Hungry Harry’s Famous Bar-B-Que in Land o’ Lakes

hungry harry's entrance

Hungry Harry’s Famous Bar-B-Que. This is some hardcore barbecue shit right here. This is the good stuff. Real barbecue. Hungry Harry’s actually is famous in Land o’ Lakes, as the home of Land o’ Lakes’ best smoked barbecue. And the title is well earned; Hungry Harry’s has been around for 26 years, and they continue to do barbecue right.

I went with a friend recently, and I’m ashamed to say it was my first time there, though I’ve definitely heard of it, and noticed its giant painted roof sign and huge smoker chimney each time I drove past it on 41, north of SR 54. We entered the small building and were greeted and told we could sit wherever we wanted. We chose our table, and looked over the menu.

My eyes were instantly drawn to the HE-MAN PLATTER, with an amount of food almost as ridiculous as its name: four large ribs, 1/3 a pint of pork (yes, meat is measured in pints here), 1/3 a pint of beef, half a pint of baked beans, half a pint of cole slaw, four pieces of garlic bread, and a pint of barbecue sauce. Oh, and half a chicken. All this for only 27 bucks. My friend quickly talked me out of it, which was for the best, but damn… that’s one hell of a meal, for a great price. But I suppose that gorging myself to death wasn’t in the cards for me that day. Instead I settled for this:

country rib platter

The country rib platter. All platters come with either a corn muffin or garlic bread, and then two additional sides. I went with garlic bread, and then I ended up getting the corn muffin as one of my sides, with baked beans as the other. And this specific platter came with three large “country style” ribs, delicious, tender, and a bit fatty smoked pork ribs. They are prepared with a dry rub on them, but that is about the extent of seasoning before they come to you, in order to allow you to choose your sauces as you wish. The garlic bread was delicious, with strong garlic and butter flavor while still maintaining a toasted crispness. Perfect. The corn muffin was also quite good, nice and sweet, although a bit small. The baked beans definitely left something to be desired, though; they were very plain and rather dry.

chopped pork

Of course I couldn’t stop there; I had to get more food. MORE FOOD! I ordered a half pint of chopped pork, which was tender and delicious. It retained a lot more of the smokey flavor than the ribs, which definitely worked for it. I didn’t care for it quite as much as the ribs, but that’s not to say anything against the pork… I just generally prefer ribs. But both were delicious, and next time I go there, I’ll have a hard time not just ordering the same meats.

Of course, the meats don’t have to stand on their own. They do, but they don’t have to. And after tasting Harry’s barbecue sauces, you won’t let them.

hungry harry's homemade sauces

Hungry Harry’s offers no less than SIX different types of barbecue sauces for you to choose from. That’s two or three more than any other barbecue places I’ve ever been. And they are each delicious and unique in their own way. The flavors are: the standard sweet and mild barbecue, a hot barbecue, two mustard barbecue sauces (one regular and one spicy), and their “Land o’ Lina” vinegar sauce. They were each worth sampling, and I would go as far as to say that I could have gotten through the entire meal with any one of them. But of course I had my favorites.

Their three standard barbecue sauces were all very good, and all very different. The sweet was a nice honey-laden flavor, the mild was a good solid regular barbecue sauce, and the hot barbecue was surprisingly peppery, a take on the flavor I have never had before. The mustard barbecue sauces were exquisite, as they usually are, with a deep, smokey flavor, though there was not much difference between the two outside of the spiciness. The vinegar sauce was something completely new to me, a strong vinegar flavor mixed with more traditional barbecue sauce seasonings. I really enjoyed it, and could definitely see having a chopped pork sandwich just drenched in the stuff. My only complaint was that it wasn’t as strong as I’d have liked.

I ended up mostly switching back and forth between the hot barbecue, and a combination of the sweet barbecue and the spicy mustard, as recommended by our server, which provided the perfect sweet/spicy combination. Each of the sauces are available for individual sale, and I will likely go back and pick some up.

This was an incredible meal, and of course I couldn’t finish. I washed it all down with so much endless sweet tea, the perfect compliment to any barbecue dinner. I would love to go back, and I’ll probably end up trying their half a chicken one of these days. I found that I left the restaurant in a hazy drunken barbecue stupor, as one should after a wonderful barbecue dinner. Highly recommended.

1 comment

  1. Pingback: Alex’s Southern Style Bar-B-Q « Tampa Bay Food Monster

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