You Gotta Eat: The Smokehouse

By Chad Weber

May 1, 2014 Updated May 1, 2014 at 8:24 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- It's not exactly what you think of when someone says barbecue.

But inside the U.S Cellular Coliseum is what some people are calling the best barbecue joint in the area.

The Smokehouse, has been operating under the roof of the eventplex for just over a year now.

And in this coliseum the buffet reigns king.

It's the only option for lunch but that doesn't mean you'll be limited in choice.

"Everyday we have brisket, pulled pork, and chicken," said General Manager Paul Grazar. "Baked beans, macaroni and cheese. We have two kinds of deserts, salad bars, soup of the day. Four fresh vegetables."

Grazar said his secret to good barbecue is slow smoking over hickory and apple wood, with just the right sauces.

"We take our time," said Grazar. "We've re-perfected our recipes."

I started my meal with a nice healthy salad, giving my body no warning of the impending calories to come.

Then on to my main plate.

I threw on some barbecue brisket pizza along with some rib tips and anything else I could fit until my plate was full.

And I've got to tell you, the homemade sauces here really standout.

For entertainment during my meal I watched a local high school graduation rehearsal.

It's one of the many things you could see while eating here including football practices and ice skating.

After a couple more trips back to the buffet my bill came to $11.80 plus tip.

The Smokehouse is open for lunch Tuesday through Thursday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

They are also open for sporting events with a full menu.