Smack Shack sells high-class street food till late

Ever heard of a lobster smack?

It's a one-man sailboat used in the Northeast during the 1800s for commercial lobster fishing, explains Josh Thoma, the chef/restaurateur who, with Tim McKee, brought us La Belle Vie and Solera. It's also the genesis of his Smack Shack food cart on the corner of 1st Avenue and North 4th Street.

So what does a centuries-old lobster boat have to do with Minneapolis street food?

The chefs behind Solera and the Salty Tart collaborated to make the Shack's menu.
The chefs behind Solera and the Salty Tart collaborated to make the Shack's menu.
Michelle Bruch

For one thing, it means that at the Smack Shack you'll find a New England-style lobster roll with a quarter-pound of shelled lobster and a little bit of cucumber. The Smack Shack also makes po' boys with shrimp or andouille sausage with arugula, tomato and aioli.

The warm, grilled bread and baguettes come from the Salty Tart at the Midtown Global Market. The Salty Tart is also working up a key lime pie for the truck.

Smack Shack isn't only for the lunch crowd. It's open late. Hours run from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. most weeknights, and all the way through midnight on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

"I wish we could stay open later," Thoma says.

Thoma, already a familiar name downtown, says he decided to open up a street cart because it's a relatively small investment for a new restaurant. "It sounded like something fun to do."

If you're working in a downtown skyscraper, Thoma suggests you look down. He's got a giant, 20-foot lobster painted on the roof of the truck for your enjoyment.

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Smack Shack

1st Ave. N. & 4th St. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55401


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