At the opposite end of the ambiance spectrum from Oklahoma Joes is Fiorella's Jack Stack. Oklahoma Joes operates inside a gas station; Fiorella's turns barbeque into fine dining. As you walk up and enter, you'd swear you were entering a four or five star restaurant... until the hickory smoke hits your senses. Fiorella's shows that barbeque can be fine dining as well.
This is a barbeque joint? Yep.
Because of that, Fiorella's menu is more varied and expansive. You can get salads, steaks, prime rib, and seafood as well. And yes, a great kids menu, which makes this a great choice for families and mixed company.
I ordered a three meat platter with brisket, sausage, and pork; my wife went with burnt ends of brisket and ham. We added sides of fries, baked beans, and their specialty, cheesy corn bake. Yes, that cheesy corn bake sounds simple, but it's amazingly good. Cheese? Good. Corn? Good. A little ham? Good. Put it all together? Amazing.
We fell in love with cheesy corn bake from the first bite... so much so, we never bothered to try anything else until a couple of years ago, when I decided to try the hickory pit beans. That became another O M G moment as these are simply the best baked beans I've ever had. Rich, savory, hickory goodness.
So how does Fiorella's Jack Stack match up?
Meat: A Artistic perfection on the brisket; you see the smoke ring and the charring of fine barbeque. Maybe not as savory as Oklahoma Joe's, but still a fine combination.
Sauce: A Like Joe's, it's a ketchup-based sauce that's top notch in my book. People who love heat will be happy to note that it comes in both "spicy" and "hot" variants.
Sides: A+ This is where Jack Stack excels. Many barbeque restaurants will sell their rubs and sauces for you to enjoy at home. Fiorella's freezes their Cheesy Corn Bake and Hickory Pit Beans, and ships them nationwide. Why? Because they are THAT good.
Overall: A Fiorella's Jack Stack takes barbeque upscale, and it's not a sellout to the art of the smoker. If anything, it takes it to an entirely new level.