New to the barbecue scene last year is Smithtown’s Andersen’s Smokehouse & Grill. Located on Main Street, the restaurant boasts “hickory-smoked meats,” as well as a comprehensive menu that includes everything from nachos to a wide array of paninis. Actually, those paninis, it seems, have been flying off the shelves. Massive in size and adorned with cute names (Ricky Ricardo, Piggle Wiggle, Buffalo Chick), these are multiple sandwiches in one, topped with a thin piece of flatbread that contains all the elements of a hot, pressed-together sandwich.
The restaurant is, in actuality, not a new concept. For a decade, owner Michael Franchi operated Dixie’s Smokehouse B.B.Q. & Rotisserie in King’s Park, before he lost the lease to that space. Dixie’s was revered by Long Islanders, though it remains to be seen whether or not Franchi’s new project will capture the zeitgeist in precisely the same way.
In the meantime, in addition to giant paninis, Andersen’s is selling fried, rotisserie, and spicy chicken; beef brisket, St. Louis-style ribs, baby back ribs, Andouille smoked sausage, battered cod, butterfly shrimp, and chicken wings; a host of sides, including baked beans, corn-on-the-cob in season, macaroni and cheese, red beans and rice, creamed spinach, Texas chili, waffle fries, sweet potato mash, and collard greens; and belt-loosening appetizers like fried pickles, fried plantains, mozzarella sticks, tater tots, onion rings, burnt ends, and empanadas. There’s even an entire category dedicated to toppings for waffle fries (spoiler: most of them involve meat).
The menu doesn’t actually end there. It goes on to include burgers, burritos, salads, soups, sandwiches, and pretty much anything else your heart desires, including a vast selection of catering options (start thinking about that Super Bowl party now, kiddos). Will Dixie’s fans fall in love all over again? That path remains unclear. But the paninis, it seems, are an instant fan favorite.