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Jul 11, 2005 02:35 PM

Where is Pastor Hamilton's BBQ in Saint Paul?

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Does anyone know where Pastor Hamilton's Barb-B-Que is?

I saw a mention of Pastor H's in the "Best outdoor Restaurant in Twin Cities" thread, but can't find the address of the place. (The web site gives only a post office box.)

Also, does anyone know if Big Daddy cooks (in the parking lot of Johnny Baby's) at lunchtime, or does he only do weekend evenings?

I'm putting together a list of good Twin Cities BBQ joints for a workplace "Tour de BBQ" extravaganza. (Ted Cook's is at the top of my list, but I haven't tried 'em all yet.)


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  1. Oops - just found the address in a later reply:

    > Pastor Hamilton's Bar-B-Que is located at
    > 1150 E. 7th Street St. Paul. From downtown
    > St. Paul go east just past Minneahaha Ave.

    Sorry 'bout that! I was so excited to learn about a new BBQ joint that I stopped reading the thread...

    OK, so how about other BBQ recommendations? (That is, for someone who thinks Ted Cook's is great - I'm not a Market BBQ fan). And is there any Memphis-style barbecue in this town?


    11 Replies
    1. re: AnneInMpls

      What sort of BBQ are you looking for?

      I've only been to Lee & Dee's (Victoria and Selby in St. Paul) once, but was impressed.

      The Rib Tips at Abundant Cafe at University and Dale are very good, when they're serving them.

      If you're looking for some Texas BBQ, the stuff at the Lone Spur (11032 Cedar Lake Rd, Minnetonka, MN, 55305) can be good. I've been dissapointed in the ribs, whenever I've had them, but always liked the brisket and pork loin. (There's also a bunch of Mexican stuff on the menu - avoid everything but the fajitas and quesadillas)

      1. re: Danny

        What sort of BBQ am I looking for?

        Well, I'm a fan of pork ribs that are tender-yet-still-chewy, are great with or without sauce, and that have edges caramelized to "pork candy". The best I've had - so far - were at the Cozy Corner in Memphis (my heartfelt thanks to Chowhound David Ragals for the recommendation - see the link below).

        But I'm also on a quest for the best pulled/chopped pork sandwich in the area. Good sauce is a must, but the meat must be able to stand on its own.


        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/writing/raga...

        1. re: AnneInMpls

          If you're looking for a HUGE, and pretty tasty pulled pork sandwich try The Porker at Aesop's Table (919 North Dale in St. Paul). It is 1/2 pound of pulled pork in a homemade Chipotle BBQ sauce on a big ole bun.

          A co-worker wanted to try the place so I tagged along and was pretty darned happy with my sandwich. That was my only visit there, but I would return.

          Their website is http://www.aesopstable.com/

          There's also a pulled pork sandwich at Maverick's, but I've never tried it. Their Roast Beef is second to none, so I just can't bring myself to bypass the beef for the pork. (I have had their BBQ Brisket, which is quite good)

          1. re: Danny

            I tried the porker sandwich at Aesops today and was pleasantly surprised. It was wonderful and very much like the pulled pork I've had in the South.

            They pulled the pork into tiny threads, slopped sauce on it and then slow dried it until the sauce melded with the meat.

            The best I've had in the Twin Cities so far. I'm curious about their ribs.

            I don't know how many times I've driven by this place totally ignoring it.

            1. re: shoo-bee-doo

              Yum! Thanks for the recommendations for pulled-pork sandwiches and other BBQ delights. I'll definitely have to check out Aesop's, and I need to get back to Lee's and Dee's for another sample. And I can't wait to try the Abundant Bistro's rib tips.

              Last week's BBQ outing was to Big Daddy's - I give it a B+, with extra points for the location (you can't miss it!).


              1. re: AnneInMpls

                Anne, help out a fellow hound who didn't grow up with BBQ. Why did you give it a B+?

                When thinking about the local BBQ places, I can say what's good or lacking about the side dishes more clearly than about the ribs. Turns out, I have no sense of what constitutes Truly Ideal Barbecued Ribs (TIBR).

                When I find the TIBR, what should they be like?

                1. re: KTFoley

                  I didn't grow up on BBQ, either. I grew up on Vescio's square-slice pizza and donburi from the Tokyo restaurant in Dinkytown (this really dates me :-).

                  I think that there are many opinions on Truly Ideal BBQ Ribs. (Why else would Market Barbecue be so popular? :-)

                  For me, the TIBR are tender but still chewy, smoky (according to the cooking shows I watch, they need that tell-tale pink ring to show that they were smoked and not grilled), non-fatty (that layer of fat under the top should have almost completely melted away while they cooked), and good alone but better with a spicy, vinegary sauce that helps cut the richness of the ribs. And, most importantly, the edges and tips should have a dark, caramelized quality that's almost like well-cooked bacon. (My husband calls it "rib candy".) The sides are mere trivia, although I do like a good coleslaw.

                  I gave Big Daddy's a B+ because the pork ribs (I had a half slab) were beautifully smoked - I could eat those babies without sauce. In fact, I wasn't wild about the sauce - it was too sweet and "liquid-smoke"-y for me. But I added a few teaspoons of Crystal hot sauce when I got home, which perked the ribs up and gave the sauce another dimension. And the coleslaw and potato salad were very good - much better than most.

