All through quite a few midweek visits among 6 and 7 p.m. to Hank’s Texas BBQ in Clintonville, the welcoming new position was variously teeming with customers, nearly vacant, taking part in “new state,” actively playing “jammy” tunes, participating in no music, warm when the garage doorways had been open on a sweltering night, and relaxed when the garage doorways were shut on a sweltering evening and the air conditioning and ceiling fans were being far more productive.
One element of Hank’s ambience remained steady, though: The aroma of hardwood smoke always perfumed the overall premises.
The premises involve a duly well known patio and various other options, this sort of as interior yellow brick partitions, uncomplicated-but-accommodating wooden tables and a long banquette, still left by the site’s former occupant, Outdated Skool, a athletics bar that did not survive the pandemic.
Despite the fact that sports activities are however beamed on to the lots of TVs in Hank’s, which offsets its yellow walls with comforting gray paint and a couple well-positioned strings of blue lights, Hank’s isn’t devoted to sporting activities. As its name and that persistent appear-hither scent of smoke recommend, Hank’s is largely devoted to barbecue.
This devotion pays off in fantastic smoked meats, some of which show up in, or can be extra to, starters, which are the most playful dishes on the menu of chef-owner Brad Harkrider (formerly govt chef at J. Liu’s). The meats also are sold in simple barbecue-joint vogue: by the pound and in sandwiches and combo platters.
Even with imperfections — I’d want a extra reliably pronounced “pop” from the casings of the jalapeno-cheddar sausages ($16 per pound), and the white meat was dry in the strikingly mahogany-skinned hen ($7 for every pound) — all of the proteins were fantastic-tasting and possessed exemplary smoky notes.
The constantly juicy and delectable pulled pork ($16 a pound), which incorporated bits of righteous spice-rubbed “bark” in each and every serving, delivers the most effective bang for the buck. But the lusty if pricey beef brisket ($26 for every pound) and the on-point ribs ($14 for every pound) — each highlighted hefty barks — could arguably be named Hank’s barbecue stars.
“Meat plates” arrive with two substantial sides and price $14 (one meat), $16 (two meats) and $18 (a few meats). As I typically obtained just two to a few slabs of brisket or ribs per get, I have concluded that the finest platter price is the $18 combo (go ribs, brisket and pork). Bonus: It feeds two.
6 worthy tableside property sauces are provided my favorites ended up spiked with espresso, vinegar or habanero. Among the Hank’s many superior sides, I in particular liked the burnt-finishes baked beans, tangy-and-tomatoey collard greens, comforting mac-and-cheese, addictive corn spoon bread (which doubles as dessert) and crisp hand-minimize fries.
Fries accompany sandwiches, this sort of as the gargantuan hot and hefty ($13) — an impressed and wildly sloppy confluence of pulled pork, smoked sausage, vinegary slaw, Cheetos dust and spicy mayo. Cheetos dust also confirmed up in the great and overachieving southwestern wedge ($6), a romaine-centered salad with flavorful tomatoes, bacon, corn, alleged avocado (mine was missing), shredded cheddar and ranch dressing.
For the reason that Hank’s reveals uncommon versatility for a area barbecue-centric procedure, shoppers could pop in for evening meal or just to look at a game with a draft PBR ($3.50), but also to check out a provocative cocktail these kinds of as the Smokin Jack (Jack Daniels with household-smoked Coca Cola, $9) although having fun with thoughtfully designed treats.
The latter include things like crackly fried inexperienced tomatoes with pimento cheese and bracing chow chow ($9 remarkable inspite of my way too-thick, fairly really hard tomatoes) brisket nachos ($12) with burnt ends, mostly crisp property chips as well as a delicate queso sauce I wanted extra of and smile-inducing bacon-increased household-made “loaded” potato tots that demonstrated an not likely affinity in between barbecue and queso sauces ($9).
Base line: Open given that May perhaps, Hank’s might nevertheless be obtaining its footing in some regards, but I by now like exactly where it stands.
At a glance
In which: Hank’s Texas BBQ
Area: 2941 N. Superior St., Clintonville
Hours: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays by Thursdays 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays shut Mondays
Call: 614-972-6020, www.hankstexasstylebbq.com