Thursday, April 1, 2010
Sunday March 28th 2010
Smoke’n Dudes, Neshaminy Blvd, Bensalem, PA
At least out of people I know, I would consider myself to be in the top ten percent of those skilled in navigation and dealing with directions. Except when you get me out in the suburbs and we’re making random turns with no identifiable markers passing by identically designed houses with identical lawn ornaments, then I get confused. So, although I’ve been to Smoke’n Dudes twice, I’m not confident in my ability to find it again.
Smoke’n dudes is the humorous on many levels name of a delightful meat oasis located deep in an otherwise sterile suburban labyrinth to the north of Philadelphia, in the town when Ben Franklin first flew his kite; Bensalem. All of a sudden there you are face to face with a faux log cabin brandishing a sign with a cute cartoon version of the animal you are about to eat. A pig in a chef’s hat, adorable. If only they put those on em at the slaughterhouse. A small dining area, a less than confident wait staff, terrible pictures of kids eating barbecue and ceramic pigs in bibs greet you upon entry.
My dining partners included Ohioans Mark Van Fleet (editor and distributor of Married Life Quarterly), Aaron Hibbs (Guinness Book hula hoop champion), Aaron Klamut (Sword Heaven’s half roadie), local Bensalem personality Mat “Bud Newton” Rademon and his lady friend Jackie from down in the city.
The most popular food item among our table was the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. A sandwich done well, served on a quality roll with a good portion of juicy pork and a few different sauces on the table to add to it. Sides of hush puppies, cole slaw, cheese fries, scattered across the table.
The problem being that although everyone’s food was pretty good, no ones food was very exciting. Instead of discussing how amazing it was, which I don’t believe anyone even commented on, we talked about other foods. Hibbs mentioned how the hot dog place he works at as janitor in Columbus just got a new bacon wrapped dog topped with onion rings. I suggested they actually slide the dog through the onion rings, making it neater and more visually appealing. He’s going to mention it to his boss. Some reminiscing was done about the time we ordered a whole roasted pig from Smoke’n Dudes for an all day improvised music festival held at my house, and how most of the pigs exterior became integrated into Rick Weavers wardrobe by the end of the night.
Unfortunately the food ended up being a lot like the neighborhood it was in; uniform, safe, and similar to a lot of other places. It’s barbecue, and people tend to like that done a certain way, which made me all the more distraught about their garden burger option on the menu. A true life or death barbecue joint would never cater to the enemy. Imagine that at some smokehouse in rural Alabama! No, don’t actually, it’s too ugly.
The suburbs, (long drawn out sigh) what can you do?