BLACKFOOT – Clint Leyland doesn’t pretend to be a professionally trained chef — he’s just a man with a passion, talent and taste for excellent barbecue.
Leyland opened up Smokin’ Gun Barbecue almost two years ago. Since then locals have swarmed his restaurant to get a taste of whatever he’s got on his smoker. He keeps his meats in that smoker for between 8 to 14 hours so the meat is perfectly tender and flavorful.
He started his restaurant career as a manager at Pizza Hut. Years later he decided to launch a restaurant of his own.
“I’ve spent most of my adult life in the restaurant business and things like that. I got out of it about nine years ago … and I couldn’t really find anything that I was comfortable or really happy doing,” Leyland said. “I just thought well let’s try barbecue. It’s relatively new in southeast Idaho and it’s good food. Twenty-two months later we’re going strong.”
Leyland said his menu features original recipes including three signature house sauces. He said he makes smoked bologna and includes it in specialty sandwiches. The smoked bologna hasn’t really caught on for customers yet, but it’s picking up speed.
“If you don’t like bologna you’re not going to get excited, because it’s smoked,” Leyland said.
Smokin’ Gun also offers traditional barbecued eats like beef brisket, pulled pork, sausage, and ribs. They’ve also brought back smoked chicken to the menu.
Leyland said they have regulars that come every Thursday for his smoked Turkey. He makes a signature Turkey sandwich which is served on a toasted jalapeno cheddar loaf topped with red lettuce, Swiss cheese, and a dab of bacon ranch.
In the near future Leyland hopes to add steaks and pork chops to the menu.
“Here we want to kind of mix it up a little bit, try to keep it fresh, keep it new, just keep it exciting,” Leyland said “With smoking meat and barbecue the sky’s the limit you can do a lot of things.”
The Double Barrel Sandwich:
This sandwich is not for the faint of heart. You may need an extra hand to pull it off your plate. The double barrel has three meats, beef brisket, sausage and pulled pork. It’s topped with fresh coleslaw served on a warmed ciabatta bun.
“It’s probably one of our most popular sandwiches here just because it’s enormous, I mean it’s a meal in itself. It’s one of the two sandwiches that we serve with a knife and fork because you’re going to need it,” Leyland said.
Fresh cut fries: All of Smokin Gun’s potatoes are grown locally and the fries are cut and cooked in house. It comes with a house made fry sauce. Leyland said this side is a best seller.
Pork Ribs: These ribs are the perfect consistency and don’t fall too fast off of the bone. It has a peppered outside and hardly needs sauce to be tasty.
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Conner Board, KPVI
Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com