Smack Shack

603 N. Washington Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Smack Shack +

Benjamin Carter Grimes

Smack Shack, the latest and largest incarnation of Josh Thoma’s growing lobster roll kingdom, started off as a popular food truck. When it announced its brick-and-mortar location with an expanded menu and full bar, devotees rejoiced. The new space is massive and impressive, full of rare equipment like custom-built tanks that can hold up to 400 live lobsters. The vibe is casual, the staff is helpful (especially in giving tips about the best plan of attack for cracking into dinner), and the lobster is present in everything from the decor on the walls to the guacamole and the mac and cheese, which you simply must try at least once. Thoma and executive chef Jason Schellin smartly offer less expensive, non-lobster-laden items, including braised leg of lamb sandwich, chicken wings, po' boys, and tacos. Schellin flexes more of a fine-dining muscle at dinner, preparing a beautiful and bountiful lobster, clam, and shrimp cioppino; a hot-and-cold plate of tilefish; southern fried chicken with sausage gravy (a steal at under $12); and beef short ribs. But your best bets are still Smack Shack's greatest hits: the lobster boil and the justifiably famous lobster rolls.

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