Smoke It Low & Slow for Perfection

Posted by at 13 April, at 20 : 58 PM Print


Hamilton Pork (247 10th Street, Jersey City, NJ; 862-279-7673) is a familyownedand–operated Texas BBQ restaurant with a Mexican flair. All their meats are smoked daily inhouse. “Barbecue is like love,” says coowner Michael Gondevas. “You can’t take it too fast.”

Located a block from Hamilton Park, Hamilton Pork shines with exciting food, drink and atmosphere. And what Gondevas, 39, says about the art of barbecue—“smoke it low and slow”—also applies to the restaurant, which he and his halfbrother, John Gondevas, 27, opened in a renovated garage that last held a Vespa dealership: “I feel fortunate that our clientele let us develop slow.”

The smoke emanates from a blend of five woods, and part of each meat’s distinctiveness owes to individual coatings. (“We tweaked every rub.”) Among the featured menu items are the aptly named Gigantic Beef Rib ($23), flavorful meat on a long, curved bone, and smoked lamb belly, crisp on top and meltingly rich inside. Michael (who handles finances and the kitchen with his wife, Lauren) and John (who handles the bar and front of the house) are Greek on their father’s side. “Greeks cook lamb on a spit,” Gondevas notes, “so why not on a smoker rack?”

“We have the same dad and different moms, both Italian,” he explains. Michael grew up in Jersey City, John in Lodi. “We both inherited the Italian love of food and the Greek knack for food businesses,” he says. “It was natural for us to end up coowning restaurants. Our dad came to Newark from Greece, worked his way up from dishwasher, and ended up owning restaurants.”


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