Facing a new challange: Smoke Haus on Wind Street
The Smoke Haus on Wind Street attempts to deliver the gourmet pig-out sessions that TV's Man v. Food has made famous. Swansea Life found out more.
We've all watched the Travel Channel's Man vs Food and sighed as food enthusiast Adam Richman scoffs a 3lb double-dipped brisket-topped burger, while we take a sad bite from a cold cheese sandwich.
However, there is now some salvation for those who can't afford the first plane to America to join the chubby presenter.
A new Swansea restaurant based on the popular show means that now you can try out these whopping challenges and feasts for yourself.
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The Smoke Haus, which opened on Wind Street in November offers their customers dishes including pulled pork sandwiches, steaks, brisket and – wait for it — metre-long hot-dogs, set in an American-style diner.
Not forgetting the all-important food challenge. Eat six (extremely spicy) *** wings in ten minutes and you'll get a T-shirt and your picture will take pride of place on the 'wall of flame'. "After the first two weeks of opening the restaurant, 231 people attempted the *** challenge," says owner Owen Thomas. "Only 14 were victorious."
Joint owners Owen Thomas, Mark Power , and Jayne Myall — all from Swansea — had the idea for the new "dining experience" at the beginning of 2012 but were waiting for the right venue. Less than 24 hours after La Tasca announced they were pulling out of Wind Street, they managed to secure the site for themselves.
Owen admits it's a big venue for a start-up business, but believes the brand can go far. "It's been packed every night since we've opened," he says. "We've had to turn people away most nights. We've had a lot of intrigue and interest, and we just hope it stays that way. I hope we can take this to Cardiff and further afield eventually."
The three owners wanted to bring something diverse to Swansea, and The Smoke Haus fitted the bill. Owen says it's not just a Swansea first — but says there's nothing like it in the UK. And even before the restaurant opened, Owen says people were getting in touch from around the country wanting to find out more.
Other restaurants have "cherry picked" the best bits, but it's the first time a restaurant has based its menu on Man v. Food, according to Owen. He even went through a list of places that Adam Richman visited and based the name on a Kentucky eatery.
But it's not just a gimmick, the former assistant manager of the Pumphouse says. It's all about creating "terrific food" in a fun environment. "I love Adam Richman's passion for food on Man vs Food," he says. "We all watch it, and we've been to traditional 'big-eat' diners in Vegas, and we wanted to bring something similar to Swansea. The food stands up on its own.
"We're taking the unfashionable cuts of meat, just like they do on the show, and slow-cooking them for great flavour."
The menu boasts plenty of American fare as you may expect — from T-bone steaks and "double-dipped" pulled pork sandwiches, to brisket-topped burgers served with fries. The specialities are the Big Bertha — a five-patty burger, complete with cheese, bacon, jalapenos, salad, and burger sauce; and The Headbanger – a metre-long chicken hot dog, smothered in cheese, pickles, and chilli.
"We're loving every minute of this new challenge," says Owen. "A lot of people have said it's a risk to open a new business in this economic climate, but we had all the preparations in place and were ready to take the challenge head-on. We're giving something back to Swansea, and it's nice that we're local people, having a go, doing something for ourselves."