Once we finished our afternoon at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, we needed to run by the Briarwood Mall to run a few more errands. L and I went to the play area so she could blow off whatever steam she had left and J could do some shopping on her own.
I had hoped to make a stop in to Zingerman’s Deli, but we would have had to go back across town and I-94 was so close. Instead of getting delicious deli meat, we hopped back on the Interstate and started heading towards home.
J asked if there was any place on the way home we could stop for dinner. On the way to Ann Arbor, I was reminded of a suggestion J got from a co-worker quite a while ago as we passed the Chelsea exit.
Smokehouse 52 is in downtown Chelsea on the corner of South Main and Park Street. The old, two story building is hard to miss with the word “BBQ” on the side and a pig hanging off of it.
Parking was a little tougher than we figured it would be. There’s street parking all around the main business district. There’s also a municipal lot behind the row of buildings on Main Street. That lot was full. It was only 4:30 and already we were worried about getting a table.
After finally finding a street spot a block away, we made a quick walk down the street to the roadhouse style BBQ joint on the corner.
Our fears were realized when we walked in and saw the place was packed. J went to the hostess station and put our name in. We were told the wait was only going to be about ten minutes, so we decided to wait. It actually turned in to about twenty minutes, but we were able to keep L busy with some Palace Pets and Magic Clip Princesses.
When our name was called, we were shown to a four top along a wall of tree slices behind chicken wire. Our waiter was with us within a couple of minutes and we put in drink orders. They had a pretty good draft list including a selection from the local Chelsea Alehouse. I ordered the Chelsea Cream Ale just to get something I’ve never had before. I’m not a super huge fan of cream ales, so I didn’t totally dig the beer. I was hoping they would have had something else from Chelsea Alehouse, but since that was the only option, that’s what I went with.
When we walked in to Smokehouse 52, I was in the mood for brisket. I figured I would just get a brisket plate and a couple of sides, but then something happened. I read the sandwich section of the menu.
My brisket mood faded pretty quickly when I saw The Pig Mac. This incredible sandwich is the slow smoked pulled pork with the Signature Mac & Cheese on top of it and bacon on top of that. It’s served on toasty, buttery Texas Toast and yes, this sandwich tasted as good as it sounds. There was no way I could actually pick the sandwich up. There was too much pork and too much Mac & Cheese for that to happen, so I opted for the knife and fork route. The sandwich didn’t come with any sauce and that’s just the way I like it. There were sauce options on the table, but the pork didn’t need it.
The sandwiches all come with french fries and they were just as good as the sandwich. They were golden brown, crispy, skin-on fries. This is where I tested out a number of sauces. They were all delicious, bu I think it was the All-American that was my favorite.
J went for her usual at BBQ joints. She ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich. Her sandwich came with the choice of Texas Toast or a Brioche bun. She chose the bun. The meat was also served sauceless and J is the kind of person that needs a lot of sauce on her BBQ. She tested out a couple of them on her fries, but settled on the Root Beer sauce as the one for her sandwich. The meat was piled really high on this sandwich, but it was such a tender and juicy pulled pork that J didn’t complain about it being too meaty. She did have a hard time finishing everything on her plate and I couldn’t help her as my belly was full from The Pig Mac.
We let L pick her own meal and she ordered a Grilled Cheese sandwich. She passed on the fries initially opting for applesauce instead. After eating about half of her applesauce and half of her sandwich, she asked if she could have some of my fries. I was already overstuffing myself so I obliged.
Our bill was a little over $33 before the tip. Folks, Smokehouse 52 is the real deal. We have been looking for an excuse to go there for sometime. We finally found one on the way home from Ann Arbor, but you don’t need an excuse. Just make the drive and plan your day around delicious BBQ.