New Swansea restaurant The Smoke Haus based on Man v. Food set to open in Wind Street
You may have seen Man vs Food and fancied giving it a go.
A new Swansea restaurant based on the popular show means that now you can.
From Tuesday, November 13, The Smoke Haus on Wind Street will be offering their customers dishes including pulled pork sandwiches, steaks, brisket and – wait for it – metre long hot-dogs, set in an American diner.
Not forgetting the all-important food challenge. Eat six spicy wings in ten minutes and you’ll get a t-shirt and your picture will take pride of place on the wall.
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In the show, food enthusiast Adam Richman scours the USA for big food offerings and competes in the all important challenges.
Mark Power, from Swansea, and Jane Myall, originally from Newport, had the idea for the new “dining experience” months ago, but have been 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.
Mark admits it’s a big venue for a start-up but believes the brand can go far.
“I hope I can take this to Cardiff and further afield eventually,” he says.
The pair, along with assistant manager Owen Thomas, wanted to bring something diverse to Swansea, and The Smoke Haus fit the bill.
Mark says it’s not just a Swansea first – but says there’s nothing like it in the UK.
And even before the restaurant has opened, Mark says people have been 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 the show, according to Mark.
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 Pump House manager says. It’s all about creating “terrific food” in a fun environment.
"I love Adam Richman's passion for food and I wanted to bring something similar to Swansea," Mark said.
“The food will stand up on its own,” he adds.
"We're taking the unfashionable cuts of meat, just like they do on the show, and slow-cooking them.”
Even Mark admits he had to stop to eat three times while he was writing the menu, which he says will be reasonably priced food including T-bone steaks, pastrami, stuffed sandwiches, and five-stack beef patties.
But the former Ffynone pupil is the first to admit it’s a big task, but says he “loving every minute of it.”
“I think we can do this,” he says.
“We’re giving something back to Swansea, and it’s nice that we’re local people, having a go, doing something for ourselves.”
Mark, 42, says he’ll be in the kitchen for a few months before relinquishing the reigns to his trained chefs.
“It’s food that our chefs have been really enthusiastic about cooking – and eating.”
And there was stiff competition for waiting, bar and kitchen staff, with 300 applicants for just 20 posts.
“There is a real buzz about it. Lots of people are stopping to check out the posters in the window,” he says.
The team say they want to emulate the atmosphere that many of the American diners have.
“I want people to feel welcome. In America, people are sitting by the bar, chatting, picking at food. I want to encourage that.
“We’ll have high tables in the bar area which will be perfect for that,” Mark says.
In another Swansea first, The Smoke Haus will be offering Blue Moon beer – traditionally served with a slice of orange – as well as Coors and American bourbons.
It’s all part of the “traditional” feel the team are hoping for.
“It’s been difficult to find the right venue, but we didn’t give up. I refused to be beaten.
“But it’s nice to wake up and every day is different – the challenges are changing daily,” Mark says.
The only challenge left to face is in the form of six super-spicy wings – will you be trying it? Be sure to review The Smoke Haus . In the meantime, let’s remind ourselves of Richman’s own spicy wing challenge.