In honor of Black History Month, Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que and Home Cooking is offering guests a low-cost meal with a valuable educational opportunity.
For only $10.50, guests can purchase what’s called a shoebox lunch, packed with your choice of barbecue entrees, a side, a dessert and a piece of fruit.
Shoebox lunches date back to the Jim Crow era. During segregation, black people were forbidden from entering white-owned restaurants, which made for difficulty during the work day or when traveling far from home. For convenience sake, people would make meals at home and pack them in shoeboxes, which often contained fried chicken, sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, peanuts and cake. The shoeboxes were usually tied with yarn or strips of fabric.
“We just think this is a neat way to do something for Black History Month,” says Smokey John’s co-owner Juan Reaves. “To bring some attention to another struggle. It’s something for the younger generation to be appreciative of, the fact that we can walk into pretty much anywhere we want to eat.”
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With Smokey John’s shoebox lunches, guests can order their shoeboxes with either the brisket barbecue sandwich or a piece of fried chicken. They can order one of Smokey John’s many sides (though, it is worth noting that the candied sweet potatoes are to die for), along with a piece of fruit. For dessert, guests have the choice of sweet potato pie or a slice of pound cake.
Shoebox lunches will be available for purchase at Smokey John’s beginning Saturday, Feb. 1, and will be available all throughout the month.
Smokey John's Bar-B-Que and Home Cooking, 1820 W. Mockingbird Lane (Medical District). Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; closed Sunday.