Hank’s Texas Barbecue, Denver, Colorado

We interrupt our regular programming to bring you breaking news from our Senior Colorado Correspondents, Don and Laurie Hutchins.  Laurie is one of my Griffin cousins — not technically but effectively one of the Bill’s now Marty’s Griffins from Wilson, North Carolina; and you met Don at Sweet Lew’s in Charlotte where they live, as do almost all of the other Griffins.  Laurie and Don also spend a lot of time in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and I recently got a text from Don, who characterizes himself as “a neophyte rater but an expert eater.”  Based on his  demonstrated skill with cooking steak and eating pork and squash casserole, he has all the skills for both.

Don reported:

We’re in town to welcome our third grandchild and Don[, Jr.] and wife Susannah’s first.  We are in labor now.  

Actually, Susannah was the only one in labor.  You probably figured that out on your own Don continues —

Taking a break from grandparent hovering, we found a Bar B Q joint for lunch.  We wanted to pass on word of a Bar B Q place in Denver that hits the mark — Hanks Texas Bar B Q.  

hanks sign

It’s on Colfax (the longest street in the US), and the owner is from Spring, Texas.  Hank’s  has views of the Rocky Mountains

Nice.  The views of the Rockys are better in real life.

Key take-aways — Note the wood-fired barbecue out back.

hanks cooker  

We met the guys they get thehickory and mesquite from making a delivery and grabbing lunch.  Hank’s has all the classic sides including pintos with onions and cheese, homemade pickles, jalapeños and onion.  Brisket

hanks brisk

and pulled pork  

hanks sand and mac

were outstanding.  Smoky, moist and lots of it.  Sauces were vinegar, mustard (not SC) and TX, which was a little spicy.  Meats held their own without sauce.  Put it on your “Go to” list if you make it out west.  And put it on your “some good” Bar BQ in the Mile High City.

You know that’s quite a report from someone who’s (a) using his thumbs texting on an iPhone, and (b) hovering while waiting for a new grandchild.  Respect.

Now, I trust Don’s barbecue judgment implicitly, and the fact that the wood delivery guys decided to eat there is another very good sign.  Being an intrepid in-depth investigative reporter, I also checked out Hank’s web site.  In addition to brisket and pork, Hank’s offers ribs, short ribs, sausage (hot links or pork), and smoked chicken and turkey.  You also can get tacos with various meats, green beans and greens (yes!), and (drum roll) banana pudding.  Hank’s also sells salads.  This is America, and restaurants have the right to offer salad and customers have the right to eat salad at a barbecue place, at least when it’s offered.

You also can get pimiento cheese with chicharrones (pork skins) at Hank’s.  I’m skeptical, based on my experience at the otherwise admirable Sam Jones Barbecue.  But I’m game.

Don’s report was followed the next day by texts from a whole passel of Griffins announcing the birth of Georgia Marie Hutchins.  It appears, based on returns so far, that Georgia Marie will be the cutest baby of the 2020.  I know its early in the year, but she has a huge lead that will be tough to overcome.

What a great start for a child — parents finding a good barbecue place in Denver right before she was born, just as my parents discovered Allen and Sons right before I was born.  (I made that up.  It probably was the Skylight Inn.)   And what a great day for the parents, Don and Susannah and, not least, for Don and Laurie.   As they already know, children are the investment, and grandchildren are the dividend.  Congratulations to them all, especially Georgia Marie, the star of the show, to whom we offer the warmest of welcomes.

Great news all around.  A new cousin is always a treasure, and I really appreciate the good barbecue news.  My earlier experiences with barbecue in Colorado were not the best.  (Search”Colorado Tour de Barbecue” on the Blog.)  We’re all going to Colorado this summer, and I’ll make a point of going to Hank’s.  I’ll have to think about the pimiento cheese and pork skins.  Nah.  I’ve decided.


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