It's a great time to be a meat lover in Columbus. And for all of you who became vegetarians for the New Year, well, you made your bed.
My Twitter followers already know my strong feelings for Smackies BBQ. My bbq sauce stained fingers are compelled to share my love every time I find myself cramming my kisser full of their glorious porky goodness.
Last week Husband brought some pork sandwiches for lunch on Saturday. Sunday, when it was my turn to procure lunch, I rather sheepishly admitted that I wanted more Smackies. He just laughed and said he'd been thinking the same thing.
So let's start with the basics. James Anderson, aka Smackie, sets up a trailer in the parking lot of a carryout at the corner of High & Pacemont in Clintonville Thursdays - Sundays at noon. The smoke was rolling this Thursday when I drove past at 11 in the morning and my car began turning on its own. Alas, some of you might remember that I am in the process of losing weight (6 pounds down!) and I can't be running around eating ribs and mac and cheese and the like without consequences. *sigh*
I knew there was going to be a long love between Smackies and me the first bite I took of the pulled pork sandwich. The buns are of the nice, soft, white variety; typically I am not a fan of soggy bread, but when you start to get towards the end of the sandwich (which is messy, and must be eaten still wrapped in the foil), the whole thing has turned into this glorious bbq-y, porky, soft bready mound of deliciousness. Hm. Have I used the word deliciousness twice already? Well no matter. It's good stuff. The pit boss chops the pork all together so you have a great ratio of fat to meat without getting any undesirable fatty hunks. Oh drool.
A tweep had suggested getting the ribs dry with sauce on the side, advice I took. The ribs really are amazing. I mean seriously, the best I've ever had by far. The dry rub is perfection, and you have to keep eating them, because they are so good the way they are, but the homemade sauce is so great that you have to keep alternating between dry and dipping.
My mouth is watering as I write this, and I just ate dinner.
The collard greens (sometimes kale, and sometimes a blend) are of the smoky variety - I believe they are only meat, onions, and greens; they don't seem to have either sugar or vinegar added (I know there are many different positions on this topic). Some have told me they find the greens undersalted, but every time I have had them, I ponder drinking the pot likker directly from the little styrofoam cup. With a pinch of tabasco, the only thing these greens are missing is some cornbread.
Lest you think I'm just slobbering and drooling all over this place, delirious with my love for fatty porky smoky spicy yumminess, I am not super excited about the mac n cheese. This might be a personal thing; this is the bechamel based soft baked kind of mac and cheese, and I kinda prefer a gooier mac and cheese with lots of salt and sharp cheese.
The first time I had the brisket, I wasn't completely sold that it outweighed Weiland's on their best day (the brisket at Weiland's runs the gamut from glorious to meh, with most times settling on very good), but I must have had a rare misfire because I just received this tweet from Armando the Crimson Cup coffee roaster: "@lisathewaitress Raised on Texas Pit BBQ. I know good brisket. Smackies is the best i've ever eaten. Need to try the ribs next." Yeah, that's some pretty serious praise, just in case you don't want to take my word for it.
The less expensive rib tips are pretty tasty, too - they have a chewier texture, but are still tasty, and you burn more calories chewing them. So, there's that.
Sauces are homemade - there's sweet and tangy sauce (awesome), a spicy sauce (awesome), and a habenero sauce, which is delicious and has a very slow, creeping heat that you don't notice until you're halfway through your sandwich and find yourself guzzling beer to cut through the heat.
So, what have we learned today? Smackies is worth abandoning your silly vegetarian resolutions.* I promise its worth the guilt.
Hm. If I were really mean I would post this review Sunday night at 9pm, just when Smackies had closed up for the week, and make everyone wait until Thursday. But I'm not mean. I love you, and I want you to enjoy the best BBQ our fair city has to offer.
Info: Smackies Pit BBQ, corner of Pacemont & High in Clintonville
*dear vegetarians, I love you. I don't understand you, but I love you. So please, spare me the lecture. You can take my pork when you pry it from my cold, dead, cholesterol-riddled fingertips. Along with beer, pork is proof that god loves us and wants us to be blissfully happy all the days of our lives. Amen.