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Hook's Bar-B-Q

Stop for





Mention something about barbecue and watch what happens. It energizes your group and ignites fun commentary. Sometimes, it even produces a solid recommendation for a place you’ve never tried before. This is a little game I play and it works magnificently. It’s how I learned about Hook’s. Some years ago, I told a small group of strangers that I had recently been to Troy specifically to eat barbecue. One lady said she was from Troy and that Hook’s was the best joint in town. On the Hit List it went!

What most people know of Troy is the long, straight stretch of Hwy 231 that leads to and from the beach. Hook’s sits on 231 North but is a second-row business, meaning the building isn’t immediately on the highway. There’s a building in front of it so look for the sign, which does sit on the road’s edge. For years I didn’t notice it but found it easily once my sights were set on the Hook’s sign.

Hook’s sinks their hook into you immediately by casting an attack on the senses. Pulling up, smoke is pouring out of the chimney. Walking in, the smell of smoke floats through the air. Stepping in, the perfume of smoked pork starts your mouth watering. Glass doors offer a glimpse into the pit, where the action was heavy and the smoke was rolling.  The expectation was set we were ready to chow down.

Let me start by shouting out the smoked chicken! It was incredibly moist which is really hard to do. It’s well smoked and served very generously. The sandwich came with twice as much chicken as the bun was intended to hold. The only thing better than great barbecue is more great barbecue!

The pork was a beautiful color, showing all the signs of a good smoking. It has a nice chew and the bark adds texture and more flavor. While tasty on its own, it’s better with sauce and Hook’s has a house sauce that’s unlike anything I’ve seen.

The mild sauce has a ketchup consistency, thick but not sticky. It’s orange in color which was a mystery to me. It was tangy and went well with both the pork and chicken. We got it on the side and finished all three containers they served us. If you’re a sauce junky, self-serve dispensers are on the front counter for both the mild and hot. The hot is a thoughtful play off the mild, finishing with a comfortable burn.

The baked beans deliver on flavor. Of course, when you add pork to anything it immediately becomes better. Hook’s is balanced just right with onion and spices for an original take on a familiar side. The potato salad is a classic mix of russets, mayo, relish, onion, and pimentos. We also polished off the fries.

One thing I’m wondering about Troy is this idea of including a slice of pound cake with every meal. Decades ago, I remember eating at a joint near Old Downtown and pound cake was a thing. I don’t know if it’s a city-wide practice but Hook’s does include a slice of pound cake with their plates as a sweet finish to the meal. If it is a Troy tradition, I like it.

Hook’s is a great little barbecue joint! Chase agrees. So don’t let that dull drive to the beach be an exercise in suffering, break it. Stop in Troy. Look forward to Hook’s rather than simply endure the journey. Everyone in the car will thank you, including your mouth!

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