Passion, Palate, Fire


It all started in Middletown... It started with the love of fire and the respect for people... We have a place in our hearts for the indigenous peoples on this planet that were dominated. The word barbecue comes from the original word barbicu, of the Taíno people. The barbecue style of cooking for us was a natural choice... fire and meat... and more fire... Coming to Meriden we had grand plans for a bakery, dry aging, craft cocktails, and technique driven plates that please... Hospitality is our number one goal. We want everyone to feel good, food is a small part of it... we actually do care about every single one of you... and we should all care about each other.

T a í n o

means "good people" in their native language. They were a very peaceful tribe that inhabitited the Greater and northern Lesser Antilles. Presently most people pronounce Taíno [?t?n?], with a Spanish accent. Spanish was however introduced to the this hempisphere by Columbus in 1492. So it is not how the tribe would have said their own name. The islands were populated over the course of thousands of years from the Amazon basin, most notably Venezuela. Sub cultures existed in some regions as travel over sea was somewhat limited and there was partial isolation. Trading did take place however between the islands, they greatly utilized canoes to travel back and forth. It is estimated that the Taino population was over 2.5 million in 1492, the year Columbus made landfall in the "new world". In school we all learn about the great story of Columbus and his conquest, however they neglect to teach us about the indigenous peoples that were there first.


Columbus was born in Italy and remained there for most of his childhood. He later moved to Portugal where he sought sponsorship for a his great journey to the new world. The Portugese were unwilling to sponsor such a journey and it was at this time that Columbus moved to Spain. After seven years of courtship with the Spanish monarchy, an agreement was finally reached to send Columbus in search for a faster route to Asia. A decision that would change world history! Think about it in 1492 the world was basically split into two hemispheres that had no contact. Columbus essentially opened up the flood gates connecting the two, and this wasn't a good thing... On his first journey he took three ships, The Nina, The Pinta, and the Santa Maria (sank on this journey), with about 100 men in the crew. In 1493, his second voyage to the new land, there were 17 ships and over 1000 men. Within 10 years, THOUSANDS of men and many ships had arrived or were in route to the new world from Spain and Portugal, followed closely by the French and British. The population in the Americas was absolutely decimated! The Aztecs, Incas, the hundreds of tribes from Chile to Canada, all suffered. By 1550 the Taino had gone from 2 million down to hundreds and Taino culture was all but extinct a few years later. Puerto Rico has the strongest connection to the Taino people, with some folks being as much as 15%. Ever wonder why South America and Central America all speak Spanish?


means "sacred fire pit" in the Taino native language. No the native language was NOT Spanish. It is widely believed by etymologists that this is the origin of the word barbecue. The Taino also had other words that were adapted by the English language such as hammock, canoe, hurricane, and tobacco.

F I N A L L Y...

The Taíno were a beautiful, loving, and peaceful people. They have been all but forgotten in the history books. Our mission is to have them remembered and to educated the public. We pay hommage to them for their contributions to the world. Our goal is to open the first Taino Museum in the United States. We would also like to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day. Finally we would like the history books\schools to include the regional indigenous tribe history. In Middletown it would be the Wangunk, the last known picture of this tribe is on our gift cards.

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Catering Services

Birthday Party

Birthdays are a celebration of life! Whether you want to host a party for yourself, a friend, loved one, co-worker, or stranger, we got you covered. What a great way to show someone you appreciate them. We can do an onsite party up to 250 people on our lovely patio in Middletown or in our greate hall in Meriden. It would be an honor to spend a birthday with you!

Business Meetings

Packages make perfect! Are you like me and go to a diner and can't figure out what to pick! Let's make it a little easier! Onsite WIFI, lunch in 15 mins or less. Be in and out of our doors in 30 mins, or 3 hours, any situation we can accomodate. Loyalty plan details are coming soon. We also are flexible of which cuisines we can offer.

Wedding Party

We specialize in the backyard experience! Full Service from linens and plated to Buffet, and family style. Wedding planning is also our specialty... These backyard weddings usually don't have a planner. We take that task on free of charge when you book us for your wedding! It is a special day and we have catered over 60 weddings!


Our Menu


6 Wings - 9
12 Wings - 15
20 Wings - 21
8 Chicken Bites - 6
14 Chicken Bites - 11
22 Chicken Bites - 21
Cajun, Spicy Coconut Lemongrass Ginger, BBQ Sauce, Buffalo, Honey Sweet Chili
House Salad - 8
Mixed Greens, Cucumber Slaw, Tomatoes
Add Grilled Chicken - 7
Bacon Pops - 10
Bacon, Lightly Deep Fried, Maple Peppercorn
Cheese Fries - 10
Smothered in our Signature Cheese Sauce, Paprika and Fresh Scallions
Add Chopped BBQ - 6
Side of Fries - $4.50
Regular, Cajun $1, Sweet $1, Truffle $1
Corn Bread - $1.50


Classic - 14
American, Chopped Onions, Pickles, Fancy Sauce, fries
Smokehouse - 15
Vermont Cheddar, Onion Straws, BBQ Sauce, fries


