Who woulda thunk that a short New Hampshire zig off the 93 would lead to Serious Smokehouse Action? A week ago, I woulda said it was as likely as finding that kind of Action on the Place Vendome. Yet the Smoke Shack more than qualifies for a MIchelin "worth a detour" rating, especially for anyone on the way to the White Mountains, worried about lacking the caloric wherewithall to mount a summit in the Presidentials.
Smoke Shack knows smoke and heat like Danny Ainge knows hoop. I desperately wish I'd had time to get more of The Knowledge, but here's a thumbnail:
Item 1: the Cajun Fat Boy. Note that the Boy is not Poor, but Fat. And how could he be otherwise when his sandwich is loaded with pulled pork, BBQ smoked to perfection, ragingly hot Cajun smoked sausage, tender shredded smoked chicken, and an occasional jalapeno just in case? Deep, deep flavor intense and complex enough to bring tears to the eyes. As I overheard someone say of memorable grinder many years ago: "Man, this thing is Saying Something."
Item 2: the Pulled Pork Burrito. OK, this is a mashup of some disparate chow genres, but the thing works as well as any multicultural device I've tried. The pulled pork is deliriously fine, with just the right balance of smoke and pig. The beans, smoked too, add a welcome textural note, while the rice, jalapeno and make this puppy as articulate as the Fat Boy.
Item 3: the BBQ Smoked Chicken. For those who worry that the combos above might conceal some latent defect in the basic ingredients, I can report that the straight up chicken is bliss, too. The smoke and heat gives the skin the look of tea smoked duck, complete with that dusky shellac look that promises so much. Perfectly tender, ready to depart the bone at the slightest exposure to gravity and perfectly balanced between fowl and fire.
I wish I'd had more time to explore. Unaccountably, I failed to add the Smoke House Bomb to my waistline, and there is a menu item or two that carry the very promising warning that they are not for the faint of heart. How my items escaped that warning label baffles me entirely.
The Smoke Shack rocks.
Smoke Shack Bbq
146 King St, Boscawen, NH 03303
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