A meal begins with your drink choice and sets the tone for all of the courses to follow…yeah, no pressure! Here at Valley Smoke, we make it easy. Although we have a robust menu, you can’t go wrong with your selections. The key is knowing which entrees, appetizers, desserts and drinks complement each other. Stick to one flavor palette and you’ll be on a fast-track to the perfect meal. Here are some of our favorites meal pairings from Valley Smoke. Bon appetit!
4 Tips To Planning Out A Tailor-Made Meal:
1. A well-balanced meal is your goal, not a meal that tastes the same from course to course. We suggest you avoid duplicating flavors. For example, if you order our Cocktail Pimento Cheese, take it easy on the cheese in the courses to follow. Lucky for you, we have plenty of delicious meat to choose from…
2. Fruit is normally never showcased during the beginning portion of your meal. This is because the sweetness that comes from fruit often dulls the appetite. For this reason, fruit shows up mainly in desserts.
3. Creamy soups are food for the soul. However, they don’t pair well with creamed vegetables such as our Poblano Cream Corn. Heavy, creamy starters shouldn’t be followed up by creamy sides. Instead, try a side like a mixed green salad!
4. Who doesn’t love sauce? Sometimes we get stuck on loving just one sauce. But the key to a complimentary meal is to mix it up a little and test out all of the homemade sauces Valley Smoke has to offer.
The menu is full of great options, but these options should balance strong, sweet, subtle and sharp flavors along with varying textures, colors and temperatures. The choices with more subtle flavors are mainly carbs such as rice and potatoes, which should be paired with strong flavors that can be found in meats or well-seasoned vegetables. Here’s an idea of what flavors, colors, temperatures and textures best compliment one another:
Complementary Courses are the Key
1. Complementing Seasonings: Starting off with a simple drink choice? Perk up your palette with a heavily seasoned appetizer to get your meal started the right way.
2. Complementing Temperatures: Varying temperatures throughout your meal creates interest and a much needed contradiction. Warm foods stimulate your appetite and appear in almost every course, so adding a cold side salad to any meal gives your meal balance.
3. Complementing Textures: Even in food, “opposites attract” is still a phrase that reigns true. Crunchy and smooth textures are ideal in meals, such as soup and salad. You could even just get our smooth Simple Tomato Soup that comes with crunchy grilled cheese croutons. Absolutely delicious!
Now that we shared the guide to help you navigate the perfect meal, here are some sample pairings for your next meal at Valley Smoke:
Mock Menu #1
- Roast Beet Salad – pecan / pears / southern blue cheese / tender greens / local honey sherry vinaigrette
- Heritage St. Louis Style Ribs – bacon garlic green beans / german potatoes / pickles / garlic toast
- Hummingbird Cake – cream cheese frosting / strawberries / coulis
Mock Menu #2
- Pale Ale
- Oak Smoked Burrata – arugula / tomato peach compote / Georgia olive oil / basil / grilled baguette
- Filet Mignon – grilled onion / smokey brandy jus / mashed potatoes
- Lemon Pie – cream chantilly
Mock Menu #3
- Oysters – iced raw – mignonette, house hot sauce and saltines / wood-roasted – chili and garlic butter / fried – cornmeal crusted and creole remoulade
- Good Breed Chicken – pickles / garlic toast / whipped potatoes / grilled broccoli
- Barbara’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake – vanilla ice cream / rum caramel sauce
These meal plans are just for inspiration, so feel free to substitute your own favorites to get the best tailored meal for you! We hope you feel equipped to walk in and order the perfectly paired meal at Valley Smoke. See you soon!