If I were to point to a gaping hole in the restaurant scene in the Wood River Valley, it would be barbecue. But as of June 2, that hole was filled — in grand style.
Housed in a quaint, white cottage with green trim on Main Street in Hailey, Idaho, The Smokey Bone BBQ began life as a pop-up barbecue stand around Ketchum and Hailey.
Open five days a week, (Tu-Sa), The Smokey Bone is cranking out fantastic Texas-style barbecue. That means dry-rubbed brisket with a nice crusty bark. And pulled pork (sans sauce).
“I don’t have white oak, I’ve got applewood,” said Juan Martinez, owner, pit master, and former butcher.
The smoke is milder than what you’d find in Texas, but it’s plenty smokey. Martinez doesn’t go overboard on the seasoning, either. It’s there, but it’s not overpowering.
Order and pay at the counter. Besides brisket and pork (both of which you must try), Martinez offers baby back ribs, sausage, turkey and chicken.
Sides include spicy pinto beans with plenty of bacon, potato salad, coleslaw, cucumber salad and cornbread. Desserts are house made, too, including sweet potato pie and apple pie.
Christine, Juan’s wife, makes white bread to serve with the barbecue, and slices it thick. You can smell the yeast. If your order a sandwich, it’s served on this soft, dense house-made bread.
This is not fast food, so don’t expect fast food prices, even though it doesn’t take long to get your food, meats are sliced to order. I highly recommend the brisket, the pulled pork and the cowboy beans. I’m already planning a return trip for something that struck a nostalgic cord in my bones. Martinez offers Frito Pie with your choice of meat, cowboy beans, cheese and green onions — a staple of my West Texas childhood, although I imagine this version is far superior to my mom’s Wolf Brand Chili-topped fritos.
Lucky Wood River Valley residents and visitors. They now have a bona fide BBQ option.
The Smokey Bone BBQ
319 S. Main St., Hailey
$8.99 – 1/2 pound brisket
$6.99 – 1/2 pound pulled pork
$2.99 – small side