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Smoked On High Photo By Collins Laatsch

Smoke Signals: Smoked On High

If not for the scent, you may miss Smoked on High entirely—which is very much part of its charm. How could you love a downtown BBQ joint serving out of an old house, recessed from the street with a porch and a gravel patio? It’s A summertime day in the South all-year-round, even if you’re feet from a gray day on South High Street. As far as the food, it’s simple and sweet, with only a few options and no indecision to get in your way. If you’re like us, you’re gonna wanna get that fatty brisket. You’re already there, right? No need to lay off the gas now. Owner Max McGarity tells us more about the business:

What is your culinary background?

Self-taught, actually. I worked in restaurants in high school and fell in love with the artistic freedom of food. I decided then to open my own BBQ food truck in 2011 and it’s been BBQ ever since. My dream to open my own restaurant was finally achieved this summer.

What sets you apart from the other BBQ joints in Columbus?

I think it’s our succulent cuts of meat we use, whether it be the pork spare ribs or the jumbo drummies, and our eclectic style of sauces. And the fact that you can enjoy delicious BBQ inside during the cold winter months!

Is there enough room in Columbus for all these BBQ places?

Columbus is one of the biggest small towns in the country. Of course there’s plenty of room for good BBQ.

Who (beside yourself, obviously) makes the best BBQ in Columbus?

Ray Ray’s is obviously an institution in Columbus, but I’ve had Legacy and they’re serving up some good BBQ, too. I’d tip my hat to B & K Smokehouse, too.

What’s the classic mistake you see people making with BBQ—either at home or in restaurants?

The biggest mistake I see is people over complicating things. Keep it simple!

Do you remember the first time you fell in love with BBQ?

When I was young kid, I went to City Barbeque with my dad. I remember smelling the smoke throughout the restaurant, which was really cool. Since BBQ in Columbus wasn’t that big back in the day, it was a new experience.