Grillin' from the South
Smitty’s Taste of the Bayou is open daily at Market on 8th in National City, for lunch and dinner and the menu varies each day. “Before I go to bed, I decide what I feel like cooking,” he says. Intuition guides his choices as well as preferences of particular customers. “If it’s Sunday, our people like to have some collard greens after church, so I include that on the menu.” Customer service ranks high at Smitty’s, so if the dish you are hoping for is not on the menu for that day, he’ll give you a day when it will be. He suggests calling ahead to find out what’s cooking for a particular day or checking his Facebook page for special events that might be taking place. On a recent Saturday, Smitty flew in 200 pounds of live crawfish from Louisiana for a Crawfish Boil that brought in over happy 100 customers.
With fine dining falling in popularity and fusion the new wave, Smitty has created a niche market that combines the savory, smoky barbeque that is his hallmark served along with flavorful authentic Louisiana Bayou cuisine, a rarity in San Diego and environs.
Hector Sierra is one of Smitty’s regulars who confesses he comes to the establishment multiple times a week. “Ribs, gumbalaya, and beans are some of my favorites,” he said on a recent Friday as he was snagging some takeout. “The quality of the food is amazing and the staff treats you like family. Nothing like this anywhere even comes close to this quality.”