The more I think about barbecue, the more I start thinking that it’s one of our most important road food traditions.  The reason that it remains vital, besides the fact it’s good, is that it cannot be tamed.  It can’t be gotten out of a can; it can’t be frozen ahead.  BBQ doesn’t negotiate, and it suffers fools badly.  Barbecue requires time, smoke, and above all, skill.  Which is why attempts to corporatize it ultimately fail.

— Alton Brown

Feasting on Asphalt, Episode 2 - I Smell Pork

ssweeney's Review of Hemphill BBQ‎

Joint: 

Main Fare:

  • Rib is outstanding.  Fully rendered, good meaty flavor that pulls easily from the bone.  Lightly sauced/basted with an interesting/unique blend of spices (reminded me of a mole-type sauce).  Not a blend of spices that I would naturally mix, but it definitely works here!
  • Brisket has a good, clean meaty flavor with a nice dry rub on the crust. My lean slice was a bit chewy, but we arrived late to the party thanks to Tom Tom (our GPS navigation).
  • Sausage has what I can only describe as a bit of a "funky" flavor.  It has a nice spice to it.
  • Spicy Sausage has a sweet potato flavor profile at the beginning, and then moves to spicy.  Very nice.
  • Pork Loin is very nicely done.  Thinly sliced and spiced just right.

Other Fare:

  • Boudin is gooey & good, with a crisp casing that snaps.
  • Potato salad has soft potatoes (but not mashed) with some nice veggies that add flavor and crunch.  I like the spices here... enough to bring out the flavor, but not overpowering.
  • Slaw is crunchy with a tangy sauce. Colorful veggies add to the crunch and presentation. Very good.
  • Pintos are simple, straight forward pintos... done right.
  • I miss out on the pecan, but get a bite of the buttermilk.  From that one bite, I am a believer.  (I believe that I will be back here the next chance I get).

Atmosphere:

  • While Charles and Barbara cut their barbecue teeth in Houston, they seem right at home in the Piney Woods.  They are warm and welcoming, and they treat us with great hospitality.  We feel right at home.
  • Everything is made from scratch here, and they show a pride and passion for what they are doing.  This combination is usually a winner!
  • Charles is cooking on a J&R pit without any of the electronic controls.  He builds and manages a small, clean fire in the firebox with the air damper fully opened.  Further proof that a clean fire makes the best barbecue.
Main Fare: 
8
Other Fare: 
9
Atmosphere: 
9

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