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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hot Meal: Town Hall BBQ

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 1:32 PM

The quarter rack: plush and unctuous.

Little Skillet isn't the only American-inspired street-food player in town. Late last month, Town Hall (342 Howard at Fremont) fired up a couple of grills in its back courtyard and began offering takeaway grub that leaves your fingers deliciously sticky and, if you're not careful, your Banana dress shirt all spattered. We showed up earlier today and found that, while Little Skillet is cute and all, Town Hall BBQ is -- we'll say it -- awesome. 

The smoked St. Louis ribs ($8 for a quarter slab, about four ribs) were plush and unctuous, clad in a coffee-colored crust and with a subtle smokiness.

Move over, Little Skillet.

They're Niman, dry rubbed and smoked 4 ½ hours over hickory. The accompanying barbecue sauce had restrained heat and a tart Tabasco twang. A grilled Hobbs Calabrese link po' boy ($8) was fantastic, thanks to the juxtaposition of soft torpedo, coarse Creole mustard, and long-sweated onions and red peppers.

A serious disappointment: The fried-chicken sandwich ($8). The bird had the restaurant's tasty signature coating -- textural as a popcorn ceiling -- but the flesh was icy cold. Not even vinegary, jalapeño-flecked slaw could warm the thing. And scale-thin Old Bay potato chips ($2) were un-greasy, but, okay, could've used a shake or two more salt and spice.

Look for the courtyard barbecue during Town Hall's usual lunch hours, weekdays 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Oh, and pack a stack of Wet Naps in your man purse. More photos after the jump.


Grilled Calabrese sausage po' boy: Damn near perfect.

Town Hall BBQ operates weekdays from the courtyard behind the restaurant.

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