When celebrity chef Michael Mina and celebrity entrepreneur, TV host, and New York Times bestselling author Ayesha Curry opened International Smoke at CityCentre last year, a certain "B word" was banned.
Why the ban? Because International Smoke isn't about barbecue at all, as it turns out. This is a bold world of wood-fired cooking, with global flavors and local ingredients making for the best steaks, seafood, and ribs alongside a bevy of crave-able vegetable options. We just found out there's another "B word" that's since been welcomed with open arms: brunch.
Bottomless brunch, to be exact. Served on Saturdays and Sundays, the expansive menu from chef EJ Miller puts a rise-and-shine twist on its international offerings, with "eggs n' brekky" joining smoked, grilled, and fried meat sandwiches and entrees. The chicken and waffles, for example, is a step up from the norm with mango chutney and smoked scotch bonnet pepper.
Three expertly prepared steaks — an 8-ounce baseball-cut sirloin, an 8-ounce filet mignon, and a 10-ounce Prime ribeye — from the meat locker are served with two eggs, crispy hash browns, and grilled onions.
You can even get wood-roasted Atlantic oysters or Gulf shrimp, with Curry's fresh-baked cornbread or Mina's ahi tuna tartare poppers (vibrant red tuna mixed with pine nuts and garlic atop flash-fried sushi rice cakes) to start.
And if you simply can't live without some ribs on your plate, there are three varieties of smoked St. Louis-cut pork ribs from which to choose: American, Mexican style with golden garlic sweet and sour, and Korean style with sesame-gochujang. A collab with Le Sanctuaire resulted in three distinct spice blends, and all ribs are finished with International Smoke's signature sauce.
The "bottomless" part refers to never-ending rosé, Bloody Marys, sangria, or mimosas for only $15. There's also an impressive roundup of cocktails, drinks for two, and punch bowls that serve four to five joining draft beer and wines by the glass.
Bring the kiddos along for Saturday's Lil' Smoky brunch, when they eat for free with the purchase of an entree. Sit on the patio, and the little ones can play games or run around the nearby grassy area while you savor your meal or a mango shaved ice. Inspired by California's mangonadas, the refreshing drink is made with Tajin, chamoy, and lime tapioca.
If your plans are more dinner than brunch, be sure to partake of the shaking beef lettuce cups, filled with chunks of 44 Farms filet that are cooked at the table and then deposited into Bibb lettuce, and smoked Korean short rib, 12 ounces of Niman Ranch beef cooked low and slow and served with sticky rice and house-made kimchi. Even without its brunch accompaniment of waffles, the fried chicken is still a briny, smoked, and fried revelation, paired with smoked collard greens and garlic whipped potatoes.
No matter the time of day you visit, you won't leave hungry.
International Smoke is located at 800 Sorella Ct., #940 at CityCentre. For reservations or more information, call 713-714-0126 or visit www.internationalsmoke.com.