Monday, August 13, 2012

Aviator Smokehouse Still Finding Its Wings

Located in the bustling Varina area of Fuquay, AviatorSmokehouse continues to build a following as a casual place to enjoy barbecue, ribs, burgers, beer and more. On a recent Friday night, there was a surprising 45-minute wait to get a seat. That’s a good thing for a locally owned dinning establishment.

Smoked meats like chopped pork barbeque, St. Louis style ribs and beef brisket are generally reliable options. Side items baked beans and collard greens are solid as well. The house-made mac and cheese is first-rate (my extremely picky 9-year-old daughter gave it a big thumbs up).


Much to my surprise, the fish tacos were the best I’ve had anywhere, and I’m a huge fish taco fan. Large, lightly battered pieces of tilapia and slices of avocado make these tacos a winning entrée choice. The beer-battered onion rings, however, were flavorful but too greasy for my taste.


The restaurant’s décor tends toward sports bar meets airport hangar. Service is friendly, but the staff can tend to get overwhelmed when the dining room is crowded.

Aviator Smokehouse seems fully capable of churning out quality provisions for a reasonable price. Even so, it needs more reliable soul. Perhaps a front-of-the-house manager visiting tables and flashing a friendly smile would help. Each time I’ve visited there never seems to be a manager onsite. Here’s hoping the owner will pour as much passion into the eatery as he does the tap house across the street.

Aviator Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

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