Monday, April 6, 2009

Novosad's Market

HALLETTSVILLE: Novosad’s Market
105 La Grange St.

Hallettville, TX 77964


Open Tues-W & Sat 8-3, Thur 8-5, F 8-6

Novosad's is a family run joint with a husband and wife team working the store. They've been in the Texas Monthly Top 50, and they want you to know it by way of a painted mural that runs the length of the building. Inside mounted deer heads watch over chile pepper covered table cloths and a Texas tile floor pattern. A small stereo sits in the corner on the freezer and plays country music.

I placed an order for spare ribs, mutton ribs and sliced brisket. Mutton ribs are a rare menu item, so I had to give them a try. These are not to be confused with lamb, as lamb is a young sheep (less than a year old) and mutton is an older sheep. The ribs were smoky, very fatty and tender, but the age gave it a much gamier flavor than I was expecting. I'm sure they would have tasted fine to a connoisseur, but the flavor wasn't exactly addictive to this reviewer. A dark crust and a deep red smoke line encircled the slices of brisket, but these smoky morsels were sliced with the grain leaving them a bit chewy. The fat also needed more time in the smoker to properly render. If you're looking for something addictive, head straight towards the spare ribs. They had a scant rub, but a great red crust, and rosy meat throughout. The bites of juicy pork were tender, smoky and spectacular.

I've been told the sides here are worth writing home about, but on this day, we were on a meat only mission. I'm just glad I have an excuse to return and sink my teeth into another rib...pork rib, that is.

Rating ***
Novosad BBQ & Sausage Market 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.