There are a lot of barbecue restaurants in Lexington. I picked one out just from how it looked from the outside. Smoky Joe's has smokers out back and a large parking lot for the size of the building. Much of the parking lot is taken up by a drive-thru lane. The restaurant is much smaller inside than I expected.
This is my first try at Western NC barbecue. Western sauce has tomato in it, so the red tinge on the meat is from tomato, not from red spices. The cole slaw was red, too. It made an different looking plate.
There was no description of the various orders or sides on the menu. I ordered the sliced plate, not really knowing what I would get. The waitress asked if I wanted hush puppies or dinner rolls. This may be a western thing, but in the east, hush puppies are required. The plate comes with the aforementioned red cole slaw, which wasn't bad, and french fries, which were obviously previously frozen. I overheard people asking about substitution on the menu. The next time, I will substitute something local for the french fries.
The meat tasted good. The slices needed cutting and that required cutting with a knife. If the meat was a little bit more tender, this place would get a top rating.
At the check-out, they had a tray of commercial pre-wrapped fried pies. Maybe, they are trying to compete with Hursey, but Hursey's are fresh, not wrapped in paper.