Hank’s Texas BBQ generating a mark in Clintonville

G.A. Benton

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uncomplicated-but-accommodating wooden tables and a long banquette, still left by the site’s former occupant, Outdated Skool, a athletics bar that did not survive the pandemic.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.  

Fried green tomatoes and Brisket Nachos at Hank's Texas BBQ

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.

Hot & heavy sandwich

“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.