I was traveling on I-35 for personal reasons a few days ago when, outside Guthrie, I passed a mile-high sign with three letters of temptation at the very top: B, B and Q. My stomach churning for down-home eats, I pulled into the parking lot just to give that ol’ devil a poke or two.
But, as I’d soon learn, the barbeque joint was long gone, now nothing more than a memorable grease-stain on my road atlas.
See, at this roadside pit-stop, there used to be a gas-station diner called Rodeo Corner BBQ, but I guess I was a few weeks late in catching them and their meats; however, now an old favorite of mine, Luther’s Chicken Shack, and their latest outing, the Chicken Shack 2 Go, has taken up residence at 901 E. Seward.
The wanton scent of broasted chicken saturated the air as I walked into the run-down convenience store, the eatery off to the right. An old man stood by the counter waiting on a baked potato, shouting something about the magnificence of Trump. The clerk seemed grateful for another customer when I walked up to the counter.
Looking at the chalkboard on the wall, I instinctually knew what I wanted: a BobBeeQ Sandwich ($6.00) and their popular broasted Half-Chicken ($9.49) with a side of Smoked Jalapeno Mac and Cheese; it wasn’t the barbeque I was expecting, but it was going to be close enough for me on this sultry afternoon near the Lazy E Arena, lazier than ever.
There was a trash can in the middle of the table, quite convenient really. As the old man went back to hollering something about Louisiana voters that “don’t take shit,” I tossed a used paper towel in the refuse bucket, my hands duly sanitized from the big dispenser of Okie Shine on the counter, the only hand-cleaner with a skull and two loaded guns emblazoned across the bottle.
The BobBeeQ sandwich—a tribute to the looming sign outside, per the menu—was a fat son of a bitch, featuring sliced smoked tri-tip sirloin and a bit of slaw topped with a generous scoop of beans and the homemade sriracha bourbon sauce, all on a sizable-enough bun.
As a few errant beans fell into my lap and stained my jeans, the spicy sauce reddened my lips with justifiable heat as I smacked continually, enjoying this bit of ‘que to the best of my ability; it definitely filled that sizable hole in my heart for charred meat, at least for that day.
And, of course, even though I’ve favorably reviewed it here in the past, Chicken Shack’s broasted chicken is still some of the best in the whole damn state, deep fried and pressure cooked like no one’s business: the marinated meat maintains a delicate appassionata with the crispy breaded outside, transforming the breast, leg, wing and thigh into the purest of poultry gold.
Taking me to the other side of the plate, the Smoked Jalapeno Mac and Cheese is really the only way to enjoy the famed side-dish these days, I feel; the Chicken Shack has sullied all other variations of mac and cheese for me as the tender noodles conform to the needs of the cheesy sauce, the fiery peppers making every taste a real doozy.
As I was settling the bill, the guy behind the counter asked me if there was anything else I needed; I made it known that a slice of homemade pecan pie might do me right. All he had was a jagged slice left over from the day before, giving it to me for free because it wasn’t exactly “fresh.”
It was fresh enough for me, sir. Cómpralo ya!