Monday, November 25, 2013

Hanks Untraditional BBQ

Address: 1001 Douglas St
Phone: (250) 590-4636
Website: (tbd?)
Price: ~$10 for a sandwich, ~$15 for a platter
Notes: fresh, house made, small batch BBQ

Hanks Untraditional BBQ

As I briefly touched on in about in my recent post about Ucluelet, we have a new Barbecue restaurant in town, the a little brother restaurant to Hanks Ucluelet. They have opened up in the little restaurant that formerly held the Melt (and a few other haphazard places before that). I think the space may have finally found its one true restaurant! After only a few short weeks they are garnering much attention and adoration from locals, myself included. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the other barbecue selections in town, but they have not really captured my heart in the same way that a few visits to Hank's have.

Their chalkboard menu is always changing, based on the availability of fresh, locally-sourced products. The menu is super meat centric, although they are open to customizing for vegetarians, and are working to figure out if they can provide gluten-free alternatives for those customers who are intolerant (but not celiac). I was not surprised to discover they make their own bread in house, daily! The slice I had with my meal in Ucluelet was the closest thing to my Granny's bread (the best bread in the whole world) I have ever had, and the bun for my pulled pork was pretty delicious as well.

I was pretty impressed with the overall commitment to freshness during our visit to Ucluelet: we were the first customers, and were informed that the wings on the menu weren't quite out of the smoker yet, but everything else was available. By the end of the evening when we left, they were telling customers that everything but the wings and one of the pastas were sold out. We chatted with the chef outside who said that he was happy because that meant they would come back again from being closed for the next few days with all fresh food. He said it with such clear pride and happiness in his voice not because he was selling out, but because it was important to him to be able to present good, fresh food! They also have a fantastic selection of beer, both local and some pretty beer nerdy (read: belgian) selections. The staff seem to be shared between the original restaurant and the Victoria one. However, I suspect it is one of the owners who is frequently found behind the counter in Victoria, as my sources tell me it is his dog, Hank, who the restaurant is named after.

The restaurant is more take out than sit down, although there are a small set of bar seats at the window and counter. In some ways that is brilliant... my favourite seats are always bar seats, but in some ways that limits the ability of more than two people to go for dinner or lunch. But, for a casual lunch meeting or a quick bite on the way between work and home it is a great choice.

Food:
November 20, 2103
Pulled Pork with Potato Salad
Pulled Pork with Potato Salad
Although this looks like a small sandwich it was very, very filling. The sauce for the pork was not too sweet, and had a mustardy taste. The purple slaw added a nice bit of crunch and tang. The overall result was very, very sloppy and required all the napkins! I ordered the potato salad as a side for an extra few dollars. I had it as part of my meal when I ate at Ucluelet, and really enjoyed it. It has a very simple, lemony sauce and red potatoes. 

Oyster Po boy and roasted carrot soup
Oyster Po boy and roasted carrot soup
My partner-in-food-and-life ordered the oyster po boy, which I declined a bite of because I don't quite think that it is my cup of tea. The soup, however, was my cup of soup! The roasted carrot was super, super savoury and flavourful with none of the ginger that is usually found in carrot soup.

Service:
November 20, 2103
The service was prompt and very friendly. We asked the staff lots of questions, and you could see they were proud and excited about their food. I predict they may out grow their little hole in the wall!

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