Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hog Shack Cook House


Hog Shack is a barbecue joint located at Stevetson in Richmond, and seems to be my go to barbecue house. On my prior visits, I have always ordered the Johnny's Jurassic Platter which comes with side ribs, beef ribs, chicken quarters and pulled pork. The platter is more than enough for two and there will be leftovers! By the way, this is coming from a girl who would attempt to finish it all alone too. But to be fair to myself, the only reason I would not be able to finish the platter is because the barbecue sauce tastes the same and my tastebuds get bored of the meats.


Walking in for a late lunch around 3:00pm on a weekday, the restaurant was dead and our waitress was friendly. The only reason for revisiting Hog Shack for the third time is because Memphis Blues was horrible. Although I do not remember Hog Shack serving amazing food and always seemed more average to me. I mean, there has to be a reason why we wanted to try Memphis Blues right? Anyways, instead of ordering the usual platter, we chose our favourite meats and passed on the chicken and pulled pork.


SMOKED BEEF BRISKET PLATE, THE HOG SHACK ST. LOUIS STYLE SIDE RIBS AND HOG SHACK DINOSAUR BONES.

SMOKED BEEF BRISKET PLATE, HOUSE SMOKED BEEF BRISKET PILLED HIGH WITH CHOICE OF TWO SIDES, BAKED BEANS AND POTATO WEDGES ($15.00).
Although the beef brisket tastes tender and melts in the mouth, the cut could have been slightly fattier as well as more tender. In addition, the slices are a bit too thick as well. As for the smear of barbecue sauce, it tastes smokey as well as rich and there is a perfect amount. However, I do prefer Hog Shack focusing on the briskets' natural taste and to make the meat more flavourful, rather than relying on the sauce. As for the sides, the baked beans taste watery as well as sweet, and has too much brown sugar. I believe on my previous visits the beans have taste better. Up next is the potato wedges which are lightly seasoned and tasty, despite not having the slightest crisp exterior.

HOG SHACK DINOSAUR BONES, 2LB SMOKED BEEF RIBS WITH CHOICE OF TWO SIDES, SAUTEED VEGETABLES ($22.00).
The bones are pipping hot and the meat falls off the bone. Furthermore, the meat tastes extremely tender and melts in the mouth. These are the best beef ribs I ever had here!

On my last two visits, the meat has never fallen off the bone or tasted as tender. Is it because we came for lunch rather than dinner? For the sides, we went for the sautéed vegetables consisting of carrot, zucchini, mushroom and beets. Unfortunately, the vegetables are a bit too oily and has been the oiliest we ever had from here, despite not tasting overcooked. As for the barbecue sauce, it is exactly the same as the one used for the brisket, rich and smokey.

HOG SHACK ST. LOUIS STYLE SIDE RIBS, PORK SIDE RIBS, MEATIER THAN THE BACK RIBS AND JUST AS TASTY, WITH TWO CHOICE OF SIDES, SAUTEED VEGETABLES ($17.00).

Despite the dry looking appearance, the side ribs are actually very juicy as well as tender. The best way for me to describe the difference between the side and beef ribs is that the pork ribs taste more stiff. As for the sides, again, we went for the sautéed vegetables which look a lot less burnt than the ones with the beef ribs. Also, again, the barbecue sauce is the same as the above dishes, and I appreciate the light smear. 

SAUTEED VEGETABLES.
We were also given some of our vegetables separately and can you see how much oil there is? I do not remember ever having such greasy vegetables from here, but meh,

Overall this was our best experience at Hog Shack and I think coming here for lunch rather than dinner is a big part of that. In addition, this visit was more enjoyable because our last barbecue experience was at Memphis Blues and not that great, which makes us appreciate Hog Shack. Although I do not want to forget that there was a reason why I thought Hog Shack is just average as well as why I was looking for a new barbecue house.

POSITIVES
- Meats are properly done
- Ribs are served hot 
- Friendly and attentive server (we were the only ones here, she could have sat and did her own thing but chose to stand)

NEGATIVES
- Barbecue sauce makes everything taste the same and gets boring when you order the platter
- Seems like the restaurant relies on using barbecue sauce rather than cooking naturally flavourful meats and providing customers the choice of using sauce
- Dinner may be a gamble.. I have had dried up meat from here, twice

LITTLE THINGS
- Better than Memphis Blues
- Might have to be best in Vancouver (although I wish there is better...)

Food: 3/5
Service: 4/5

  Hog Shack Cook House on Urbanspoon

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