Southern-style fish, barbecue and soul food home cooking are being brought to Queens at the House of Smoke in St. Albans.
The House of Smoke, a takeout food restaurant at 180-03 Linden Blvd., is a family business run by former Jamaica residents who have returned to New York from Alabama, according to chef Spencer Eagle.
The owners are Eagle’s grandmother, Nellie Buchanan, and his mother, Doris Eagle. His uncle Gerald Buchanan is a prep chef, and his brother Jameel is an assistant chef.
Eagle’s mother moved back to New York in September, and after reminiscing about her old Montgomery restaurant, The New Porky’s, she decided to open a new restaurant in the state she was lived in for 30 years, Eagle said.
Before coming back to New York, Eagle’s mother was in Alabama for 22 years, while Eagle’s Uncle Gerald remained in New York. Eagle’s brother Jameel lived in Alabama from 2006 to 2017, and he left Alabama 12 years ago and has been living in Far Rockaway since returning to the city that never sleeps.
“She wanted to open a business for myself and my brother,” Eagle said. “My uncle found this place, and he thought it would be a great location to bring a soul food and barbecue restaurant.”
Eagle and his family don’t have degrees in the culinary arts, but they love cooking and they simply use what has been passed down to them over the past few generations.
Eagle, 36, learned how to make cookies, cake and more from his mother starting when he was 12.
“My mother learned from my grandmother, and my grandmother learned from her mom,” Eagle said. “She learned from just being in the kitchen with my grandma.”
Although it is a takeout restaurant, everything is Southern-cooked, according to Eagle.
“The barbecue sauce is made from scratch,” Eagle said. “We smoke our meats in a smoker for eight to nine hours. Everything is smoked. It is a real authentic soul food.”
Looking to the restaurant’s future, the family plans to add fresh lemonade and iced tea to the menu for spring and summer. Currently, there are several desserts, like peach cobbler.
“Our ultimate hope is to become successful and to stay here in the community,” Eagle said. “St. Albans is a great community to be in.”
The House of Smoke is expected to hold a grand opening in late January or early February.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose
©2018 Community News Group
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