The Shack spices things up in Waldoboro
Waldoboro — A building that has housed many different eateries now is home to The Shack — which opened its doors Jan. 7 serving up its own flare of barbecue.
Picnic tables and a bar cover much of the interior of the new restaurant on Route 1, just down the road from Ralph's Homes. It has already surpassed the owners' expectations.
"It's a social thing," said co-owner Sean Deangelis of the way he and brother Christopher "Bear" Wiest designed their seating. "This is a small town. If you can't sit down with your neighbors and enjoy the food, then go somewhere else," said Deangelis.
The pair — who have been in the restaurant business all their lives — has run all types of venues from Italian to a food truck covering areas from Alaska to New Orleans. "There's not much we can't do," said Deangelis, adding, "although we haven't experimented with Chinese yet."
Ninety-five percent of the sauces and rubs they use on their meats are made from scratch. "Very few things come out of a can around here," said Deangelis. They make their own coleslaw, baked beans, barbecue sauce, chili, ketchup and jam. In fact, they had trouble in the beginning getting some of the unique ingredients through their supplier.
"We specifically had trouble getting pectin for our jam," said Deangelis. "We figured for sure we would be able to get that in Maine."
Deangelis said the meats are smoked at 180 degrees for 14 to 16 hours, then left to rest to absorb all the juices. A pellet smoker is the most vital piece equipment at the restaurant. The flavor comes from a variety of blends in the pellets and secret sprays.
The smoker can handle about 90 pounds of meat — which is not nearly enough to get them through one day of feeding the masses. The response from the public has been fantastic, according to Deangelis. So much so that on Jan. 12 the pair had to close the doors early because they ran out of food.The overwhelming success has forced the owners to add more deliveries. He said another smoker will soon be added to accommodate those seeking an alternative to other local offerings.
The menu is simple with 25 offerings from brisket chili fries to sweet potato mash topped with melted marshmallow to a beer-battered buffalo burger. The pulled pork is the biggest seller thus far, said Deangelis, who said any sandwich can be made shack-style by adding bacon cheddar coleslaw and candied jalapenos.
"It has taken lots of trial and error to get where we are right now," said Deangelis. Recipes are tried and true — and some go in the "never do this again" pile, he added.
The most recent challenge the brothers have embarked on is making their own cheese. "Neither of us have done it before," said Deangelis.
When warmer temperatures are in season, The Shack will open up a back patio area. Deangelis said they will be "throwing a few shindigs" outside including music, whole hog roasts, and horseshoes. They have already been asked if they will cater special events.
The Shack is open Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and closed on Mondays. Breakfast is served 8 to 11 a.m., Saturdays and Sundays.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.