Postcard from Long Island: Smoking Sloe's

Nothing makes me feel attractive than feeling fat while taking a bath. Which is why eating at Smoking Sloe's in Northport (Long Island, NY) before going hot-tubbing at my friend's parents' house was a bad idea.

Smoking Sloe's has one big black mark for me: The barbecue is so delicious that's it's way too easy to overeat and end up feeling wracked with guilt.

I first fell in love with Smoking Sloe's at the Vanderbilt's Wine in the Courtyard food and wine tasting in 2007. The style of barbecue is either Carolina or Kansas City (all the published reviews simply call it "Southern style"), sweet and sticky, but with some overtones of vinegar.

Although the small restaurant on Fort Salonga Road has been on my radar since 2007, I only recently had a chance to get out there with a group of friends for a Saturday night feast.

The plan was to get some grub, eat up, then head back to my friend's parents' house for beer, movies, Frisky Dingo (adult cartoon show), and a dip in their hot tub. Everything started to go downhill when we arrived at Smoking Sloe's and the server told us, "The buffet is 15 bucks, and pretty much everything we have is out there. That's the way to go."

I was already not feeling famished, so I ordered a pulled pork sandwich ($9) a la carte, which came with a side, and I chose beans. My friend followed suit and ordered a barbecued chicken sandwich with the most gorgeously golden sweet potato fries I've ever tasted. The four others in my group descended upon the buffet, piling brisket, pulled pork, ribs, mac-n-cheese, potatoes, collard greens, and hunks of cornbread as big as a Kaiser roll on their plates.

We gorged ourselves stupid, which greatly interfered with my ability to relax later in the hot-tub. Smoking Sloe's plus bathing suit equals poor body image.

Some people prefer dry-rub barbecue, but I am a sucker for the sweet saucy stuff. The pulled pork was not overwhelmed with sauce, but the meat definitely took on much of the flavor. The side of beans seemed soupy and were served in a Styrofoam cup, though I managed to eat them with a fork and not leave much behind, so there couldn't have been that much liquid.

Finally, although we didn't take advantage of this offer, Smoking Sloe's has a no corkage fee policy. Designate a driver -- and be prepared for the cramped parking lot -- and go Thursday through Sunday anytime after 5:30 for the all-you-can-eat. Just don't plan to show off your bikini body afterward.

Smoking Sloe's
847 Fort Salonga Road
Northport, NY