Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
The Smokehouse
Richmond International Airport, Richmond, VA
Review by Diana

You know how airports, especially small ones, can be absolute deserts in terms of sustenance? The foodcourt at the airport in Newport News, VA is currently "under construction" (yeah, like a website!) and thus the only snacks one can get either inside or outside the security checkpoint is in a vending machine area. They have machines that serve burgers and a little microwave to heat it in ...

Richmond International Airport, for it's high-falutin' name, is a backwoods airport. I realize Richmond qualifies as a city, and the planes here might fly to Canada or maybe to the Caribbean, which do qualify it as "international," but it's pretty small. Fortunately, the planners thought about food amenities, and though it's a bit pricy, there are several eating options for travelers.

I like The Smokehouse, which is on the publicly accessible part of the second-floor, toward Concourse A. They offer very few things: some burgers, hot dog, three cakes (carrot, german's chocolate, and ... I forgot the other one), and two kinds of pulled pork: Carolina style and Virginia style. For the sake of comparison (and because my flight was delayed), I ordered one of each pig sandwich.

As is usual around the south, pulled pork sandwiches are served unadorned on a hamburger bun, except for the sauce cooked with the meat after they'd been slow-cooked and shredded. The classic is Carolina-style, which is heated with a vinegar-based sauce before serving. It was rather good, a bit chewy but that's not unusual. It wasn't dry and it wasn't hard to swallow. The sandwich is served with a mayonnaise-based cole slaw, which you can put right over the meat in the sandwich if you like that.

The Virginia-style is heated up with ketchup-based barbecue sauce long enough for it to get thicker and sticky, and served the same way. It's sweeter, as expected for popular brands of this type of sauce, and also not dry. As a northerner who's tried hard to understand barbecue (partly because other Hutties love it so very, very much), I found it better than palatable, and better than pulled pork at many other places.

For about $6.50, you get the sandwich, cole slaw, and fries, and trips to the condiment bar (where I picked up pickle chips to eat while I waited for the food to come out). The food is prepared when you order it, so you take a numbered ticket and wait for the food to come out to your table. A medium-sized drink is about $2 with a $0.50 refill charge. The dining area is on multiple levels and faces out with a lovely unobstructed view of the tarmac.

The sandwiches aren't a bad value, and if you order two, ask for a takeout container because it's a shame to throw out the leftovers. I ate all the fries first, and a bite of each of the sandwiches, because Hutties told me the rule of ordering too much food: eat the stuff that doesn't pack or travel well, and pack up the rest. Fries are never as good later, and these ones were worth not wasting.

Doing research for a Hut Cuisine review while waiting for a plane surely beats reading a trashy novel or misleading magazine headlines!


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