As at Hotel Hickman, a range of sides came with the entrees. The baked beans tasted like Campbell's canned, but the mac and cheese was fine, the slaw crunchy and fresh, and the green beans with stewed tomatoes a pleasant change from the �xADusual--well cooked but not mushy. Sweet and rich, the corn cake pudding was tasty, potentially a great foil to a juicy deep-fried chicken thigh or meaty rib.
To give Smokehouse 52's pit another chance, I ordered takeout for a ladies' card party a couple of week later, this time ordering each meat as a separate entree. This time the pulled pork passed muster with a real aficionado, a friend who travels back from Arkansas with a meaty cache in her suitcase. She also liked the ribs, especially when drizzled with an entire array of barbecue sauces. Thick, succulent slices of beef brisket were a vast improvement over the previous dinner's shredded bits. Like Hotel Hickman's, Smokehouse 52's smoked chicken is a boneless, skinless breast--how has that tasteless, juiceless piece of flesh become America's favorite protein?--so I didn't bother to try it again. A second try didn't revise my opinion of the beans, but the long-cooked collards, slippery and camoflage green, were tasty, if a bit salty. The sweet potato fries were dandy, and the baked potato salad exactly as one might imagine.
None of us were too refined to enjoy pimento cheese smeared across thick slices of smoked sausage and saltines. For those who like the black, crispy rough edges of a roast or a charred steak straight off the grill, burnt ends--nuggets of brisket basted and smoked twice--are another good appetizer. Avoid the smoked wings, which look like boiled fowl and don't taste much different.