Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hog Shack Cook House

Hog Shack Cook House is located at Stevetson in Richmond, and seems to be my-go to barbecue house. On my prior visits, I always order 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 cannot 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 the 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.

Rating: 3.5/5.
First up, the beef brisket tastes tender and melts in the mouth, but 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 exhibits a smoky and rich flavour and there is a perfect amount. However, I rather Hog Shack focus 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, very sweet and has too much brown sugar. I believe on my previous visits the beans have tasted better. Following, the potato wedges which are lightly seasoned and tasty, despite not having the slightest crisp exterior.

HOG SHACK DINOSAUR BONES, "2lb smoked beef ribs" ($22.00).
Rating: 3.5/5.
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 honestly one of the best beef ribs I have ever had here.

On my last couple of visits, the meat at Hog Shack has never fallen off the bone or tasted as tender. Is it because we came here for lunch instead of dinner? For our choice of sides, we went for the sautéed vegetables which consist of carrot, zucchini, mushroom and beets. The vegetables are very oily and are the oiliest we ever had from here, but are not overcooked. As for the barbecue sauce, it is exactly the same one used for the brisket; rich and smoky.

HOG SHACK ST. LOUIS STYLE SIDE PORK RIBS WITH SAUTEED VEGETABLES, "Meatier than the back ribs and just as tasty" ($17.00).
Rating: 3.5/5.
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, we went for the sautéed vegetables again which look a lot less burnt than the selection with the beef ribs. Also, again, the barbecue sauce is the same as the above dishes and I appreciate the light smear. 

Rating: 2/5.
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.

This has been my best experience overall 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 house was Memphis Blues and it was not good at all. I think I actually appreciate Hog Shack more now. However, Hog Shack seems to reply on using their barbecue sauce rather than cooking naturally flavourful meats and providing customers the choice of using sauce. With regards to our server, we were the only ones at the restaurant and she could have sat down and did her own thing. However, she chose to stand the entire time!

- Ribs are served hot
- Well done barbecue
- Friendly and attentive server

- Barbecue sauce makes everything taste the same and gets boring when you order the platter
- Dinner may be a gamble.. I have had dried up meat from here, twice

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

Food: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5

  Hog Shack Cook House on Urbanspoon

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