It has been Chef Joseph Jacobson's dream for years to open a barbecue restaurant. The only hiccup? His religion.
Raised in an Orthodox Jewish family that kept Kosher, Jacobson — who just opened Café Gibbes — told us in our Dish
Winter 2015 issue that his secret love of pig was a problem growing up.
"I'll never forget, one time my parents were walking through the neighborhood and they ran across our rabbi and he asked me, 'What's you're favorite food? I said, 'Oh, pig!' My mom and dad shriveled up. They were like, 'Oh, he's just kidding,'" Jacobson says. "But I knew from a very young age that pork was my thing."
Now this "thing" is becoming a reality. Later this month, the chef of The Med Eatery in West Ashley, will close that space's doors to reopen as Jacobson's long-awaited barbecue dream — Wild Hare Smokehouse.
"Together with owners Aris Newton and Tommy Eiserhardt, they will launch this Smokehouse and bring together the old and new schools of barbecue," Jacobson's wife Allison writes. "The Wild Hare Smokehouse will focus on the art of smoked food and the fare will be anything that slow cooks in the on-site log burning cooker. The menu will not only feature traditional smokehouse items, but also include local produce and seafood when available."
Both Joseph and Aris, South Carolina natives, grew up with the East Carolina barbecue and the mustard sauce," says Allison, "yet, both prefer the purist approach of either no sauce or a small amount of pepper/vinegar sauce — what Joseph and Aris call "Gator Hammock" (considered North Carolina barbecue). The Wild Hare Smokehouse will offer all three types of sauces: homemade mustard, tomato, and pepper/vinegar Gator Hammock."
The Med Eatery and Bar, located in the South Windermere Shopping Center, will officially close on Jan. 29 with it's last brunch service before remodeling for the walk-up Wild Hare Smokehouse concept.
Jacobson partially credits his love of pork to his Geechee nanny he had growing up. As he told us in Dish, "she'd make mac and cheese and fried chicken and throw a hambone in there. Mom would come home and freak out like, 'Oh my god! There's pork all over our kosher kitchen!"
Look for Wild Hare Smokehouse to open in February.