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Ribs (Seasonal) and Sauce (Always) in St. Paul

MSPD | Sep 17, 200402:37 PM

A word of thanks to the Star Tribune for leading me to some delicious ribs and rib tips in St. Paul! Pastor Hamilton smokes and seasons the meat, and does it well. The sauce (mild; "hot" is also available for sale) was good enough that it warranted rolling the meat-emptied bones around in it, then slurping it off. Supremely chowhound-worthy find and for a good cause! (article text follows, courtesy of the Star Tribune):

When the aroma of slow-cooking ribs and chicken tantalizes East Siders near St. John's Church on Friday afternoons, it means the Rev. Luches Hamilton is barbecuing on the street again.

The Arkansas-born preacher, who combines his love of cooking with his love of the Lord, parks his industrial-sized grill on the street in front of his storefront church at 1154 E. 7th St. on Fridays and fires up the Kingsford. By noon, the meat is sizzling, and drivers start pulling over to buy a plate of barbecue with beans and potato salad -- $10 for the ribs or rib tips, $8 for a half-chicken.

He has even started bottling his sauce: Pastor Hamilton's Old Style BBQ Sauce, which is sold at several local grocery stores. He'll put the proceeds in a scholarship fund for low-income neighborhood kids.

Workers from the nearby Selby Ornamental Iron Co. take off their welding masks when they smell the reverend's ribs.

"If he's cooking, we're eating," worker Cobey Smith said.

Dan Rooney, who also works nearby, said he often eats lunch at the church. "Good ribs, good deal, good cause," he said. "Can't beat it."

Hamilton said he barbecues most Fridays, unless it's raining or too cold. So it won't be long before he packs up for the season. But he'll keep bottling the sauce in the church kitchen, and soon, he hopes, he'll be marketing his own brand of frozen breakfast sausage.

"It's all for the kids," he said.

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