Vincent Hunt has brought a little bit of Central Texas to the Mississippi Coast this year and the positive feedback has already been significant.
Salt Pepper Oak has been open on 16940 Kapalama Dr. in Pass Christian near Diamondhead and has earned strong reviews with its brief, two-day-a-week window of slow-smoked barbecue lunch.
Open from 11 to 3 on Saturdays and with a limited Friday menu during the same hours, visitors have tasted enough to earn the restaurant a perfect 5 star rating on Facebook and a 4.9 on Google.
Hunt has been in the business of opening restaurants for the past two decades and his newest venture brings meats cooked strictly with wood to bring a unique flavor that won’t be found anywhere else on the Coast.
Salt Pepper Oak utilizes offset smokers with live fire from oak wood to cook all of its meat and prepares each cut to order for maximum freshness.
The meat is prepared around the clock and the restaurant aims to sell out each day it opens. The full menu on Saturdays features brisket, pulled pork shoulder, beef ribs and house made sausage that takes three days to prepare.
Customers are encouraged to preorder online to beat the crowds on Saturdays.
Salt Pepper Oak expanded its hours to include a lunch block on Fridays and uses it to sell two items: smash burgers and loaded baked potatoes. You can also grab a cup of chili and a side of banana pudding.
This is when I paid the restaurant a visit. The ordering system is streamlined. Order, take a ticket and your food will be brought out quickly for dine-in or to-go.
The smash burger was cooked perfectly and the side of banana pudding was a perfect meal-ender. The dining room seats 41 and has a modern feel blended with traditional wood accents.
Many pictures adorn the walls, including a fitting framed painting of the late chef Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain is the inspiration for the name of the restaurant, but is also credited with the quote “Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.”
Hunt’s oak-smoked meats in The Back of Diamondhead will bring peace of mind and a full belly on a Saturday afternoon if you can make the journey.