Monday, June 6, 2016

Herman's Meat and Smokehouse New Location



Herman's Meat and Smokehouse has been in the Topeka area for many years and today they opened a brand-new location. I've driven by the spot for the past few months, watching the building as it was built and slowly put together. I've been anticipating its opening since last fall when it was just an empty lot with grass and wild flowers.

The building is all newly built, with a patio and outdoor seating. The inside has room for dining room with booths and tables for people to eat at. The other half of the building is set up like a deli and meat counter with an island of shelves with condiments and odds and ends, charcoal, bags of chips and much more. There's even an entire shelf that has yet to be stocked, so I'm curious to see what will go in there.

This new location opened June 6, 2016 and I decided to go on
opening day. Usually, I wait until a restaurant has been open for a few weeks before trying, but like I said, I've been waiting for quite awhile and didn't want to wait any more. I did go in the afternoon around 3:30 so I wouldn't have to deal with a lunch or dinner crowd and it was a good idea. I waited a few minutes in line before ordering, then another few minutes for my order to be filled. I'd say I didn't wait any more than 10 minutes.

I wanted to try the ribs, so I made sure to order three of those with one other meat of my choice, (pork, of course) and two sides. I chose the cheesy potatoes because I saw where someone had commented on the Topeka Restaurants Facebook page that they were on point. For my other side I chose mac and cheese, because how can you go wrong with that? The meal cost around $15, which is a little expensive for one meal, but it's barbecue and ribs at that, so I didn't mind paying the money. You can always go cheaper if you don't order ribs, and Herman's also offers family size meals where you order meat by the pound, so you can feed more people for less.

My favorites were the pulled pork and the cheesy potatoes. The pork wasn't greasy like a lot of pulled
pork can be and there weren't any huge chunks of fat or gristle I had to remove. I was able to just eat my meat and swallow it, so I was appreciative of that. The sauce is tangy and sweet, but had no real spice to it. I looked around for spicy sauce, but didn't see any, although I could have just missed it. The cheesy potatoes are different than others I've had around town. These are chunks of potatoes with bacon and cheese melted on top. The potatoes are soft and smothered in cheese with chunks of bacon throughout. The side dish is a little greasy from the cheese, but who cares? I think it's wonderful.

The ribs were smokey and tender. They weren't "falling off the bone" but I don't think ribs should be to be good, as long as they are tender, and these were. The smoke was just right and I didn't have to use any sauce. Sometimes when ribs aren't good I slather them in sauce, these needed none. The ribs also had a lot of meat on the bones so I ended up with a little over one left over for later.

The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the mac and cheese. It tasted fine and there was nothing wrong with it, I just probably won't order it again. The sauce wasn't creamy enough for me seems to pool around the noodles instead of stick to them. I felt like I had to spear my noodles then scoop up some sauce to get them together. That being said, it wasn't bad, just not my favorite.

The menu features your typical smokehouse items, brisket, turkey, chicken, pulled pork and ribs. They also have deli sandwiches to-order and an actual deli and meat counter. Now that the location is
closer to my house and more centralized in Topeka, I'm sure I'll be getting my raw meat there more often. I also plan to come back for the smoked meats and cheesy potatoes. I think it was worth the wait.