Buck’s Barbeque Expands Hours At Lucky’s Lodge

The crushing summer heat is upon us and it gave Jim Buchanan of Buck’s Barbeque Co. the impetus to refocus and consolidate his forces a bit. Fortunately his relationship with Lucky’s Lodge in EaDo is going swimmingly and they were happy to oblige. Beginning Saturday, June 30, Buck’s Barbeque is expanding its days and hours of operation there. On Tuesday, July 3, the new hours begin with lunch service now available Tuesdays through Saturdays starting at 11 a.m. During the week, lunch ends at 3 p.m., while on Fridays Buck’s Barbeque is open until 9 p.m. and on Saturdays until 5 p.m.

It was just this past January when Houston Food Finder posted the news of Buck’s Barbeque’s initial lunch service at Lucky’s Lodge, just east of downtown on the corner of Rusk and St. Emmanuel. Buchanan had originally planned to open last summer at the Lucky’s Pub location in The Heights. Unfortunately Hurricane Harvey had other ideas, and the bar and restaurant on Houston Avenue was instead inundated by 20 feet of floodwater from nearby White Oak Bayou the same weekend it was scheduled to open. It remains closed with an uncertain future.

Bacon-wrapped smoked meatloaf and smashed “taters” is the Friday lunch special at Buck’s Barbeque Co. Photo by Scott Sandlin.

Business at Lucky’s Lodge has been brisk. However, with his commitments to serve food at other businesses, Buchanan felt like he was juggling too many things in a short period of time. “The lunch at Lucky’s, plus the multiple evening setups at Holman Draft Hall and Saturdays at 8th Wonder Brewery were exhausting,” Buchanan says. “More days and hours [at Lucky’s Lodge] allows us to spread the menu specials out, rather than doubling up specials on the few days we were open for lunch.”

The extra days at Lucky’s come with some new features, such as big beef plate ribs on Saturdays, and the possibility of a regular appearance of Buchanan’s special Butterfinger brisket. (Yes, it is pretty much the definition of “meat candy.”)

Other popular specials such as the Blasted Bird (smoked turkey), Pork Belly Bánh Mì, habanero-orange marmalade Pork Belly Burnt Ends and Brisket Debris Po’ Boy will continue to make appearances. Be on the lookout for an updated menu to be posted to their website soon.

Smoked Pork Belly Banh Mi at Buck's Barbeque
The Smoked Pork Belly Bánh Mì, with pickled daikon and carrot, is a favorite weekday lunch special at Buck’s Barbeque. Photo by Scott Sandlin.

Though Buchanan’s eventual goal is to have his own brick-and-mortar barbecue joint, being able to set up and serve at Lucky’s Lodge works well for him in the interim. It seems to be a healthy boost for Lucky’s business as well. He was recently visited by Daniel Vaughn, the Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor, who posted a glowing review of the smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf, the juicy espresso-rubbed pork spareribs and the full complement of sides, which includes cheesy squash casserole, collard greens with bacon and Borracho-style pinto beans.

With cooler temperatures still months away, Buchanan is grateful to have an indoor space to work in and a comfortable place for customers. Now that additional days and hours have been added, potential customers who were unable to try Buck’s during weekday lunch hours can  now get a taste on Saturdays. A centrally-located quality barbecue option, without having to wait, order and eat outside, is a perfect solution for the relentless Houston summer heat.

Buck’s Barbeque Co. at Lucky’s Lodge, 2024 Rusk, Houston, Texas, 77003. Serving lunch Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch AND dinner Fridays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

About The Author: Smoked meat enthusiast and barbecue competition judge Scott Sandlin authors the Texas Pit Quest blog, maintains the Guide to Houston-Area BBQ map, and is the barbecue columnist for Houston Food Finder.

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