JD’s Smokehouse shows potential for the future


Hanna LeBuhn

JD’s basket contains a BBQ pulled pork sandwich paired with sweet potato fries. JD’s Smokehouse, newly opened in Churchville, replaced Bruce Bitner’s.

The newly opened JD’s Smokehouse in Bel Air, which took the place of Bruce Bitner’s, provided a satisfying, yet forgettable meal.

The inside of the restaurant was renovated a bit and offered a more open atmosphere. An outdoor deck with tables and chairs was added for the warmer months, which offers a nice extension of space for the restaurant. The restaurant itself is casual and laid back, with many TVs projecting sports games centered around the bar.

Shortly after we seated ourselves, our waitress set down a novel of a menu on the table. There were so many options to choose from, it was honestly overwhelming. The list of appetizers took up a whole page. The entrees ranged anywhere from burgers and quesadillas to salads and pulled pork to much, much more.

To begin, I ordered the mac and cheese bites with southwestern sauce off the long list of appetizers. The golden, crispy, cheesy bites were triangles of fried perfection. Dipping the bites into the southwestern sauce was probably the best decision I made all night.

After devouring the basket of mac and cheese bites, I finally decided on ordering the pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries for an extra $2.00. Our meal came out very quickly and was served in a basket with black and white checkered paper.

The sandwich itself turned out to be dry, and the bun overpowered the whole meal. The barbecue itself was decent, but nothing to write home about. The mountain of sweet potato fries paired with the sandwich did redeem the whole meal. The warm crispy fries were a beautiful combination of both sweet and salty.

As for the price of the meal, the basket of mac and cheese bites were actually more expensive than my meal. Besides the overpriced appetizer, the price for the rest of the food was fair.

Overall, the new restaurant has potential to really stand on its own. Although it felt more like a sports pub and bar than a barbeque restaurant, the food was adequate. If they shortened their menu and focused in on some key items, I think it would improve the overall experience.

Hanna LeBuhn is the Print Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.