mainland (2 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, April 6, 2009 - 1:28am [Dine in]

Saturday was my second trip to this venue and my husband's third. It is definitely one of our favourites in the Victoria area. Situated in a former sports bar in on the border of Langford, the ambiance is enhanced by the low lighting and the crowded hustle. (There was a table of 28 with some exceptionally cute kiddies there last night but somehow the servers kept up with the crowd and we waited only a few minutes for a high table in the miniature lounge area.)
My husband ordered a creamy sweet and subtle beer and I tried the Woodford Reserve off the extensive whisky and bourbon list. This is the only restaurant in which I ever order whisky but somehow I feel the food here cries out for this lusty smokey accompaniment. Maybe it's all those shiny pick up trucks in the parking lot too....
We shared the Steamer Bowl, steamed clams and mussels in a lime infused buttery herb broth. It begged for crusty french bread to sop up the juices but the only available choice was the hearty cornbread dotted with crispy kernels. This did the job but the kid in me would have loved some Rogers Golden Syrup to finish off the last pieces in the basket.
For an entree my husband had his favourite, the meaty pork ribs, perfectly sauced and barbequed to a moist perfection. Dieting, I opted for the Seafood Jambalaya. The salmon bites were fresh and juicy and the bite sized oysters plump and silky. The dense slices of sausage were guilt inducing but rationalized as a smokey and enriching food experience. The pepper slices were plentiful in the sweet spicy sauce.
Each entree comes with a couple of sides from a lengthy list. This restaurant specializes in using local foods and the special side changes with what's available. On my first trip here we had fresh tomatoes in a balsamic reduction with goat cheese that was heavenly. On Saturday I opted for grilled golden beets that were flavourful and perfectly al dente. I also had a surprisingly simple presentation of collard greens that had me feeling virtuous as well as well fed. My husband had the more manly grilled red potatoes and a creamy savoury coleslaw he adored.
I went off my diet to share a crunchy slice of the mud pie with my husband. This isn't like a lot of franchise restaurant mud pies. A slim river of creamy chocolate did run through it but it was basically a bitter sweet densely chocolate brownie that was entirely satisfying.
The wait staff is young and very hard working. While we had some waits for glasses of water and the cornbread ordered as an afterthought, our waitress, a young women with strikingly beautiful eyes, was apologetic and got to us as fast as she was able given the demands of the table of 28.
We've told all our friends in Victoria that they should definitely make the trip to Langford for this gem.

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Smokin Bones
By vjm of victoria (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, March 29, 2008 - 9:52pm [Dine in]

Went there for first time tonight as reviews appeared great. Half hour wait on a Sat. night, place was packed. Husband and I shared the $45 taster plate and the hushpuppies (corn fritters). I really liked the hushpuppies, not greasy and nice and crispy coating. I did feel that they could use a bit if a kick though. The cajun saunce for dipping wasn't spicey enough and I'm not a fan of hot spicy food. Maybe a bit of Louisianna sauce in the fritter would have been good. Now the platter...beef ribs, pork ribs, 3 sides being fries, coleslaw macaroni and cheese. The fries were excellent as was the coleslaw, the macaroni and cheese wasn't hot or even warm, the ribs seemed to have all the flavour boiled out of the meat so really all you could taste was the sauce. Not a real fan of smokey flavoured anything, so sorry wasn't that impressed by the ribs. I'd go back though and try something else. I think they need to move to a larger building.

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I love their ribs!
By greenT8 of richmond (14 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, August 31, 2008 - 7:21pm [Dine in]

I went for dinner.
Food- The food was awesome. I ordered a platter of ribs (which includes 3 sides) and a special of the day (mine was salmon that day). The beef ribs were my favourite and the mac and cheese was very good too. I'd go back for sure!

Service- The people working there were very nice and helpful but I didn't give it a very high rating because the food came very slow. We had to wait half and hour for it. Maybe they were just busy that day.

Value- Some items were kind of expensive but it's not too bad. I'd pay the money for the food though.

Ambiance- Since I went for dinner, it was dark in the restaurant with dim lights. All the tables were full and everyone seemed very happy.

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