I have a confession to make. Terry doesn’t know. He’s going to be so hurt.
I cheated on him today.
I ate barbecue without him.
My coworker Steve and I didn’t know what we wanted for lunch. Mason is, at lunchtime, both a madhouse and chain central. As we walked towards the elevator, we ran into three other coworkers: Joel, Heather and John, who were heading to Landen Smokehouse. I got a little too excited– new restaurant, barbecue, non chain, at work? Awesome!
After a harrowing car ride (John was leading but he swears it isn’t his fault, we arrived at Landen Smokehouse. It is really hard to find– there is a ton of construction going on on Montgomery road, and it’s a mess. However, they set up a breadcrumb trail…
Driving through the parking lot, Steve mentioned that it looked a little iffy. I told him that the sign of good barbecue is iffy surroundings. It’s not about the ambiance– it’s about the barbecue.
The interior is sparse, with a few tables and some chairs. They serve pulled pork, beef brisket, and sides: coleslaw, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, potato salad and kettle chips. I chose the coleslaw and baked beans.
All of that? $6.50 with a drink ($6.00 with water). I have enough for Terry to have an entire meal if he wants it.
If he forgives me.
If he lets me back into his life after such a blow to our relationship.
I digress. Let’s get back to the food. No one got the brisket, which is sad– I wanted to try it (after talking with someone else at work about how he prefers Texas barbecue). The pork is smoky, but not too smoky, well seasoned and tastes pretty good without sauce. The smoker is right behind the restaurant, and the back door was open (for air circulation) and we got whiffs of the smoke the entire time we were there. The pork is a little drier than Pit to Plate’s, but very tender and delicious, and they gave me a bunch of end meat– yum! I’ve been trying not to nibble on it all afternoon.
The baked beans were particularly good, very smoky, a little sweet, and thick. The coleslaw was not house made– it tasted pretty familiar. In fact, that’s the only complaint I have about the place: the coleslaw and the majority of the sauces were not house made. They have one “house” sauce, which is peppery and a little vinegary, with some sweet molasses and tomato, but the rest were store bought (but pretty good). I suppose that if they’re focusing on the smoking– which is of prime importance– I can forgive them.
Make the trek to Landen. It’s good stuff, inexpensive, and pretty good quality meat. Next time, I’ll try the brisket (and I’ll let you know what Terry thinks, and we can place it in our Cincinnati Barbecue List in its appropriate place).