Smokey John’s to Have Shoebox Lunches During Black History Month

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

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.

Make your lunch an educational opportunity.EXPAND
Make your lunch an educational opportunity.
Alex Gonzalez

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.”

The boxes share the history of the shoebox lunch.EXPAND
The boxes share the history of the shoebox lunch.
Alex Gonzalez

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.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.