I’ve been work-dating Dan’s Hamptons Media head of sales Ken Kronke for years. In celebration of his retirement from Dan’s, he offered to take me to lunch at one of his favorite places—Smokin’ Wolf BBQ & More on Pantigo Road in East Hampton. I love the flavors of barbeque but I’m not a big meat-eater, so I was counting on that “More” in their name. I was not disappointed.
Ken ordered up a Smokin’ Wolf Sampler of chicken, ribs, grilled corn on the cob in cotija cheese, and corn bread. He had never tried their grilled corn before—it was very good. A patron next to us asserted, “I drive an hour and a half for that corn!” He was in from Mt. Sinai. When the corn comes from nearby Balsam Farms in season it must be spectacular. Of course Ken let me try everything. Hardwood smoked barbeque is not hard to like.
We shared a Cowgirl Quesadilla of caramelized onions, guacamole, cheese and mango salsa. This was even better, more gooey-good that I anticipated.
I’m from Buffalo, so I had to try the BBQ Wings with housemade blue cheese dressing. I approve.
I wasn’t in a hot dog mood but Smokin’ Wolf’s “Hot Diggity Dogs” sound adorable—Rode-o Dog (onion rings and BBQ sauce), The Farm Dog (coleslaw), Not-Cho Dog (chili and crushed nachos), Sweet and Saucy Cowgirl (sweet onions and BBQ sauce), Snake in a Boot (a footlong with two toppings), Poncho Dog (two dogs, peppers, onions and cheese wrapped in a tortilla), Pig Pen (bacon-wrapped with baked beans and cheese), Mac-A-Weenie (topped with mac & cheese and bacon). I wonder if the “Sweet and Saucy Cowgirl” is named for owner chef Arthur Wolf’s daughter Alexa, whom you’ll often find behind the counter keeping things saucy. (Read an interview that she did with her dad on previous page.)
There was a blur of food. Brisket nachos with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole alone proved why Smokin’ Wolf’s catering is so popular for Super Bowl parties. The brisket is fall-apart tender. The hushpuppies were piping hot and had a thin, crispy exterior and a rich and moist interior and their smoked jalapeno dipping sauce was not spicy-hot, but just a savory addition. Luscious pulled pork and rotisserie chicken happened, as did sides of creamy potato salad, fresh coleslaw, sweet potatoes with a touch of spicy heat and Balsam Farm collard greens cooked to tender submission.
Chef Arthur said we had to try an “S.O.B.” Salad, so of course we did. Caramelized, pulled chicken, roasted corn, warm black beans, shredded jack and cheddar cheeses, tomatoes and scallions in a corn tortilla. What a comforting mix. Turns out “S.O.B.” stands for “South of the Border.” This is the most popular salad with vegetarian patrons. Chef Arthur said that his Spice Rubbed Grilled Salmon, which comes with sweet corn, herbed red potato hash and citrus salad, is the best selling entrée with vegetarians.
The housemade Veggie Burger of black beans, rice, sweet potatoes, plantains and corn served with mango salsa on a sesame bun, which is baked to order, was perfectly fine. But it was right below the “Pig-Cow Burger” on the menu, which is just what it sounds like—heaven. Applewood smoked bacon ground into high quality beef topped with pepper jack cheese and chipotle mayonnaise.
If we didn’t have to get back to the office we would have indulged in Montauk Brewing Company Summer Ale, as many patrons do. How did I leave without trying their award-winning chili? Very, very full, that’s how.
I’ll be back at Smokin’ Wolf for another “five-napkin lunch” soon. The lunch menu promises “smaller portions at a smaller price.” A hearty lunch in the Hamptons for $9.95? That’s HUGE! Speaking of huge, did you know that you can buy Chef Arthur’s signature barbeque sauce by the gallon? It’s a pretty straightforward, sweet sauce with evident smokiness and a medium hit of heat. It’s gluten free, so it must be healthy, right?
And his guacamole, salsa and mango salsa come by the pound. Chef Arthur really puts the “Wolf” in barbeque!
Smokin’ Wolf BBQ & More, 199 Pantigo Road, East Hampton, smokinwolfbbq.com, 631-604-6470
Find the latest info on all of Dan’s Taste of Two Forks events this summer—Dan’s Rosé Soirée, the official kickoff event of summer in the Hamptons on Memorial Day Weekend (May 28); the new Dan’s Corona MonTaco presented by Don Julio, a Mexican-themed fiesta at Gurney’s Montauk on July 7; Dan’s ClambakeMTK at Gurney’s Montauk, back for its second summer on July 8; Dan’s GrillHampton (July 21), celebrating its fifth anniversary; and Dan’s Taste of Summer presented by Farrell Building Company (July 22), now in its seventh year—at DansTaste.com. American Airlines AAdvantage® Mastercard® credit card holders have exclusive access to the Dan’s Taste of Summer Pre-Sale through April 16, 2017. Tickets go on sale to the general public on April 17, 2017.