Sunday, October 14, 2012

Andy's Hawg Wild Bar-B-Que

2826 Dedman, Pasadena

Driving up to Andy’s for the first time invoked a sense of deja vu, reminding me of the first time I went to the old Burn’s BBQ on the north side, driving up a narrow residential street in a working class neighborhood, wondering if I got the directions right - Could this possibly be the right way to a destination barbeque joint?  But then the big red sign loomed up next to a tree and I caught a glimpse of the low-slung building, the parking lot wedging spaces into every corner of the property that must have grown to meet the need, and the feeling changed to one of eager anticipation.

Some of the reviews on Yelp speak highly of the brisket here but when I go to a place with ‘hawg’ in the name, with a beaming pig on the sign and pig statuettes scattered around the dining room with slogans painted on them like ‘Try Me Tennessee Style,’ I’m ordering the pork, specifically the pulled pork.  Even more specifically, the Tennessee Pulled Pork sandwich which comes dressed with cole slaw.  Actually, I thought that was Memphis style but whatever.

There aren’t many places in Houston that even serve pulled pork and there are some that have no idea what it is; there are even fewer that specialize in it but Andy’s does and that’s what I came to try.

Does that sandwich looked over-sauced?  My first thought when it was delivered to my table was to wonder if I dare try to pick it up even once.  The second thing I did was pull the napkin dispenser over to be right at my fingertips.  Much to my surprise I made it almost all the way thru before it became too messy to handle but the sandwich didn’t need that much sauce in addition to the creamy cole slaw.  The sauce was too bold for my taste; I do not like bold barbeque sauces that add more flavor to the sandwich than the meat itself.

There must have been close to 8 ounces of meat on that large bun.  The meat was tender and juicy and just a tad smoky - smokiness does not seem to be that big a factor in Tennessee style barbeque.  The crisp red onions and sturdy bun provided a welcome balance to all the juiciness.

There’s a good selection of sides including red skinned potato salad, baked potato salad, mashed potatoes, fried okra, green beans and turnip greens in addition to, of course, cole slaw (if you want yours on the side, order just the Pulled Pork sandwich instead of the Tennessee Pulled Pork sandwich). 

I tried the beans.  These are more of a pork and beans concoction that the typical pintos you’d get at a Texas barbeque joint but they had a nice peppery bite and were very good.

The main dining room appears to just be an enclosed deck; there is a slightly more refined, smaller dining room also plus several concrete tables well shaded under trees in one corner of the parking lot.  Though you’re only two blocks off busy Spencer Highway and maybe half a mile from the Beltway, it’s a very quiet neighborhood and I imagine al fresco dining would be quite pleasant if the weather’s nice. 

There’s no big screen TV blaring constant news or soaps or sports, no TV at all, in fact.  The sound track was country, appropriately enough, but not the pop/rock/schmaltz country of today, nor alt country nor outlaw country and not honky tonk either.  Well, actually, I couldn’t identify the genre and I’m not sure I recognized a single song or artist that came on, but it sounded like the sounds of life in a small Tennessee town and it suited the setting perfectly.  For ambiance, Andy’s gets an A +.

Andy's Hawg Wild Bar-B-Que

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