Portable Smoker Pushcart
Review by SuSu, Rosie, MaceVindaloo, Diana, VagBoy, Csillag, BunchBox
Thus was some superlative smoked meats to be found across the street from Indianapolis Convention Center where C3 was being held. It was actually snowing in late April 29°/F (-1°C) a time of year in this part of the world normally associated with springtime ... It was also windy and the smell of the hickory and oakwood was causing many dressed as Jedi and Sith to come and "bathe" in the smoke. One cosplayer Dooku breathed deeply and declared, "Okay, I'm full now!"
We had had some so-so meals in this town chain restaurant stuff, mostly and had decided that we were not going to buy food at C3 if we could help it, as it was expensive and not worth it. We were en route to attend the third day of C3, but realized that we might have a long line to wait on and we were kind of hungry ... then we smelled the smoke and meat and got VERY hungry! So we bought two "everything" dinners, which included smoked ribs, beef tips, barbecue beans, potato salad, and white bread, with each sauce-laden meal costing $10. We were assured it would certainly feed all of us, despite that fact that some of us could be described kindly as "tubby."
The rig sat on a car-trailer with wood chunks on one side of it and what was at one time a backyard gas grill. There was a heavily modified smoke box which got fed with wood, which smouldered and went through the former grill you could be excused for not recognizing its provenance, as encrusted as it was in creosote and soot. But it held promise for a superlative American feast!
We brought it into the C3 fan lounge and discovered that the spicy sauce which covered everything had been subjected to the smoke, too. The smoke had imbued the beans, too, and a strong dry wood aroma enhanced the meat. As per tradition, the meats were tough cuts made more tender with slow cooking. It was piquant but not really a burning spice, and the potato salad and beans were good complements to the meats.
Those guys were standing out there for the duration of C3, selling barbecue to those who knew how good it was! Alas, their location was in the former downtown park the one with the hella cool fountain which was being ripped up to put in a new building or more. So, as construction changes the nature of the environment, and the weather modifies, the portable smoker guys will likely move. There were four of them rushing about to fill our order, and they all looked like they knew it was good!
We noticed that though people gawked and bathed in the smoke, no one was buying. Then one of us realized that for the most part, Americans are afraid of street food. Those of us from New York or Chicago know that pushcarts have to have permits and are subject to health department inspections and standards, but perhaps that's not true in other places. Anyway, us big city folk didn't think twice about buying, and it was gratifying to see others then line up behind us for their share of smoked meat. (Though we can't remember if this place had a name, we did see a permit posted on the pushcart ...)
We're sorry we can't tell you more about this pushcart ... You can get pickles, pulled pork sandwiches, smoked sausages, hot dogs, etc. We wish we could go back and try the food again, but unless there is a C4 in the same venue, it's not likely. But do go look for these guys, and other guys in other cities. You might find a real gem of a local food experience!
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