Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hoegemeyer's Barbeque Barn - Corpus Christi

Hoegemeyer’s BBQ Barn (pronounced “Hay-guh-my-er”) opened in 2013 and landed on my radar immediately.  Since they are only open to the public on weekdays, it takes a bit of planning to schedule my visits to Hoegemeyer’s.  The hours are not ideal for out-of-towners and the location can also be a bit of an inconvenience (if you aren’t familiar with the area, have Google Maps handy).  But if you can manage a trip, you will be rewarded with what some say is the best barbecue in the Coastal Bend.

THE MEATS

Hoegemeyer’s serves a variety of meats with a menu featuring brisket, pork spare ribs, baby backs, pulled pork, sausage and chicken.  Beef ribs are the latest addition to the menu and along with chicken, are the only items I have not had the opportunity to sample.

A spread of Hoegemeyer's meats

Hoegemeyer's has a "Brisket 101" sign near the service counter to tutor newcomers on how to identify the specific cut of brisket they want. No matter the choice, the brisket is served in hefty slices.  The heavy pepper rub makes a nice crust on the cuts of beef.  The meat itself is typically rather soft and the fatty slices tend to fall to pieces.  The brisket is tasty with moist, well-rendered fat, but the mesquite smoke is somewhat subdued on the meat.

The two styles of pork ribs are very close in quality and my favorite of the two seems to change with each visit.  The spare ribs are meaty and feature a simple rub contrasting the tangy glaze of the baby backs.  My complaint from earlier visits was that the sauce overwhelmed the flavor of the baby backs, but the amount of sauce was reigned in on my latest visit, offering a better balance of flavor.  Like the brisket, neither of the rib styles feature a tremendous amount of smoke.  The texture of both options is pretty spot on, a bit firm to hold to the bone and provide a nice chew, but not tough or the least bit dry.  On any given day, either style could be called the best pork ribs in Corpus Christi.

The sausage is a typical, but good link from V&V.  The all-beef sausage is a dense, peppery standard in the area.  It’s consistent and well prepared at Hoegemeyer’s.

The pulled pork is a simple menu option.  The pork looks almost orange from the sauce it’s sopped in, but it still features a very straight-forward flavor.  The tanginess of the sauce does not stand out, but is there to provide plenty of moisture in the pork.  There is nothing to dislike about this offering.

THE REST

The house sauce is thin in consistency and mild in flavor with just a bit of sweetness, tang and spice.  The sauce does not make much of an impact on the meat, but thankfully, the meat doesn’t need it.

When you order one of Hoegemeyer’s plates, you are offered accompaniments from a selection of all-you-can-eat sides.  The sides are typical with choices like pinto beans, green beans, corn and cole slaw.  All of the selections I’ve sampled are pretty traditional but my favorite is the baked potato salad which is a bit chunkier than your typical potato salad with a bold sour cream flavor.

The only item that stands out as much as the meat is the delicious peach cobbler.  If you have read my previous entries, you may have gathered that I am perfectly happy taking another helping of meat in lieu of dessert.  However, this cobbler begs to be ordered.  It is bready and buttery and the flavors melt together in the warm dish of happiness.  It’s like cake and cobbler produced a delicious love child.

Hoegemeyer's Barbeque Barn is actually an old train station barn.

Hoegemeyer’s Barbecue Barn is actually an old train station barn.  The interior feels like a Texas dance hall.  The large space features a mixture of booths, tables and high tops.  There is also a bar area in the back of the building, opposite the ordering line.  The decoration is knickknacks of “Texas Americana” and the ambiance is completed with a lively selection of music and lights strung across the ceiling.  Hoegemeyer’s is a big enough venue to host large parties and they do exactly that during the hours in which they are closed to the public.  On nights and weekends, they offer the venue free of charge if you have them cater your party.  It is one of the best deals you can ever find.

The interior of Hoegemeyer's reminds me of a Texas dance hall

THE VERDICT

Hoegemeyer’s has brought some life to Corpus Christi’s rather dismal barbecue scene.  They have set the area standard with their meats, especially with their standout pork ribs.  With lovingly prepared sides and superlative cobbler for dessert, Hoegemeyer’s has put together a well-rounded meal for visitors. If you are in the area and can make it over for lunch, Hoegemeyer’s is a must visit. For everyone else, well, we can always wish for them to extend hours through Saturday.



Address: 711 Concrete St., Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
Phone: 361-884-4227
Hours: Monday - Friday: 11AM - 3PM
http://hoegemeyers.com

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*All Grades Are Based Solely on the Quality of Texas BBQ Offered at the Joint. We Aren't Looking for Burgers or Catfish!

My Grading Scale:


A = This is some of the finest BBQ you'll find anywhere. It is worth a roadtrip in itself along with any required wait.
B = This is very good BBQ, even if it is over an hour away, consider making the drive.
C = This is just average BBQ but it's worth a stop in a pinch.
D = This is a poor example of Texas BBQ. Even if it's the only place around, skip it. Apologize to any non-Texans that have eaten here.
F = This is not only a bad Texas BBQ, it is probably not suitable for human consumption.

 
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