For a list of all the Bowie Restaurant Project reviews, look here.
Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill,
Most Recent Foursquare Check-in: 9/4/2012
Total Foursquare Check-ins: 2
Pre-Foursquare Visits: Yes
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Since KBQ is relocating to DC, it is becoming even harder to find good BBQ in the Bowie area. The one BBQ restaurant within the city limits is Smokey Bones. I had visited it years ago and remembered dimly that it was decent, but a takeout experience after moving to Bowie left us disappointed. An in-person visit was necessary.
Unfortunately, that visit confirmed the disappointment. The best way to describe my reaction is that the BBQ was about as good as you'd expect from a chain restaurant that doesn't specialize in BBQ. I've had much better luck with Famous Dave's (closest locations in Laurel or Annapolis) and certainly Red Hot & Blue (closest locations in, um Laurel or Annapolis).
My lunch partner observed that the restaurant was a decent place to bring a group of people for lunch -- there were a bunch of empty tables, and none of the food was particularly off-putting. (Vegetarians would probably not be thrilled with the choice, though.) The service was good until after our food arrived, at which point our waiter was hard to find.
I'm torn between 2 and 2.5 stars. Rather than inaugurate the quarter-star rating, I'll round up to 2.5 on the basis that as the only BBQ restaurant in Bowie, at least it provides some variety. I'm still looking elsewhere for my regular fix, though. I had a decent sandwich a few weeks back at Dickey's in Gambrills (Route 3 just north of Crofton), and I need to check out the similarly-located Rusty's.