If there is one thing we talk about at the St. Francis Inn, it’s good eats. With St. Augustine being such a walking town, it’s easy to forget the car and just walk around town, hitting all the downtown restaurants. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, there are some spots that are totally worth hopping in the car for – Smokin’ D’s is one of those places!
Darryl Perritt, after years of working in the advertising and marketing industry in downtown St. Augustine, decided to take a venture into the food industry. He opened a smokehouse in a small building at the busy intersection of US1 and State Road 206. Darryl and his son, Cameron, literally built the building with their own hands. On opening day, they were prepared with what they thought was enough meat to last them through the weekend – it lasted 45 minutes. And it’s been like that ever since.
They open at 11:00 a.m. and go until they sell out of everything – they’ve sold out every day since they’ve opened in 2005, so the earlier the better. The menu is simple – there are sandwiches, platters, the beach bucket (a layered pint container for easy beach eating), and family meals. Everything is packaged to go – the only available seating on property is some stumps out on the lawn or your car hood. Of course the beach is just a short drive away, hence the beach bucket, but that’s if you can stand not ripping in to it as soon as you smell that smoke.
They stack 5 meats in the smoker every evening and let them go low and slow throughout the night. In the morning, they are transferred to the pit where they finish off cooking. Their philosophy is fresh – nothing is reheated or served the next day. Well, also because there’s never anything left – I arrived at 1:00 p.m. on a Tuesday and they were already out of pork. It’s ok though, because the smoked turkey and the brisket were amazing enough to make me forget that pork even existed. I ordered the brisket platter with potato salad and Memphis sweet sauce and my dining partner went with the smoked turkey with baked beans and the house sauce. The platters also come with a piece of garlic Texas toast. Please note, they are cash only! If you forget, the convenience store just behind has an ATM.
The meat is divine, heartily smoked, but delicate. We eschewed the forks for our hands and just grabbed pieces of meat to dip in the sauce. The sauces are all deliciously homemade; they have D’s house (Georgia mustard), Memphis sweet, Texas heat, Carolina Vinegar, and Alabama white. The mustardy potato salad is made with locally grown Hastings potatoes, harvested just a short few miles away. The beans are not your traditional baked beans. They have 4 different types of beans and are smokey, sweet, and meaty all at the same time. Both were absolutely perfect. The buttery, garlickey bread rounded out the meal and was great for wiping the sauce container clean.
While we didn’t order them on this trip, I must say that the ribs are to die for and the pork is worth heading out early. The total for 2 diners was around $22 and I’d say that was entirely worth it. They offer cans of soda and iced teas or you can walk over to the convenience store next door and enjoy a larger selection of beverages.
The Important Details
110 State Rd. 206 East
St Augustine, FL 32086
Open 7 days a week, 11:00 a.m. until they’re out
Explore the St. Augustine historic district and you’ll find it to be a unique relic of the history of Florida