<div><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Or-BMnqbBnQ/UCf1rB4meSI/AAAAAAAAI7Q/SJocYcGb0h8/s1600/Hemphill+BBQ+01.JPG"><img border="0" height="149" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Or-BMnqbBnQ/UCf1rB4meSI/AAAAAAAAI7Q/SJocYcGb0h8/s200/Hemphill+BBQ+01.JPG" width="200"></a></div><br><div><span>HEMPHILL: Hemphill Bar-B-Q<br>3285 South Bayou Rd.<br>Hemphill, TX 75948<br>409-787-1814<br>Open M 11-3, Tues-Thur 11-8, F-Sat 11-9</span></div><br>Boudin, for the uninitiated, is a product of Louisiana Cajun cooking that takes hog casings and fills them with pork, rice, green onion and other seasonings. The links can be boiled or grilled, but when they cross the border into Texas they sometimes find their way onto a smoker. When boiled, the casings usually toughen up and aren't cooked long enough to make them comfortably edible, so the links are usually cut open or the fillings squeezed out to be eaten directly from the source making it a great road food. Here at Hemphill Bar-B-Q they smoke the boudin rendering the casings crisp. The addition of jalapeno for a clean kick made this some of the best smoked boudin to be had in East Texas.<br><br><div><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wj7V1UvWJfI/UCf1sFffxDI/AAAAAAAAI7Y/7fTyRmz0kN0/s1600/Hemphill+BBQ+03.JPG"><img border="0" height="298" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wj7V1UvWJfI/UCf1sFffxDI/AAAAAAAAI7Y/7fTyRmz0kN0/s400/Hemphill+BBQ+03.JPG" width="400"></a></div><br>Crispy slaw and spicy beans were great accompaniments to the boudin as well as the smoky brisket. At least the brisket crust was smoky. The slices dried out almost immediately after being sliced, but it was decent as beef goes in East Texas. Ribs were well smoked, with just a bit of chew remaining. The interior fat was rendered adequately, but the whole thing was marred by a thick rub replete with white sugar and cumin which together overpowered the meat and smoke. Thankfully, I saved a few slices of boudin to finish off the meal and get the overwhelming burnt cumin flavor out of my mouth. Stop for the boudin and get some brisket if you must, but steer clear of the ribs.<br><br>Rating ***

I think it’s weekend silliness setting in, but I am rolling on the floor (well, maybe flopping around on the floor is more like it) after reading the list of attractions for a trip to Palau, including fabulous waterfalls, jungle river-boat cruises, and fruit bat soup! Yes, “Survivor” fans will no doubt recognize the delicacy, made infamous on an episode of the reality show a couple of months ago. It’s best chilled, I hear. Let’s just hope the saying “You are what you eat” isn’t true.