                  Truth to tell, I would give Daddy's pork ribs a B-, because they were rather fatty, which made them too rich for me to finish the whole half slab. (I think this might be due to the fact that I was there on Rondo Days parade day; perhaps the ribs were moving too fast to let them sit and melt the fat off.) But I loved the ambiance: outdoors in a parking lot with a few tables under a tent, a glorious smoky aroma for blocks around, a festive atmosphere, and the chance to talk to Big Daddy himself. And what really clenched the B+ was the rib tips - I got a small order as an hors d'oeuvre - which were caramelized and much less fatty. Next time, I'll get a large order of tips instead of the ribs. And I'll bring my bottle of Crystal hot sauce and eat in the parking lot (I hope Johnny Baby's bar lets you bring beer outside).

                  As a point of reference, my least favorite ribs are from the afore-mentioned Market BBQ; they seem like overcooked pork chops to me, and the sauce isn't good enough to make up for the dry meat.

                  So far, my favorite Twin Cities BBQ ribs are at Ted Cook's 19th Hole in Minneapolis. When Ted's is "on", the ribs are rich but not fatty, slightly chewy but still tender, and have a great sauce (available in mild, medium, or hot - all quite distinctive - and good enough to make a tennis shoe edible). And even when Ted's isn't having a great day, the ribs are still very nice. The sides are forgettable (but ask for extra-crispy jo-jo potatoes for a boost) and the ribs aren't as good as at the Cozy Corner in Memphis, but this is Minnesota - you can't have everything!

              2. re: shoo-bee-doo

                Tried the ribs today. They have them refrigerated to-go every day, but you can only get hot on Thursdays. They offer them with both their "original" sauce, and their chipotle sauce.

                I tried the original and was pretty impressed. For $5.25 I got a 4 bone slab of meaty ribs. They were nice and tender - they didn't fall off the bone on their own, but the meat separated from the bone quite easily (as it should be, IMHO). Tasted like they had a good rub on them, and then a fairly light coating of sauce. I haven't made it to Pastor Hamilton's yet, so I don't know how they compare.

                The ribs came with Au Gratin Potatos and a piece of garlic toast. The sides were acceptable, but nothing special.

              3. re: Danny

                Since this thread is back after a couple of years, I'll add that Aesop's is now open until 8PM M-F (still closed on the weekends.) (And Abundant Bistro is closed, although Big Daddy grills in their parking lot on Saturdays.)

                Also adding the places links:

                Lee's & Dee's Barbeque Express
                161 Victoria St N, Saint Paul, MN 55104

                Aesop's Table
                919 Dale St N, Saint Paul, MN 55103

                Pastor Hamilton's Barbecue
                1150 7th St E, St Paul, MN 55106

              4. re: AnneInMpls

                I can mention a pulled pork sandwich that's not worth trying. I was at Gabe's (Lexington & Energy Park in St. Paul) for dinner with the in-laws and thought I'd try their pulled pork sandwich. It wasn't bad - just not BBQ. The pork was more like pulled pork roast and didn't offer the slightest wiff of smoke.

                I know I shouldn't order pulled pork anywhere but a BBQ joint. I guess I just need a reminder every once in a while.


            2. re: AnneInMpls

              Another vote for Lee's and Dee's, here, as well as Abundant Bistro and Catering.
              Abundant Bistro is more soul than Q, but the rib tips are tasty, and the staff has always made me feel like family. Actually, everything that I've had there has been terrific, and a great value to boot.

              And I have always like Lee's and Dee's.

              Now you have me thinking about takeout for dinner on this warm summer night...

            3. Big Daddy only cooks on Saturdays @ Johnny Baby's. He is there all day, serving from ~10:30am to 8pm or so. Recently, I did see his smokers going one weekday morning as I drove past on my way to work. Not sure what that was about. I suspect BD also caters - you could connect up with him via Johnny Baby's management.


              4 Replies
              1. re: kcmarshall

                Do you know what the hours are for Pastor Hamilton's? Is that a weekend only thing or is it everyday?

                1. re: Josh Resnik

                  I found a web site for Pastor Hamilton's. It lists the hours as Tuesday - Saturday, 11:0AM - 9:00PM.

                  And it's Tuesday today!


                  Link: http://www.pastorhamilton-bbq.com/res...

                  1. re: AnneInMpls

                    The hours listed on the website are for the storefront. There you will find beef ribs, Chicken and I believe pulled pork sandwiches. I’ve had the beef ribs and they’re pretty good, but where Pastor Hamilton shines is when he’s BBQing out front. I think he only does on Fridays from around 11:00 to 4:00. His pork ribs, which are done on the grill, are awesome, and have added another reason to look forward to summer in Minnesota.

                    1. re: Paz

                      I ordered the pork ribs dinner! Ribs were darn good and pastor added
                      extra sauce for my take out order which was not bad, but I like it a little
                      more spicy! I had potato salad for a side...yuk...I think I'll try the beans
                      next time! And forget about the bread that came in a sandwich bag!
                      But I think the ribs were good enough to earn a return trip!
                      Not to mention he's a real nice guy!

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