Every Friday as I drive home I pass this little barbecue setup over in the parking lot of the stone and paver store out west on Cantrell Road. It’s a simple little barbecue setup, just a smoker and a red trailer with a big old pile of wood outside, which is always a good sign. Today, the Tasting Krewe got together to check it out. It turns out this old school setup is the real deal. Here’s what we had.
Hawk’s Barbecue is run by Mr. Theodus, who also goes by the moniker Mohawk. He might be the hardest working man in barbecue, running the pit and slicing up all the meats for the sandwiches himself.
Nothing goes out without his personal touch.
You can get a wide variety of options at Hawk’s Barbecue, and we ended up ordering just about everything.
Mohawk is really a master at his rib game. The ribs are a beautiful mahogany, and have a nice sweet background taste which tastes like it comes from a judicious use of grape jelly. You’ll also get hints of that flavor in the barbecue sauce. These beauties are really well smoked. The ribs have a nice bite to them, and don’t all pull off the bone like most of the overcooked stuff you see out there.
I got the rib sandwich, which came with not just one but two layers of ribs. I decided to just eat the ribs by themselves and eat the bread on its lonesome at the end, since it had soaked in all that barbecue sauce and rib juice. That was a good idea.
I also ordered the smoked sausage. It comes served in a bun, and I got it with barbecue sauce and mustard, which was how they recommended it. It certainly was juicy, but I would have liked it a bit snappier, which would have come with more time on the pit.
There’s a lot of options in this pit. The guys ordered a few other items, which all looked pretty good. Here’s what they had.
Mohawk’s favorite is the Cornish game hen, and with good reason. It was really juicy and had the nicest subtle smoke. If I had to pick two things from Hawk’s, it would be ribs and Cornish game hens.
The smoked chicken. This is also excellent. Smoky and juicy, and only just beaten out by the Cornish game hen.
The chopped beef sandwich. This was a beauty to see pulled off the smoker.
Mohawk chops up the beef and serves it on a bun. It’s a big sandwich. We thought the sauce for this one had a nice beer background, which was fine with me. This was good, but was overshadowed by the ribs and the hen.
The pulled pork sandwich. This is also served on bread with barbecue sauce. The meat was juicy and had some nice smoke to it, but I’d order the rib sandwich instead.
We all wanted to try the smoked turkey legs but they weren’t ready yet. Check out these beauties!
Some days, everything just works out. So it was today. We had a great time hanging out while Mohawk made our food. We had some real wins and some just ok dishes. But this is a fun place.
If you plan to eat outside, note that Mohawk hasn’t yet bought a table, but he’s planning on it. We ate on a box we brought along. You might want to bring a couple chairs and just chill and relax while you wait. It takes a little bit of time to get your food, but this lot is a nice place to spend that time. And if you need it, Mohawk has sodas and waters on ice.
Cash only. Come hungry.
Fridays and Saturdays, 11 am – 9 pm
Cantrell Road at Ives Road in West Little Rock