Hank Charcuterie is the new Lawrence magnet for Chow Town aficionados of fresh, locally sourced foods prepared in delicious and creative combinations, reasonably priced.
Owner/chef Vaughn Good and sous chef Juan Carlos Tovar-Ballagh have known each other since grade school.
“We both grew up in Lawrence,” Vaughn said, “and were in a fencing club together.”
Before opening Hank Charcuterie, Vaughn was sous chef at the popular former Pachamamas in downtown Lawrence. Juan Carlos was pastry chef.
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Hank’s building, with the original tin ceiling intact, dates to 1927 when it housed a filling station and tire repair shop. Prior to its charcuterie makeover it housed Bryant Plumbing.
Hank sits between two residential neighborhoods on Massachusetts Street, several blocks from the main shopping, eating and cultural district in busy downtown Lawrence.
Many neighborhood customers walk or bike to Hank. There are four parking spaces behind the building, and one in front. When those spaces are full, customers park on New Hampshire Street behind Hank.
Hank Charcuterie meats are locally sourced pork, beef, chicken, duck, goat, lamb and sausages. Local produce includes greens, ripe tomatoes, green tomatoes, radishes, onions, greens, potatoes and other seasonal vegetables, plus cheese and dairy.
Good and staff transform those fresh ingredients into menu items such as flavorful duck confit tamales, smoked lamb burritos, bacon-wrapped meatloaf, andouille with fried green tomatoes, roast pork shoulder with pimento cheese and pickled green tomato, Yukon gold potatoes roasted in duck fat and other culinary delights that change in step with the season.
Customers admire Good’s skill at turning out great smoked meats in his new custom-built barbecue pit manufactured by Bill’s Custom Smokers and Grills in Enid, Okla.
Hank is also a butcher shop. Fresh cuts of meat are available, plus sausages, smoked meats, condiments, pickled items and other charcuterie fare. Take home some duck breast ham, kimchi, pickled beets, smoked peppercorns and Anson Mills grains or legumes.
No wonder Good and Carlos, teamed with Hank Charcuterie’s staff, are attracting a steadily growing base of loyal customers.
“Hank” is a charcuterie term for sausage casings. “Char” means meat; “cuit” means cooked. Treat yourself today to Hank’s artfully presented cuisine at remarkably low prices that rival high-end restaurants in eye appeal and quality.
Hank Charcuterie is at 1900 Massachusetts St. in Lawrence, 785-832-8688, http://hankmeats.com/.
Ardie Davis founded a sauce contest on his backyard patio in 1984 that became the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub & Baste contest. He is a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and an inductee into the KCBS Hall of Flame. He has been interviewed on food shows and writes for barbecue-related publications. His most recent release is America’s Best BBQ (Revised Edition), with chef Paul Kirk.