Friday, April 13, 2012

Pastor Hamilton’s Bar-B-Que – St. Paul, MN

LowVee and HotGirlsBrother needed to come over to the Eastern Bracket region for the next Bar-B-Quest challenge. In fact, I had never been quite so far on 7th Street in St. Paul, until now. Pastor Hamilton’s is a lonnnnnng way past the Xcel Energy Center, in case you’re wondering.

Inside, the place has a handful of tables to sit at and lots of info on the walls to read. There is a large Plexiglas window in front of the counter, which allows the good Pastor to post all kinds of notes near the menu. And for the record, he IS a pastor, so feel free to read all about him on the website or come into the store and take a look at all of the articles written about him.

We got our usual half slab (each) which comes with two sides. We got potato salad and baked beans. They don’t have coleslaw, or we would have gotten that. We also got an order of 8 chicken wings, since all of the articles rave about the wings. Plus we were really hungry. And he talked us into getting chocolate chip cookies, as well. The Pastor takes the orders and then disappears in back to go finish making everything.

The food came to the counter in to-go boxes, which is fine with us. We’ll start with the sides, as usual. The potato salad was one of the best we’ve had. Not the TOP of the list, but getting really close. This stuff was quite good. Big chunks of potato and seasoned really well.

The baked beans were also really good. Very solid performance on these, and they’re near the top, especially after some duds we’ve had recently. Really. Good smoky flavor with great texture, and not from a can.

The chicken wings were pretty outstanding. Lots of meat on them and REALLY hot (temperature). These things retained the heat until we were done eating and we left the lid open so they’d cool off, defying all laws of science. They were super crispy on the outside and really juicy on the inside. There’s a reason these things get articles written about them. They’re really quite good.

On to the ribs! These ribs are really packed with meat. They are super thick without being fatty and they were cooked to perfection. The meat falls off the bones pretty easily and cleanly – no bits of meat left to gnaw off. Very few bits of cartilage were found in the meat, which is always a bonus. The sauce itself is one of the best ones in the Twin Cities. Really great flavor, even without a ton of spice to it. Pastor Hamilton came out to see how we were doing and told us he learned how to smoke ribs in the ground back in Arkansas. He’s a backwoods wizard, apparently. He knows what he’s doing. If I had any money left over, I would have grabbed a couples jars of BBQ sauce for the road. It really is that good. I’m worried I’d be putting it on absolutely everything if I bought a jar though. Maybe that’s not a bad thing… LowVee and HotGirlsBrother were equally impressed with the ribs and we left a large pile of dry clean bones on the plate at the end of the meal.
I’m glad we went here. A fantastic showing of BBQ ribs!

Finally, we all got to eat one of the chocolate chip cookies we bought earlier. They were delicious and a great way to finish the meal. I think they may have had something sweet or coconut-y in them. Not enough to taste like coconut (thankfully for me), but something a little unique. I’m glad he talked us into buying them.

Here’s the bracket for the Bar-B-Quest. Pastor Hamilton will go up against Hickory Hut when next we meet (meat), so I’m looking forward to seeing who comes out on top of this challenge.

Top 5 things about Pastor Hamilton’s
1. Rib meat and flavor
2. Generous and delicious sauce
3. Baked beans
4. Fried chicken wings
5. Potato salad

Bottom 5 things
1. For some reason, the white bread in a bag tasted a little off to me (and had no butter)
2. It’s a really small place
3. We all kept yelling at each other for swearing
4. I’m bummed we missed the BBQing out on the sidewalk which happens on Fridays
5. Only open Thursday through Saturday, so make sure you’re not sitting outside on a day he’s closed


Anonymous said...

You guys can't claim to cover the best BBQ on the "East" side, without including Bayport BBQ. An absolute must!

Anonymous said...

First, I must say that Mr. Pastor Hamilton is a true gentleman and made us feel very welcome.

But, the food experience we had was much different than you describe with the same order. Our ribs were big, but all fatty and full of cartilage. Worst ribs I have ever had anywhere... period! BBQ sauce is very very boring. How can you even say this BBQ sauce is good? The potato salad is boring is nothing special and may be bought from Cub Foods. Seriously. With that being said, the baked beans are very good.

Worst BBQ I have had in my life. :(