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Devon’s Pop Smoke offers wood-fired grill specialties, wine, craft beer

Jeremy Dow named his new wood-fired grill and draft house Devon’s Pop Smoke after two things endearing to him: his son and the military.

“Devon is my son, and he’s a year old now,” Dow said. “Pop Smoke is military terminology. When you’re in a hostile environment, you’re going to be predetermining the cans of smoke, the colors and what they mean. They go from hostile, injured, no problems at all. But when you’re not in a hostile environment you’re just out and about, you’re at work, you just say ‘let’s pop smoke; let’s get out of here and go grab a beer,’ so basically, it’s let’s take off, let’s go relax. … We’re actually going to name the patio the Pop Smoke patio. So on the patio-specific menu, we’ll have the story that will start to educate people about what it is.”

Meat is slow-cooked on one of two wood-fired grills at Devon’s Pop Smoke. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

There are plenty of New Mexico craft beer and wine offerings to “pop smoke” to. Devon’s offers wines from Casa RondeƱa and Gruet, as well as a plethora of beer selections from Bosque Brewing Co., Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Canteen Brewhouse, La Cumbre Brewing Co., and Steel Bender Brewyard. It is in talks with Marble Brewery, Red Door Brewing Co. and Tractor Brewing Co. You will find the beer selections not only on tap but also in Devon’s dishes.

“We’re trying to do a spin on beer pairings,” Dow said. “We’re trying to basically change it up. We’re not looking to take our cuisine and pair it with our beer. We’re trying to create new cuisine for every event that we have and actually utilize their beer and cook with it. … Boxing Bear’s apple cider is actually in the cranberry glaze that we use for our pound cake. We utilize Canteen’s peach sour for our barbecue sauce. We utilize Bosque’s lager in our beer bread. We use La Cumbre’s Noche de Paz for our gumbo.”

The atmosphere and ambiance at Devon’s are warm and inviting. The aromas from the wood-fired grill immediately stimulate your appetite. There is a 12-seat bar in front of the grill for those who want to watch the flame show up close. A dining area is available for those who prefer a table. The pub area offers a space for those looking for smaller bites. Guests can extend their visit by heading upstairs into the lounge to relax on a couch and comfortable seating. The lounge provides an intimate space, with two-person tables for couples. Another option is the outdoor patio that features a large fire pit in its center to keep things cozy.

Devon’s had a soft opening last month and is holding its grand opening celebration today with food and drink specials and music. An attention-getter on the menu is Devon’s pork offerings, as well as its game meat features. Devon’s gets its Red Wattle heritage pigs from Dow’s family a ranch in Chilili. The pigs are raised at the ranch and butchered in-house at Devon’s. The menu is under the direction of executive chef Mia Maes and sous chef Diego Grant.

“We’ll be branching into more chicken dishes and fish, as well as salads, and then we’re going to do some features in the wild game area as far as elk, venison, which we currently showcase in an elk bratwurst and a venison bratwurst,” Dow said. “… We do wild game albondigas; it has elk, venison and boar. They’ll stay on the pub side as an appetizer. They’re skewers. We do seasonal vegetables on the skewers, so right now we’re doing red pepper and red onion. And then we serve it with our housemade romesco sauce. It’s kind of a tomatoey garlic sauce. We refer to it as the Spaniard’s ketchup.”