A truck originally used to promote shelf-stable pork is back in the working lunch business, with chefs Roland Feldman and Joe Wolfson now parking their mobile smoked meat dispensary at James Island's Buck Lumber five days a week.
Feldman and Wolfson purchased the retired Spam vehicle from Taco Boy and transformed it into Smoke, which made its debut in August. Feldman says the truck's name was deliberately chosen to indicate there's more than barbecue on the menu.
"I wanted to do barbecue because I've never had more fun than sitting around a pit late at night," says Feldman, a one-time Peninsula Grill cook. "We're doing barbecue, and we're doing it very well, but Joe was adamant to say barbecue is smoke, but smoke isn't just barbecue."
In keeping with the theme, the current menu includes a pastrami Reuben, topped with housemade red beet sauerkraut ("it really glows," Feldman says); a smoked pork loin sandwich with arugula and pesto; and a burger on a Baguette Magic bun.
"I think it's going to be the best burger in the city," Feldman says.
The pair is also making its own version of Spam in tribute to the truck's past. They plan to feature it in a kimchi fried rice.
"I sort of see us as the Ben and Jerry of barbecue," Feldman says, referencing the standards to which the former high-end restaurant workers hold their food. Prior to launching Smoke, Wolfson served as the opening chef at The Granary; Feldman was also a member of the kitchen crew.
"We both left because it wasn't exactly what we were looking for, but we met each other," Feldman says of their experience at the Mt. Pleasant restaurant.
Although Smoke has made appearances at The Barrel and on College Park Road, it's stationed at Buck Lumber from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays. According to Feldman, the yard's owners wanted to have food available for contractors and other hungry customers. During breakfast hours, Smoke serves its meats in burritos and egg-and-cheese sandwiches.
"We're really hoping to make lunch on James Island a little more fun and fresh," Feldman says. "We think we can help working men and women."
To learn more about Smoke, visit facebook.com/SmokeTruckSC.