Lunch @ Fritz’s Smoked Meats
I had driven past many times and heard radio commercials for this smoke house in the unassuming brick building at State Line Road and I-435. Once I even tried to stop, but it was 5:02 pm and that place was locked up tight!
So when I was passing by recently in the middle of the afternoon, I decided to drop in for a sandwich. The commercials rave about the amazing smoked meat piled high between two slices. So I asked for either the best or the most popular.
The Bette Rogers was the clear choice. It’s a sandwich stacked with barbequed brisket, ham, bacon, onion, artichokes and roasted red peppers. Finished with mustard and mayo, this puppy sounded hard to beat.
So I was pretty disappointed when I bit in and tasted a boring string of ingredients that didn’t seem to work together at all. I think the bread was the most distracting part. The thick hoagie bun had very little flavor and was so dry it sucked up the moisture from the other ingredients with every chew.
I knew a place like this couldn’t have been in business this long if something weren’t really good. So I dissected my sandwich to evaluate each component on its own. The brisket was pretty tender but didn’t have much flavor – smoky or otherwise – and the barbeque sauce was rather dull. Now the thinly sliced ham, that was a winner! Deep brown, the juicy meat had a delicate smokiness. I wanted some of this to go home for snacking later in the week.
In choosing a side, I asked what was made in-house. The beans were recommended. Unfortunately, they were perhaps the worst baked beans I’ve ever tasted. It’s sad, but I think I prefer VanCamps out of the can. These didn’t taste much like barbeque or beans.
I might return for a pound or two of that ham and would maybe try some smoked pork chops. But sadly, I won’t be stopping in for another sandwich.