Anyone been to the Lancaster Smokehouse in KW recently?
Was there 2 weeks ago. The last couple experiences had just been so-so, so I had been going to the original Hogtails instead.
This last visit was great. Shared a large platter with others. Pulled pork, brisket and chicken were all nicely done. Mac and cheese was ok (used to be better when they had crawfish in it way back when) rings were fine (though I prefer breaded rings)
This may have something to do with the recent sale of the original Hogtails in North Waterloo. With all resources now at the Lanc, the last visit was close to the original experience. Have yet to try the new Hogtails (new owner with a slightly modified menu) If T.O. BBQ hounds ever figure it out, they might stop automatically heading to Camp 31 (downhill in the last 5-6 years IMO...)
Also a quick shoutout to SOS BBQ on Highland Rd. doing some good things...
Had a very good first experience so I may have lucked out with the sale of Hogtails as KW mentioned above. I had considered going to Hogtails but Lancaster was more convenient on the day.
Ordered 3 meat platter (ribs, brisket and honey garlic smoked wings), fried chicken, an order of pig tails, 2 orders of onion rings, rice and beans and collard greens. We called ahead for take out. Their take out system is both handy and not. They pre-arrange 15 min slots for take out, so they take 4 take out orders every hour. If you plan well ahead, this is very convenient. If you want take out on a whim, it may be hit and miss for convenience. We were about 15 minutes late to get to the resto (Friday afternoon traffic on the 401) and everything was ready to go . Unfortunately, the onion rings were already a little cold.
Everything but the rice was great. Rice was bland and a waste of stomach space so no one really touched it after the first bite. Good smoke on everything, not overwhelming, sauce was also very tasty IMO. Some people online found the sauce too sweet, I thought it was quite well balanced. Maybe a little heat in the sauce would be nice but that's just me, I like a little heat with everything. Flavours were all nicely balanced.
Ribs were very good, only 1 piece was a little shy of meat and a little dry, the other 2 pieces were delicious, perfectly cooked. I wished all 3 pieces were great but I am not too disappointed as I will be back in the area for more. Better than most ribs I have had at any rib-fest the last few years.
Brisket was excellent. Nicely fatty, super tender and great flavour. Not at all dry and crumbly like some that I have had. This might have done with a little more smoke but the texture and overall flavour left us with no complaints.
Wings. Also great. Nice smoke, meaty and perfectly cooked. We went with honey garlic sauce because we had a toddler to feed and so heat was a no go (unfortunately) and bbq sauce was already going on everything else. Again great balance of smoke and sauce.
Pig tails. Delicious. Fatty, tender, yummy. Maybe a little too much sauce but that's just me. 2 pieces to an order.
Fried Chicken. Fantastic. A little heat in the seasoning, perfectly crunchy, meaty and delicious. I can't say that this is authentic southern fried chicken but it certainly is really good. When I think southern fried, I think shallow fried in a pan/skillet, these seemed either broasted or simply deep-fried .. but who cares, it was good.
Rice and Beans. PASS on it. Lacked even basic seasoning IMHO.
Collard greens. Delicious. A little sweet to balance the bitterness, a little smoke from the pork and nicely tender. Definitely a winner and I would definitely order this again and again.
Onion rings. Very good. Even though they were cold, they were still crunchy and had really good flavour. These will definitely get another go as I can only imagine how good they would be fresh out of the fryer.
All in all, definitely worth a return trip. Consistency seemed to be an issue with others online so a second trip is warranted to test this place out. As KW mentioned, maybe things are on the upturn now as all the Owner's energy can be focused here.
Bare in mind that according to KW, Hogtails ownership has changed hands so this website may soon be no good.