One week before the fire, we order take out from Smokin‘ Bowls Soup Shack on Route 103 in Bellows Falls, Vermont. The wooden shack is narrow inside and fits one or two people behind the grill. They specialize in simple dishes using quality local and organic ingredients and on that day, Mexican food. I choose a black bean burrito with a tangy cilantro and jalapeno cream sauce. It took a while for our food since there is already a small line in front of us when we order, so we walk around and find a rotary phone in back connecting the shack to a telephone pole. The guy inside said, “It’s for deliveries.”
A week later, we return for more of anything smothered with that cilantro cream only to find the Shack’s smoky remains. In shock we drive away and eat flat barbecue without even a subtle pretense of heat. Lucky for Smokin‘ Bowls fans, they plan to rebuild “Bigger and Better” this October in two locations.