There’s a hidden gem in the local barbeque scene! Smoke Pit Grill is a place to reckon with when it comes to authentic BBQ and scratch-made sides. Owner and Pitmaster Gordon Taylor, and his wife Lori, have saddled their passion for food and the community to create a BBQ destination like no other.
A good friend describes Gordon as a “Culinary Mad Scientist.” On any given day, Gordon will set a sample down on the bar and insist, “Here, try this!” It’s a request you don’t want to pass up. “So what do you think...seriously?” Gordon will ask. This is how new recipes come to life at Smoke Pit Grill. You see, Gordon’s recipes are built on other folks’ taste buds, not his. “Every menu item is an effort of several minds and he really takes other’s input to heart,” Lori explained.
“We chose the name Smoke Pit Grill so I could let my imagination run and not be stuck with just BBQ,” Gordon said. So, if you’re looking to have your taste buds tingled, try the bang bang shrimp (said to be one of the best in RVA) or the premiere SPG Burger, made with in-house ground brisket and prime rib. You won’t be disappointed.
While the backbone of the menu is great barbeque, the creative dishes that hit the table are the best kept surprise. Weekly specials highlight culinary cuisine such as smoked salmon steaks with gorgonzola risotto, shrimp ‘n grits and smoked ribeye with grilled asparagus. The Clam Chowder is a must have. Yes, seafood is another passion of Gordon’s.
Four things are needed to make great BBQ – Meat, Smoke, Rub and Love. The smoked meats are the foundation of making authentic barbeque at Smoke Pit Grill. BBQ is served Memphis style with Gordon’s house-made rub complimenting the smoke flavor. Sauce is optional – because great BBQ doesn’t need sauce to be great!
“We’re not the typical Richmond barbeque joint,” said Lori. “The only counter service you’ll find here is for takeout only.” Whether it’s a quick lunch or a date night escape, you’ll enjoy the sit down, “let us take care of you” atmosphere.
Don’t be surprised if Lori stops by your table. She feels it’s important to get to know the guests, whether first timers or regulars. “Gordon and Lori have worked to make Smoke Pit Grill that place where you can drop in on any given day and you’re greeted like an old friend. They’re that kind of neighborhood restaurant,” said Eric Hunter, a regular since the restaurant opened in 2017.
Live music is why many folks make Smoke Pit Grill a weekend destination. Local craft beers are selected to pair well with the menu and the patio is a definite go-to on a sunny day. You’ll even find local art displayed in the restaurant.
“When you walk into any barbeque restaurant, I suggest you look for their trophies,” said Eric. “That lets you know you’re eating real barbeque from a real Pit Master.” Gordon and his competition team have been competing for over five years on the KCBS pro circuit, and they have plenty of hardware to show they know what they’re doing. The meats at Smoke Pit Grill are the closest thing to true competition barbeque that you’ll find in Richmond.
Smoke Pit Grill is located at 9074 Staples Mill Road in the Staples Mill Marketplace, commonly known as the New Kroger, at the corner of Hungary Springs. They’re closed on Sunday so employees can be with family. Great eats are served up Monday thru Thursday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.