If one comes into Mabel looking for a bite to eat, make sure to check out D & D Smokehouse on the southern end of Main Street. The restaurant is a small, but quaint place and seems like one has been invited over to a friend's house for dinner. Darrell and Dee Peterson are the owners and bring their love of food and developing new dishes to their diverse menu.

Moving home

Darrell is no stranger to Mabel having grown up in the area. Darrell and Dee returned to Mabel on April 5, 2006, after living in Colorado because Darrell's mom, Jeanette Yocum, was sick.

"We packed up and came. We went where we needed to be," shared Dee. Two weeks after they returned, Darrell's mother died.

His mother taught him a lot about food, cooking and running a kitchen. She taught him how to juggle responsibilities and he's now using those skills at the Smokehouse.

"If we weren't sheering sheep or bailin' hay - we were canning," said Darrell. Darrell shared that growing up he enjoyed cooking and canning with his mom. Canning continues to be one of Darrell's hobbies.

"Stumpy (of Stumpy's restaurant in Rushford) bought my first jar of salsa, actually two quarts of it," recalled Darrell.

Although Darrell dreamt of opening a restaurant, Dee said it wasn't in her plans but she is enjoying the ride. Darrell and Dee opened D & D Smokehouse in September, during Steam Engine Days weekend.

Walking in

When one enters the front door, one is immediately greeted with a genuine warm welcome; a few welcoming words from Dee or a friendly wave from Darrell.

The first thing one will notice when entering is the chalkboard menu that runs the length of the eating area. Yes, the entire menu is on the wall...and what a variety!

Friday specials are typically fish and shrimp, Saturday a steak special, and Sunday may feature lasagna with garlic bread or stuffed manicotti with a salad and garlic bread.

One also has the option of ordering all the regular appetizers: cheese curds, onion rings or French fries. Other items on the menu include a French dip, quesadilla, a fiery buffalo chicken wrap with blue cheese dressing, BLT on Texas toast or a patty melt. There are also 12-inch and 16-inch pizzas.

There are several special burgers (believe it or not all burgers are half-pounders - yes half-pounders!) that one may want to sample. Glancing over the menu one will notice a couple of sandwiches that are intriguing: a goop burger and the smokehouse burger.

Dee quickly clarified, "A goop burger is a half-pounder of ground beef with sautéed belled peppers, mushrooms, onions with Swiss cheese covered with 1,000 island dressing."

Smiling she added, "The smokehouse is a half-pounder with brisket on top."

Dee shared that she and Darrell have no intentions of obtaining a liquor license at this point. "I kind of like it the way it is. The kids come in after a game or after school and we want to promote a kid friendly atmosphere," she explained.

Hours

D& D Smokehouse is open Fridays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to closing and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Orders can be made for dine-in or carry out.