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YOU GOTTA EAT: The Smo-King Pit

There’s a unique scent that hits you when you enter the doors of Northwoods Mall in Peoria.

This week Semone Doughton take you inside Northwoods for some smoking food in You Gotta Eat.

I was excited to walk through the doors of the smoking pit restaurant because the smell of smoked meat hit me the moment I entered Northwoods Mall.

Once inside this family owned restaurant, I noticed the place was full of customers.

Look at what also caught my attention, the walls of the restaurant adored with spiritual quotes from the bible.

Michelle Citchens is co-owner of the Smo-King Pit.

She and her husband Michael and daughter Micayla have been running this popular spot for the past 14 years. And by the look of things they’ll be here for many years to come.

Guess what? We got a sneak peek inside the smoker where the magic happens.

The smell was something that will make your mouth water.

“They have good catfish sandwiches, excellent pork. Everything’s good,” said Bob Zandezeer, a regular customer.

And with that raving review i decided to build my own meal. A popular choice offered to customers here.

I chose the ribs and the chopped brisket, with a side of green beans, corn on the cob and a slice of sweet potato pie.

Let’s just say it went down easy. And so does some of the other popular dishes regular customers like Ralph Estenson seems to enjoy.

“The Smoking Pit Nachos: and why? because they’re flat good…it’s just as simple as that…they’re flat good,” said Estenson.

“We look at them as being family, like uncles and aunts. Those who are older than us. And it is, it’s like family,” said Smoking Pit co-owner Michelle Citchens.

And it’s that motto that keep a steady flow of customers coming in and out of the Smo-King Pit.

OK, let’s talk dollars and cents…The total for my meal? $18.32.

Tim Shelley

Social Media & Digital Content Manager

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