Get your ass crack to the Smack Shack!

April 18, 2013

Loyal readers, you know I went into the bricks-n-mortar Smack Shack ready to be let down. After all, the FoodFighter lives to expose the unfounded hype, and decry the crimes against food lovers, perpetrated by food scenesters, and their assorted hangers on.

Plus, I loved the truck. That’s alot ‘o lobster on that roll, me boy, even if it’s a little spendy. Would this massive new shack, smack dab in Mpls’ new food trend central area (North Loop) maintain the truck’s standards?

Truck good doesn’t always mean restaurant good (see my upcoming blurb on @eatWSK).

But the Smack Shack confounded my (negative) expectations.The food was fantastic, the service was friendly/competent, and the space brings to mind the overused A-word of 2012 (a-a-a-amazing). <please excuse me while I descend into self-loathing for a moment or three).

Yes, folks, the Smack Shack delivered.

Side note, I have immediately vaulted the Smack Shack to my Number One Spot to take out-of-town guests. The food and space are impressive enough to entertain guests, but the vibe is laid back enough to accomodate any age group, taste, or dress code (okay, maybe no top hat & tails).

Food

You’re gonna get the Lobster Roll. Sure, you’ll look at the menu, and pretend it’s a decision, but let’s be honest with each other. You’re getting the roll.

Don’t hate yourself for conforming. Instead, branch out with an app or three. I tried the fried oyster sliders (mini-po boy, anyone?), and they were fantastic. Butter grilled bun, spicy mayo, and a roasted plum tomato really complimented the PERFECTLY fried oyster.

I also grabbed the delicious pork tacos. They arrived simply dressed with cilantro, lime, and a chipotle aioli, on corn tortillas. People, there are taco joints allover Central Ave & Lake St. that could learn something from these tacos. No b*llsh*t.

If you’re gonna branch out from the roll, try a po’ boy. I had the Fried Shrimp, and it was all good. Good roll, good shrimp, good dressing & good veggies. Good good good.

On another visit, we had the Lobster Boil.You pay by the amount of lobster, and they add smoked sausage,corn on the cob, & potatoes, all boiled with the lobster, low country style. You also get a decent slaw and grilled bread. The boil is expensive, but please note, two people can split the 1.5 pound boil, for $29, and it’s more than enough, especially if you get an app.

Space

Imagine the two level, brick & timber, exposed beams, concrete floor space of your dreams. Now, add multiple, bi-fold garage doors from the era of the Model T, that open onto a raised cement loading dock. Yup, instant patio, and all kinds of air & sunshine coming inside on nice days. Folks, we have a bingo.

The bar is also super well done. The Shack folks built a glass a steel keg cooler that runs about 40 feet from the front door to the dining room. Very cool to look at, and a great way to move traffic and delineate the bar space.

My only suggestion? Place a funky, custom, blinky open sign at the front entrance. The entry gives no visible indication that anybody’s home, and you can’t see the host stand from the front enterance.

Executive Summary of Smack Shack Restaurant:
Go. Eat like it’s 1999.
Go again. Eat like you did when Y2K didn’t destroy us all.
Go a third time. Bring your friends and relatives from Osh Kosh & Minot. Revel in their envy.

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