It’s been so long since I first heard of Smokin’ F BBQ, I can’t remember exactly how the Philadelphia, TN-based vendor slipped onto my radar. But I remember the buzz was that the barbecue was worth the trip to their food truck, which is their main connection to the public these days.
Lately they’ve been using the truck on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, starting service at 11 a.m. and ending at 1:30 p.m. or when they ran out of food, whichever comes first. The week I visited the truck it was scheduled to stop at Sweetwater, Madisonville and Loudon. Since Madisonville was the closest place to my farm, I went there last week for a solo lunch.
However, I first texted the number listed in their last Facebook post and placed my order for an 11am pickup (didn’t want to risk getting there after they ran out of something). Owners are asking customers to place pre-orders by 10:30 a.m., although you can still order at the truck if you prefer.
The menu is very concise, starting with a weekly special – in this case loaded nachos – available with brisket or pork in addition to cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, corn and slices of jalapeno. I chose pork ($12) and also ordered two sides: baked beans with peaches ($3) and potato salad ($3). Other sides include jalapeño creamed corn, coleslaw, and Texas tot casserole.
They also serve several sandwiches. The Stella offers pork, chili cheese and crispy fried onions, while the Fat Boy has brisket and sausage. I ordered the third pound brisket sandwich for $11, and that includes a bag of chips. You can add coleslaw to any order for $1. You can also order quarter-pound and third-pound portions of brisket, pork, and sausages.
I found the truck parked between Sloan’s Center Hardware and Advance Auto Parts, just off US 411 in Madisonville. I parked nearby and lined up behind an already growing line of customers waiting to place and pick up orders. When I got to the window, my food was already wrapped and ready to roll.
Before heading back to the Grubmobile to eat, I picked up lots of napkins, silverware, and take-out containers filled with Smokin’ F’s two barbecue sauces: regular and red. I also grabbed some salt and vinegar crisps from the handy selection.
Once I placed all my treats and prepared the meal in the vehicle, I started my mini barbecue. The nachos were pretty good. The tortilla chips were loaded with meaty portions of pulled pork and nicely topped with all the other traditional nacho toppings. They had added a generous scoop of sour cream to the takeout container, but on the side.
I also tasted my two side dishes. The potato salad was a decent mayo recipe, but the diced potatoes were a bit undercooked for my taste. The baked beans benefited from thin peach shreds that had been added to the mix. The flavor was subtly sweet but pleasantly noticeable. Finally, I dug into the brisket sandwich. Again, the meat was generously loaded on the buns, which were super fresh and slightly sweet in taste. The brisket itself was smoky, flavorful and very moist. I snacked on a bit of everything until I was full, then took a lot home as leftovers.
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I will note that the food truck is the easiest way to get the Smokin’ F BBQ. However, they also host events for over 100 people, or you can pick up bulk portions of their food onsite for events smaller. They also hold BarnBQue events once a month, where they set up their main barn facility as a restaurant, complete with live music. Pre-orders and reservations are not necessary.
The week I visited the food truck there were air conditioning issues, so they temporarily hung items that needed prepping on their hot plate. I don’t know what it could have been, but my recommendation is to follow Smokin’ F on Facebook to follow their latest menu items and locations; they are updated weekly.
And while I wouldn’t necessarily suggest that Knoxville-area locals take such a long hike just for the BBQ, I would definitely point you Monroe County folks to the Smokin’ F BBQ food truck – wherever that it would be. the week.
Smoking barbecue and barn
Service: N / A
Atmosphere: N / A
Address: A food truck visits different locations three days a week
No alcohol service
Hours: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday
This mobile barbecue vendor serves tasty dishes from the smoker at various locations in the Monroe County area.