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smoke shack san antonio

Famous Southern BBQ at San Antonio Smoke Shack

I’m in San Antonio, home of the historic Alamo but more importantly Texas BBQ! A girl’s got to have her priorities straight, after all.

I wasted no precious time making accommodations for my appetite. Following the advice from a southern gentleman in the airport, I zipped over to the legendary Smoke Shack. Good heavens, child. Not only is a bib proper etiquette here, it’s an absolute essential to keep from wearing the zesty sauce. Pro tip: Dress accordingly for the messy job ahead.

Apparently the lines here never really go away – at all hours of the day and night, you’ll find hungry Texans smacking their lips in preparation for a meal worthy of the BBQ gods. Tables were crowded with friends and at least a few families, minimal conversation occurring with all the chow. You’re clearly doing something right when your shop is this busy and everyone is too busy eating to talk.

Ever since my dad became a guru of the grill I’ve had a serious weakness for brisket. Although it’s kind of taboo, I ordered the chopped brisket sandwich – sorry pop! – with a side of that good ol’ southern mac ‘n cheese.

I’m afraid I’ll have to plea the 5th if dad wants to know how it stacked up to his own recipe. That first bite immediately brought me back to block party cookouts home in Houston, billowing smoke permeating through the air while the neighborhood kids grapevine through the sprinklers.

It’s funny how certain flavors can instantly transport you somewhere else. I’ve always acknowledged the powerful relationship between food and travel – aroma and taste, both hugely sensory experiences, can tell you so much about a place. It seems at least that the savory BBQ is permanently engrained in my DNA.

An oldie but a goodie, one of the books that really inspired me to reach further with my travel experience was Eat, Pray, Love. It seems like most people only know about the movie with Julia Roberts, which was decent but nowhere close to the book. Isn’t that always how it goes? Oh well, there I go rambling in my own post again.

San Antonio is still reeling from their ‘revenge’ NBA championship – virtually everyone under the age of 30 I’ve seen is wearing some kind of Spurs gear. You know, eating these delicious brisket sandwiches, I can almost tell this place is a basketball town – but then again, that’s probably just the BBQ sauce talking!

Categories: Texas

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