Follow the Scent to Sid’s Smokehouse

Sid’s Smokehouse attracts customers from Santa Cruz County and those traveling through, by offering satisfying meals and a great atmosphere.

If the mere smell of a restaurant makes you choose it over others, Sid’s Smokehouse will be at the top of your list.

Sid’s Smokehouse is perfect for those passing through Aptos and is also a destination spot that others drive miles to reach.

Located at the former location of , the restaurant offers the aroma of melt-off-the-bone meat and sweet barbeque sauce.

Even though I’m not a big meat-eater, the barbeque smell made my stomach growl for a hearty, satisfying meal—just the type of food that Sid’s offers. With everything from smokehouse meat to pizza, sandwiches and salads, everyone in the group is sure to find a dish to satisfy his or her taste buds.

While perusing the menu, I started with a green iced tea. The first sip shocked me as it was sweetened and I expected the somewhat bitter nature of green tea. The following sips were like candy.

My mom and I always split dishes whenever we go out to restaurants. At Sid’s Smokehouse this was no different. We ordered a side of sweet potato fries, a bowl of Matt’s famous chili and the special BBQ chicken salad.

Sweet potato fries are much healthier than potato fries because they are more concentrated in vitamin C and vitamin A which are powerful antioxidants necessary for daily health. Whenever they’re on the menu, we’re bound to order them.

Sid’s passed the test of having good sweet potato fries. They were thin and crispy, compared to others I’ve had in the past that were thicker and softer.

The award-winning chili was filled with everything and anything a chili should have. The combination of house-cured bacon, pork, beef, chopped brisket and bell peppers offered the hearty component with a shocking surprise of chipotle and pickled jalapenos. To top all that off it was loaded with cheddar cheese, onions and bacon.

No wonder it was the second place winner in the Boardwalk’s 2011 Chili Cook-Off. For not being a huge meat-eater, this chili was impressive.

As a special on the Fourth of July, a BBQ chicken salad featured crunchy romaine lettuce, cucumber, tender smoked chicken and tortilla strips with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing. Despite sounding quite rich, this salad was the perfect addition to the rest of the meal. The chicken melted in my mouth.

All of the flavors meshed together to make a perfect meal.

Before paying the check, waitresses offer customers warm, moist towels to refresh their hands after a potentially messy meal. How they spoil you!

Co-owners John Siddall and Dave Paradise opened Sid’s Smokehouse in the Aptos location on Mother’s Day, May 13. Originally a restaurant in Lake Tahoe, Paradise said the neighborhood of the old SmoQe BBQ was a perfect place to test out their sports bar concept.

"It’s good will. People want something good to be in their neighborhood," said Paradise. "If people want something to be done right, they’ll wait for you."

Paradise said, “People have different opinions on different types of smoked food. They are very happy with Sid’s.”

Paradise and Siddall renovated the entire restaurant with a new wrap-around bar, equipment and kitchen. What used to be a place where you ordered from the counter or got take-out became a sit-down restaurant with an inviting feeling.

“The huge feedback is in how we run it with the table service and the bar, the whole atmosphere,” said Paradise.

If you’re ever passing through the area or are craving some savory smokehouse meat, stop by Sid’s Smokehouse, located conveniently off Highway 1.

Open Sunday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The address is 10110 Soquel Dr., Aptos. Call 831-662-2227 for information or take-out. Visit the website to view the menu. 

Check back Thursday for more on some changes coming to Sid's menu.

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