We are thrilled to announce that we have a new club sponsor, Dooleys American Smokehouse! We are excited to welcome them to our community and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership.
Dooleys American Smokehouse
brings the original Soul Food – with recipes from the Southern United States combining African-American and Native American culinary traditions – to the Brussels culinary scene. Their recipes have been transmitted from generation to generation, and the values of sharing and family are at the heart of this culinary tradition. They prepare meats with the method “low and slow”- smoked for several hours with scented wood flavor. Our meals are juicy, tasty and colorful.
We spoke with owner Darren Dooley to learn more about the restaurant.
Where are you from the USA?
I am from Decatur, Illinois, but my family is from Alabama, so southern cooking has always been part of the family tradition.
When did you move to Belgium?
I came to Belgium for the first time in 1999 for family reasons. Since then we have been living between Belgium and the various European diplomatic assignments in Asia and Africa. I had a Tex-Mex restaurant in Uganda for six years and I still have also an American style BBQ restaurant in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia since 2018. We returned back to Belgium most recently in 2019.
When did you open your restaurant in Brussels?
We opened in June 2022, so one year ago. It has been an exciting journey.
How did you get this idea?
After owning several restaurants where we introduced American and Tex-Mex cooking to the African clients, in Belgium, I wanted to go back to my roots and to combine the famous American Smoke House tradition with the authentic Soul Food from the Southern USA. Dooley's American Smoke House is all about sharing meals with family and friends, and getting the taste of traditional American cuisine in the capital of Europe.
Was it a challenge to get the Smoker equipment into Belgium?
It was possible to order online the electric smokers that use flavored wood that bring the taste for our smoked meats, and we use other grill equipment available in Belgium. The main challenge is to order the specific spices that make the Soul Food taste, this includes for example the secret seasoning mix I prepare for my famous buttermilk fried chicken.
How do you like living in Belgium?
I enjoy the international atmosphere of Brussels. My restaurant is located in Etterbeek, where we also have our house. It is near the European Institutions and many Americans also live in the neighborhood. We have met so many nice people from all nationalities since we opened the restaurant and I look forward to welcoming everyone who is interested to discover the true American hospitality.
We hope you will visit Dooleys American Smokehouse, and make sure join us for one of our AWCB evens there!