Corky’s Smoke Shack opened last week, probably to the worst weather Maryland has seen in a decade. That normally wouldn’t matter, except that the Shack is located outside. But even that doesn’t seem to matter. According to the owners, there’s been a steady stream of customers since opening day. Even on an overcast Thursday afternoon, the joint had a half-dozen customers stop by while I was eating my dinner.
Behold, the Pulled Pork Sandwich. Slow-cooked pork pulled from the bone and mixed with just the right amount of Corky’s pinkish BBQ sauce, placed between two halves of a warm roll. The roll itself is crisp on the top and soft in the middle. That’ll run you $5 after tax, which considering Severna Park is a bargain; the same down the street at Adam’s Ribs will set you back $8.
But wait, it comes with sides. The menu says fries, coleslaw, and baked beans. When I ordered up, it came with fries, pasta salad, and potato salad. The fries were excellent; crispy but not crunchy edges, with a soft interior that would melt away on your tongue if they weren’t so damned hot coming out of the fryer. You might want to give them a minute to cool before indulging. The potato salad was mustard yellow but had a different pickled taste to it. Not bad. The pasta salad was pretty standard, but with some large chunks of broccoli in there. Nice and crunchy. The side portions aren’t enormous, but I think that’s a good thing. It’s a nice little extra that gives you some extra flavors without having to break the bank or your belt.
The venue for all of this gastro goodness is in the parking lot back behind locally-owned Clement Hardware, right at the corner of Robinson Road and Ritchie Highway. You won’t be able to miss the bright red trailer parked alongside the road. No tables at this point, but that’s part of the charm. Place your order and a few minutes later you’ll have your food.
For a roadside stand, the menu is fairly diverse. It offers your BBQ basics such as the pulled meats and smoked pit meats, ribs, and wings. But they also get into some fancier fare: an Asian Chicken salad, a few seafood-based sandwiches (crab cake and flounder), chili, chicken kabobs, fried mac & cheese, among others. There’s a lot of options here, most of which reasonably priced. Click each menu page (1, 2) to enlarge.
Combined with the location next to the hardware store, it definitely fills a needed gap. There used to be a Wendy’s across the street (that was replaced by Walgreens), so I can only imagine how they’ll do when it warms up a bit and the general contractors start taking their lunch breaks there. Most meals taken out of convenience don’t taste as good as this.
Between that aroma of the BBQ and the french fries, my car is going to smell wonderful for days. It would be no surprise if I ended up there again on Sunday, to try some of that smoked pit beef.