Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kloby's Smokehouse in Laurel

Smoke is the reason to go to Kloby's, and it is the reason to bring Kloby's home.

The Baltimore restaurant branched out earlier this year to offer ribs, smoked chicken, pork sandwiches and other BBQ favorites just off Rte 29 south of Columbia.

Ribs are a treat. The kind of cooking that seems best done by other people. The kind of finger-linking mess that makes it fun to bring home a rack to eat on the patio with paper napkins. I actually enjoy the ribs at Longhorn Steakhouse on Snowden River. They're bigger, meatier ribs than Kloby's. But they don't have Kloby's smoky flavor, and they're a chain recipe, not the flavorful, thick sauce that tasted of tomato and effort.

Kloby's took the place of Smokey Hollow BBQ, which closed last year. Kloby's has the same takeout focus as Smokey Hollow, and it offers a similar rainbow of meat -- BBQ chicken, pulled pork, brisket even turkey and hamburgers. The pork and chicken sandwiches are excellent. The chicken has a perfect charred exterior -- the taste of the grill, but no flavor of burning. Don't worry if your meat looks pink inside. That's a normal look for foods smoked over real wood. (True!)

One caveat -- Ask to see the salad before you buy. On my last visit, a woman walked back to the counter to say that her salad was just lettuce with chopped celery. The three teenaged boys behind the counter were nice, but they didn't have any other vegetables!

UPDATE: In July 2008, Kloby's added an entire section of tables, but the food is delicious anywhere you eat it.

If you visit Kloby's, check out La Palapa Too -- great ceviche, good Mexican -- in the same shopping center. If you like BBQ, you would probably also like the homemade sausage at Boarman's Meat Market in Highland. Or click for a working list of the best restaurants in Howard County.

Kloby's Smokehouse
7500 Montpelier Road
Laurel, MD 20723

NEAR: On Johns Hopkin Road just west of Rte 29. This is really the border of Columbia and Fulton. Kloby's is in a shopping center with a Subway, a liquor store and La Palapa Too just east of the JHU Applied Physics Lab.

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