The sad news, though, is that a couple of weeks after my family went nuts for the bacon nuggets, Hard Knox removed them from the menu and replaced them with sliced pork belly. I haven’t tried that yet, but if my past pork belly experience at Hard Knox is any indication, it’s probably excellent.
Although brisket is usually my go-to (and the meat I use to test how much I’ll love a barbecue spot), I found the Hard Knox version a little dry. Maybe it was an off batch, but I had to dunk it in more sauce than I really wanted to. I alternated bites among three house sauces: a classic barbecue sauce, a tangy version and a spicy one. My kids enjoyed the classic, I gravitated to tangy almost every time, and Eli preferred spicy. To me, the spicy sauce had a nice flavor but didn’t really offer enough heat.
What did pack a punch was the jalapeño sausage. Tender on the inside with a satisfying snap in each bite, the sausage slices were like little fiery surprises. Some of the bites were mild, but others had more jalapeño bits and sent me reaching for my drink. They were like the popcorn of the meal—I kept thinking I was finished, only to reach in and snag another tender and spicy nibble.