By the Secret Chef
Support Your Local Restaurants took us to the literally smoking recently opened Smoken’ Axe.
My friend and I spied the outdoor stainless steel smoker ‘smoken’ away before we entered the restaurant, noting what the ‘smoke’ in the name meant. Inside, friendly owner Brittni Conley (along with her husband John) guided us on a tour to explain the ‘axe’ in the name part (Lizzie Borden is long dead, right?).
Brittni led us into several separate but connected rooms — a large, newly painted and decorated eating area, warm and cozy, overseen by two big-screen TVs, which opened to a lounge section with comfy leather couches, around the corner which was the main event — the axe throwing booths.
Axe throwing is having a moment. Kinda like darts into a bullseye but with massive darts. Although we didn’t attempt axe throwing on this visit, Brittni enlightened us that customers love the axe throwing here because, unlike other similar venues, their targets allow the axes to stick in easily. Even kids as young as eight are encouraged to throw and be successful in this unique activity.
Additionally, if you have ever had the desire to revert back to toddlerhood, grab a brush and haphazardly paint whatever your little heart desires on a big open wall (and who hasn’t), well, this is your chance!
The axe throwing area (also housing two pool tables) leads to their ‘paint’ room, another spot to release steam or energy, especially for kids. Inside, customers can either dabble on available canvases to take home or let their creative juices run wild on the walls.
The paint room at this time resembles giant abstract modern art or colorful graffiti on outdoor city surfaces. It all looked like marvelous fun… and we were tempted but… decided to eat first.
Of course, the menu features a variety of melt-in-your-mouth, unbelievably delectable smoked meats – brisket, chicken, ribs, burgers and pulled pork. These savory entrees do not come from a freezer as Brittni’s dad arrives especially early every day to smoke the meats on site and you can definitely tell.
I ordered the smoked brisket sandwich with a side of green beans, and I have to say I think it is the best brisket I have ever tasted. No fat, tender, juicy, smoky…just perfect.
My friend ordered the pulled smoked chicken sandwich which she described as smokey, meaty, fat-free and delicious. Her French fries were crispy, hot and salt-free (add your own).
For sauces, a variety arrived at our table for us to choose. The hot sauce (spicy) and peach sauce (mellow) are homemade (we tried and loved both) with a couple of other name brands included.
The menu also features wings, corn dogs, hot dogs, pizza, nachos and a variety of sides. An extra special touch is an extensive kid’s menu from which Brittni’s young daughter Penelope gobbled up an item while we were there for lunch.
Smoken’ Axe sells bottled beer and wine, and other alcohol-free drinks. A few desserts are available, as is take-out.
All in all, this distinctive new eatery combined with exciting activities for all ages made for a memorable visit. Casual and accessible on Rt. 20 within walking distance of Main Street, it could easily become a local hang-out.
The owner and staff (Brittni’s mother-in-law manages the restaurant) were welcoming, gracious, and oozed hospitality. Give this locally-owned and operated business a try — you will not be disappointed!