St. Louis Ribs - Half 18, Full 29, choice of two sides
Pulled Pork - 15, choice of two sides
Prime Brisket - 22, choice of two sides
Grilled Chicken - 15, choice of two sides
Smoked Corned Beef - 19, choice of two sides
Smoked Chicken Plate - 15, choice of two sides
Faroe Island Salmon - 19, choice of two sides


Mac and Cheese
Jalapeno Apple Slaw
Garlic Mash
Sautee Mixed Veggie
Corn Bread

Our Master Chefs

Fernando Noesi, "Nando"

Executive Chef, Taíno Smokehouse

A “homegrown” chef born in Manhattan, NY but raised in East Hartford, Connecticut, Fernando has lived in the Hartford area most of his life and this is exactly where he wants to be. Fernando Noesi began his career as a line cook at Sauce Restaurant in Glastonbury in 2009. Fernando immediately knew that cooking was his passion and it’s what he wanted to pursue in life. Which took everyone by surprise seeing that he graduated a well achieved athlete from East Hartford High School in 2004. When Sauce closed down he got an opportunity in corporate dining at Flick International as a grill cook. Though he was cooking Fernando wanted to do more and put his creativity to use but knew he needed more experience. So he worked for various restaurants but couldn’t find his home. In 2011 he moved over to Xali Corporate & Fine Dining where he began as a line cook, in just a few months Fernando advanced to Sous Chef. Getting that position gave him the chance to put his creativity to use, working in a corporate building meant he had the same clientele everyday and he wanted to give them something different. He created specials each day where he made everything from American inspired dishes to using his cultural background and creating Dominican dishes as well. After some time he took on the challenge of becoming Chef of Xali giving him the opportunity to learn all aspects of the restaurant industry. After gaining so much experience in fine dining, catering, and in corporate restaurants he was ready for the next stage in his life. Having already a family with his girlfriend and his stepdaughter, he welcomed a son towards the end of 2013. Doing so, really pushed him to pursue his passion for culinary and begin creating an amazing life for his family. In 2014 he joined the Taino Smokehouse family and found his home, though he began as a line cook he knew he wouldn’t stop until he worked his way to the top. He became Sous Chef in 2016 and worked extremely hard to perfect his craft. In 2019 all his hard work and dedication paid off and his dreams came true. Not only did he welcome a daughter into the world and completing his family but he became the Executive Chef at Taino Smokehouse. Now giving him the opportunity to integrate his creativity with home recipes and creating delicious food. He lives with his girlfriend and 3 children in Glastonbury and when he’s not cooking, you’ll likely find him spending time with his family or volunteering as a parent teacher for his son’s class on his days off.

Jon Michael, "Hog Skin"

Research and Development, Taíno Prime

Father Time is the personification of time. In recent centuries he is usually depicted as an elderly bearded man, sometimes with wings, dressed in a robe and carrying a scythe and an hourglass or other timekeeping device (which represents time's constant one-way movement, and more generally and abstractly, entropy). Time's origins are curious". The ancient Greeks themselves began to associate chronos, their word for time, with the agricultural god Cronos, who had the attribute of a harvester's sickle. The Romans equated Cronos with Saturn, who also had a sickle, and was treated as an old man, often with a crutch. The wings and hour-glass were early Renaissance additions, and he eventually became a companion of the Grim Reaper, personification of Death, often taking his scythe. He may have as an attribute a snake with its tail in its mouth, an ancient Egyptian symbol of eternity.

Darin Kramer, "Angry Grump"

Sous Chef, Taíno Prime

Kevin Norwood Bacon (born July 8, 1958) is an American actor and musician. His films include musical-drama film Footloose (1984), the controversial historical conspiracy legal thriller JFK (1991), the legal drama A Few Good Men (1992), the historical docudrama Apollo 13 (1995), and the mystery drama Mystic River (2003). Bacon is also known for taking on darker roles such as that of a sadistic guard in Sleepers (1996) and troubled former child abuser in The Woodsman (2004). He is also known for the hit comedies National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), Diner (1982), Tremors (1990) and Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011). His other well known films are Friday the 13th (1980), Flatliners (1990), The River Wild (1994), Wild Things (1998), Stir of Echoes (1999), Hollow Man (2000), Frost/Nixon (2008), X-Men: First Class (2011), Black Mass (2015) and Patriots Day (2016). He is equally prolific on television, having starred in the Fox drama series The Following (2013–2015). For the HBO original film Taking Chance (2009), Bacon won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, also receiving a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. More recently Bacon portrayed the title character and was the series lead of the Amazon Prime web television series I Love Dick for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. The Guardian named him one of the best actors never to have received an Academy Award nomination. In 2003, Bacon received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the motion pictures industry. Bacon has become associated with the concept of interconnectedness (as in social networks), having been popularized by the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon". In 2007, he created SixDegrees.org, a charitable foundation.


Happy Customer

Taíno Smokehouse

Address: 482 S. Main St. Middletown, CT 06457

Phone: 860-358-9828

Email: info@tainosmokehouse.com

Website TainoSmokehouse.com

Menu Click here to see our menu.

Taíno Prime

Address: 1388 East Main St. Meriden, CT 06450

Phone: 203-440-1600

Email: info@tainoprime.com

Website TainoPrime.com

Menu Click here to see our menu.

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