Monday, November 15, 2010

Lazy T's Bar-B-Que

HAMILTON: Lazy T's Bar-B-Que
901 S Rice St
Hamilton, TX 76531

Open Tues-Sat 10-7

Update: This joint is CLOSED.

2010: Rick Turner moved from a retail development on the north side of Hamilton to this location just south of town a few months ago. He's happier here than ever, maybe because he built it himself. I had just left the Smoke Shack which you can almost see from Lazy T's. Unlike the Smoke Shack, Rick uses mesquite wood, and the meat is deeply smoky.

I tried some ribs and sliced beef on one of two picnic tables out front. The brisket was great. The meat was tender, the fat well rendered, and the flavor was plenty smokey without the bitter flavor that mesquite can impart from oversmoking. The crust enveloped a well defined smokering, and every bite had great flavor and tenderness. Ribs had similar seasoning, and were very boldly flavored with plenty of black pepper. This meat too was plenty smokey, but it lacked the tenderness of the beef. Each bite was a bit of a battle to separate meat from bone, and the meat was in need of more smoker time.

Rick showed me the pits he uses for his operation. The main pit is a big one with two lids, and he had two briskets inside. One was wrapped and one unwrapped. Rick explained that some customers were complaining of too much smoke so he wrapped one midway through cooking and planned to offer both options during the day. That is a pitmaster who aims to please, and it's also the first time I've heard of any joint offering you options for smoke level. I was assured that I received the full smoke version, and I'm not sure why anyone would want anything less.

Rating ***
Lazy T's BBQ on Urbanspoon

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Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.