Roller derby has brought many wonderful things to my life. One of those things is the amazing, funny and talented Cherry Grant aka Vicki. So when she emailed me and said "Let's go eat some meat", how could I say no?
I almost did though, because she wanted to go to the Hog Shack Cook House... in Steveston! I realized that in the 16 years that I have lived in Vancouver, I have never been to Steveston. Mainly because I didn't have a car for 13 of the 16 years and Steveston is really far on the bus. I made Big M come with me in case I got lost in the wilds of Richmond. Such a strange road that has farms on the one side and suburbs on the other.
But, we made it to the BBQ house!
The Shack is located right on the waterfront in the downtown stroll area of Steveston. It was a rare nice night and felt like being in an episode of the Gilmore Girls with the bikers, walkers and looky-loos that were hanging around the wharf. My favorite was the heavy metal kid who was sitting alone on the dock staring at the water with his ipod. I feel ya, kid.
The restaurant itself is bright with all the windows. It looks like they have those garage style windows that open up to a balcony when the weather is nice enough. It is smaller than I had expected. From the front it looks huge, but there is another restaurant in the back. The bathrooms were small, but really clean! Hooray!
We arrived a bit early as we didn't really know how long it would take us (about 45 minutes) so Big M had a chance to browse the beer list. They have an excellent selection of craft beers with a fun and interesting rating system. They offer a fun selection of "Cowboy Cocktails" for the non beer drinkers as well. Big M was happy that they had his favorite girly-owl beer from Japan.
The menu offers a wide selection of BBQ items such as ribs, pulled pork, brisket and smoked chicken plus burgers, seafood, pasta and interestingly- tacos. Each main menu item comes with a choice of 2 sides- coleslaw, mashed potatoes, yam fries, baked beans, spanish rice pilaf(?), sauteed vegetables, potato wedges, handcut fries and corn bread. Any FYI, they do not skimp out on portions. The plates are huge!
Vicki went with Smoke Lover's Combo- Smoked Brisket & Pulled Pork with texas toast- $16.00. She chose the sauteed veggies and handcut fries as her sides.
I will not lie, I was really jealous of her meal. Mainly because she could eat her whole meal with a fork. She let me try most of it and it was great. I really enjoyed the brisket, flavorful and tender. The pulled pork was good but I found the sauce a little sweet. That is a personal preference though, I find all BBQ sauces of this style quite sweet. I find it amusing that "texas toast" is just big slab of toast. I like that type of seasoned french fry.
Big M went with 1/2 rack Hog Shack Baby Back Ribs- pork baby back ribs bursting with smokey heaven $17.00. He went with Yam Fries and Corn Bread for the sides.
He thought they were great. Tender, moist and pulled right off the bone. He liked the yam fries and cornbread. I thought the corn bread was the best of the sides, personally. It was really fresh and yummy.
I ordered the Hog Shack Dinosaur Bones- 2lbs. smoked beef ribs- $22.00. I went with the cornbread and vegetables for sides.
OMG. I don't think the picture does justice on how big these ribs were. I felt like the opening of the Flintstones when the car falls over because the ribs are so big. It was actually intimidating. And truthfully, hard to eat. I learned that beef ribs aren't eaten off the bone quite like the pork ribs are. I tried to pick them up and eat them, but they were too big for my dainty hands. I then tried to use a knife and fork but it was messy and fussy. When I did get some, they tasted great. I am sure there is an official way to eat these that I was not doing, but I would order something else next time. I was impressed by the vegetables. I expected either a greasy, sauteed mess or a bunch of really overcooked, soft veggies. Neither was true. They were cooked really well and were quite plentiful.
A secret, non-menu item is the Burnt Ends (I don't remember how much they cost). We heard through Twitter (@hogshackca- he tweets A LOT) that the burnt ends were a must. They also come with 2 sides so we got more fries.
They are the burnt ends of the brisket slathered with sauce. They had a bit too much sauce, but I wish that I would have ordered this as my main dish. Yummy. Ask your waitress if they are on the menu that night.
Man, that was a lot of meat. Here is a pic of the carnage.
So of course, dessert! We went with a couple of dessert items. I chose the Southern Pecan Pie- Topped with a Jim Beam chocolate sauce $7.00.
Very good. I would have liked to have it served warm, it was quite cool. I liked that it wasn't really sweet and the chocolate sauce was a fun addition.
Vicki said we had to try the Ek Mek- a crust bottom layered with custard and amaretto topped with toasted almonds $6.00
The legend of this cake is that it is the only menu item to survive from the greek restaurant that was in the spot before them. I guess it was that popular. It was quite yummy, again it would have been better served a bit warmer. I was so full of food by this time that it is hard to remember!
In the end, it was a fun adventure. Big M and I have added Steveston to the list of places to take our parents when the next arrive. I am not the biggest BBQ fan so I don't know if I will make the trip out just for the food. It would be a great place for summer patio eating to watch all the people go by if the weather ever gets nicer.
Thanks to Vicki for the food adventure. You should follow her on Twitter- @cherry_grant as she is one of the funniest people that I know. She can also sing Heart on Karaoke which impresses me to no end. That is hard.