Yes. There really is a mechanical bull at the new(ish) Smokin’ Bull in Valley Cottage.
I’m told it’s so popular that the owners are considering getting another one to rent out for off-premise parties. And I would say that’s reason enough to go to the bar-restaurant. And the drinks, sure. And the TVs. Lots and lots of TVs:
OK, and yes. Early in the evening, it’s an easy place to take the kids. Be sure, though, to order the fried shrimp with spicy dipping sauce. A photo, after the jump.
The shrimp, which comes in a conical french fry holder wrapped with faux newspaper a la fish n chips, is crispy and the sauce is spicy. It’s a good snack:
Get it. Because otherwise, you’ll be eating dry fried chicken slathered in honey, overcooked burgers and too-sweet pulled pork. Sorry, but dinner is not the reason to go to Smokin’ Bull. Believe me, I was as disappointed as you are.
As I said before, though, drinks are not bad:
The margarita was refreshing and tasty. There are beer specials, too. And look! You can eat in a “wagon!”
We shared some frickles — or fried pickles.
The corn meal tasted raw, and some of the pickles were stuck together and the insides were wet.
After our frickles and our shrimp, we waited a loooooooooong time for our entrees. Way, way too long for a casual restaurant.
My burger was supposed to come with barbecue sauce and other toppings. It had a bunch of too-big anchos on top of a patty with hard, crust sides:
My parents and friend all got the pulled pork:
It was too sweet, and so was the corn pudding. The creamed spinach was all right.
My husband got the fried chicken:
Fail. Not juicy inside. And though it was somewhat crispy outside, the batter was dense, and the kitchen doused the plate with honey, so the whole experience then became sticky and sweet.
Listen, I’m not saying don’t go to Smokin’ Bull. It looks like a really fun bar, and we don’t have one with a country theme around these parts.
But you don’t go for the food. You go for the bull, the drinks and the TVs. And the shrimp. Plus, they have live music. It’s just that in this day and age, with so many casual restaurants doing food right, it’s a shame that’s not the case here.
The 411 is coming. Til then: Smokin’ Bull, 60 Route 303, Valley Cottage. 845-353-2855.