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Smokin’ Little Diner helps you get your barbecue on

It started as a “who makes the best barbecue sauce” bet between friends about 10 years ago, turned into a bottled barbecue sauce business and became a restaurant.

Some Great BBQ Sauce Company Smokin’ Little Diner restaurant took over that cool 1950s diner on Broadway in Depew. The authentic 1950s diner is very clean, with a blue/white color scheme and gleaming stainless steel. We sat at a booth, but stools at a counter are available.

In true diner fashion, breakfast is served all day, with Mary and Ken vouching for its quality and deliciousness. Breakfast specials range from a simple egg sandwich on a hard roll for $4.25 to Diners Breakfast Club (French toast, scrambled eggs, meat) for $8.99. Omelets run $4.49 for a simple cheese to $7.99 with BBQ pulled pork or chicken, including home fries and toast. Under “Classic Breakfast,” the Belgian Waffles with a Lovin’ Stuffin’ beckoned ($6.99), with fillings like peach, apple or blueberry crumble, but we stuck to dinner.

Soups included Buffalo Wing ($2.99/$3.99) and Stuffed Hot Pepper ($2.99/$4.50).

The menu is fairly big with plenty of choices. Our quartet headed in the barbecue direction with excellent results.

Customers can pick a few barbecue sauces to try, which come in side cups. Sauces are gluten-, preservative- and corn syrup-free. Choices include Original, Apple Chipotle, Apple Cinnamon, Bourbon Street, Brandied Cherry, Fire Berry, Kickin’ Q, Mellow Mandarin and Sweet Chipotle, with heat levels for everyone.

The Green Chile Burrito ($8.49) filled with pulled chicken was huge, topped with more pulled chicken, jalapeños and cheese, all in a tangy and spicy green chile sauce. It’s an item we predict folks will return for.

The house special pulled chicken on a hard roll ($6.99) also was stuffed full of that lovely pulled chicken. The Fire Berry side sauce was fantastic, just enough heat with heavy raspberry flavor. Messy, but good.

Ken and I went right for the Original Hawg Wings. Three wings with fries and one side were $11.99; four wings, fries and two sides $15.99. Three was plenty. And what are they? A delicious pork shank bone perfectly cooked and finished with our choice of sauce, in my case Apple Chipotle, a nice sweet, soft heat. Needing a touch more, I snatched some of Mary’s Fire Berry. The tender meat fell off the bone into our mouths in a hurry.

Shoestring fries were hot and well cooked and seasoned. Barbecue beans with nice hunks of bacon were sweet and smoky. Our side mac and cheese was forgotten (but hastily brought out) and totally worth it. It was creamy with a nice white cheddar tang; we lapped it up.

Sandwiches include crab cake ($7.29), beef on weck ($6.99) and steak provolone ($7.99). Regular burgers and hot dogs run $2.95 to $5.99 for a burger called a HyBoy. Half-pound burgers are $6.49-$7.49; from there they move into “Barnyard Insanity” which pairs quarter- or half-pound burgers with barbecue and bacon: Oink & Moo, Oink, Cluck & Moo ranging from $7.49 to $9.29 for Double Oink, Cluck & Moo Madness featuring bacon, pulled pork, chicken and a burger.

Dinners ranged from barbecue meatloaf at $8.49 to $12.99 for a flat iron steak. A rib special was $15.99. The Fisherman’s Platter (shrimp, clam strips, fish and scallops) under the Friday Fish Fry section is also $15.99. A regular fish fry served mini ($9.95) or full ($11.95) includes macaroni salad, coleslaw and choice of potato. 

We shared a piece of almond cheesecake. Shaped like a pie wedge, we think it was a classic no-bake version that was creamy and refreshing. A good way to end a barbecue meal.

In short, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, the Smokin’ Little Diner makes it an easy place to get your barbecue on and then some.

Some Great BBQ Sauce Company Smokin’ Little Diner

Where: 4870 Broadway, Depew (683-9248, somegreatbbq.com)

Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday and Monday; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Accessible: No steps, but tight indoors.

Extra: Bottles of barbecue available to purchase. Kids menu. Bottled root beer and orange cream soda (and floats).

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