Mike and I are big fans of pork. In any context, any flavour, any fashion. So it only makes sense that we look high and low for the best pulled pork sandwich around. We have tried a few different locations (that I'll write about in a short entry after this one) but my main focus for today is Holy Smoke BBQ. A good friend is a frequent visitor and tells me constantly how much we need to go and try their pulled pork and corn bread. WOO! Sign me up!!
We have both heard of this place from various sources, word of mouth seems to be the only advertising I can recall, and there is finally a day where we are both hungry, and its not in the middle of the lunchtime rush. The location is way off the beaten path, in the industrial area of Blackfoot Tr and Manhattan Rd. Due to their location the 1130-130 lunch hours are jam packed. We'd rather be able to sit our butts down to enjoy this feast so we wander in around 230. It turns out we aren't the only ones hungry midday, as there are still about 20 other people in this tiny restaurant. And, its tiny. Set in a strip mall, this corner unit has 5 or 6 long folding tables and chairs with stool seating around the perimeter. Feels, um, rustic? Cheap? You're-here-for-the-food-why-the-hell-do-you-care-what-you're-sitting-on? But no matter, we've got food to order!
The menu is posted up on the wall, and consists mainly of pulled pork, brisket, corn bread and ribs. I said this was Southern BBQ right? The employees wear these awesome trucker hats and blue collar style work shirts with their names sewn on. How cute! My only gripe about this place is the ordering process, I guess. It's the kind of place where they call you up and you've got to be ready to order. This is a fast paced environment and you feel like a douche bag holding up the line because you can't decide. Do us all a favour and stand to the side while you read, THEN get in line! K, thanks.
So we follow suit and jump in line.
T: Babe - beer's cheap today? You in?
M: Pilsner for me please!
T: Kokanee for me please!
(And...enter the 2 Calgary Police Officers behind us as we crack our cans-o-beer. There is a slight guilty feeling drinking a beer midday beside a cop when you're about to operate a vehicle)
I did the regular pulled pork with a corn bread, Mike was in for the corn bread as well as the "Manwich". Our orders come out quickly and then we discover all the sauces. Here at Holy Smoke your sandwich is served with just bun, meat and coleslaw - you decide your sauce flavour! And there must be 10 different kinds! I of course just find the normal plain one. (Too concerned about the spice level in the ones called "Missouri" and "hot" to venture into something new). But Mike was genius that day! He'd put a bunch on and take a bite, then put a different sauce on a new bite, and so on. Clever boy he is. God, these are great. Like more than great. I even ate the coleslaw on the bun because it was that good. I didn't pick it off!!!
And then I ate the corn bread.
O. M. G. What an incredible discovery I've made. Growing up I never ate corn bread. Maybe one time at a family dinner at Montana's, but I recall not liking it. What the hell have I been thinking all these years?!. This stuff is amazing. (Good thing I recently bought a cast iron skillet, 'cuz I'ma make me some of these at home!) I could come here and only order the corn bread. "I'll have the whole baking pan sir!" Funnily enough, Mike loves corn bread, has all his life, but doesn't really like this one. More for me then :)
As we finish our last, glorious, finger licking bites we see some of the "dollar a bone" ribs. Geez, those also look so damn good. They are huge. And only a dollar. Next time though - this girl is too full. Who isn't full yet? You guessed it.
M: Do you got 4 dollars?
T: Yeah sure...
M: I'm going to try the chili.
T: HAHA, yeah babe, of course.
For 3 bucks and change this is the smallest, dinkiest little portion. I'm trying to think of something the comparable size to give you the visual. Ooh! Got it... you know those little Dixie cups that your grandma has in her bathroom, they dispense from a container on the wall. What? No? OK - Maybe that was only my grandma. So, you know a Dixie cup.. the dentist maybe? "Gargle then spit in to this cup". Yes .. you're with me now.
M: This is the best chili, maybe that I've ever had.
T: But its so little.. for that price... rip off....
M: Nope, its so good, I would pay double for the same size.
Well now I have to try it. I dip the tip of my pinky finger in and insert finger in mouth. Shit. Too spicy... oh god.. very very spicy... *swigs beer* not helping. Glad I didn't eat an actual spoonful - I'd have fallen over.
So an idiot moment on my behalf but this doesn't in anyway spoil the adventure. We actually were chatting to the cashier (who had come out to bus tables) about the menu and the whole deal. Mike had suggested to him that maybe in the summer they could do corn on the cob. As a limited quantities kind of deal (too difficult to be constantly cooking all day long), but I thought it was a great idea, and it seemed like the guy did too! He said he'd run it by the big guys, so you never know.. maybe a Corn on the Cob will round out a nice BBQ meal out at their outdoor picnic tables in the summertime!
I wrote this entry today while eating breakfast, and even though I am stuffed from ham and eggs, I would kill for a hunk of corn bread from Holy Smoke BBQ. Don't judge... ;)