In 2012, Arthur Wolf brought his brand of barbecue to East Hampton’s Pantigo Road, and locals have been thanking him ever since. If the outskirts of town feel like an unlikely destination for great ‘cue, consider this: the best barbecue joints in, say, Texas’ Hill Country, are all well outside of major metropolitan areas. You have to be in the know.
Smokin’ Wolf BBQ & More is a relatively bare bones experience for those looking for to dine in or take out. The menu is meat-centric; even salads tend to please most carnivores. Of the nine the southwest BBQ joint offers, only four of them are without protein, and all of them have the option for add-ons. Still, it’s not such a bad thing to be faced with the dilemma of which to order. Will it be the southern fried chicken salad with bacon, eggs, grilled corn, and ranch dressing? Or the crab and avocado salad, with jumbo lump crabmeat, avocado, cilantro, tomato, and fresh lime?
To be honest, you probably didn’t come for the salad, and that’s fine, too. Most menu options come with the choice of a side, and the options are plentiful. All good barbecue hot spots know they’re part of the fun, and Smokin’ Wolf is no exception to that rule. Traditionalists will probably opt for creamy, decadent macaroni and cheese (guilty as charged), or red-skinned potato salad. There’s also garlic mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, collard greens, rice, black beans, baked beans, coleslaw, French fries, and a bunch of green vegetables that you likely won’t order. The recipe for barbecue is tried and true: fat, meat, and carbohydrates. I’ve never read anything in the bylaws about a side of vegetables. Test me.
Sandwiches run the gamut, from burgers to sliced steak to brisket to crab cakes on bread. The pig-cow burger is a thing to behold: applewood-smoked bacon ground into a beef blend and topped with pepper-jack cheese and a chipotle mayonnaise. All of these things are good, and, under normal circumstances, you might be compelled to order them. But, come on. You came here for the meatiest of plates.
So. About that meat. Platters are served with a choice of two sides, and, as is customary, a hunk of corn bread. Choose between smoked ribs, a half chicken, and a half duck. Those are the single-digit platters. The combo platters, for those who can’t decide on just one, offer up pulled pork, brisket, smoked sausage, pulled chicken, turkey, barbecued chicken, and roasted chicken, all with two sides and corn bread. The truly starving can go all the way up to a five-meat combo, for the surprisingly affordable price tag of $35.
You can also order a la carte. Ribs, barbecued chicken, fried chicken, roasted chicken, whole duck, half duck, smoked barbecued pork, brisket, pulled chicken, and smoked turkey are all available by the pound.
Truly can’t decide? It’s a problem, I know. Here’s the dry rub: Smokin’ Wolf can cater for a crowd, too. It offers more than just its standard barbecue menu, throwing into the mix extra items like grilled filet mignon, smoked Virginia ham, grilled tuna steak, whole lobsters, and roast prime rib of beef.
Perhaps you envision your Thanksgiving as a turkey-free event? Honestly, turkey isn’t that great, but here’s what is: smoked brisket. For dessert, the fine folks at Smokin’ Wolf prepare chocolate mousse, or, if you prefer, a second (or third) helping of macaroni and cheese.
I’m not here to judge. Barbecue is hedonism. Enjoy the ride.