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Lost Texan finds a home smoking barbecue in Pleasant View

By Valerie Phillips - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Dec 13, 2023
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James and Marti Hammon, owners of Lost Texan BBQ in Pleasant View.
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Burnt ends, a Thursday special, with Texan pinto beans and coleslaw, at Lost Texan BBQ in Pleasant View.
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Chicken quarter with mashed potatoes and green beans at Lost Texan BBQ in Pleasant View.
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The Honor Wall at Lost Texan BBQ honors local military and first responders.

It takes about 14 hours to prepare the signature beef brisket at Lost Texan BBQ in Pleasant View. The beef is smoked, then slow-roasted to “tender perfection,” as the restaurant’s website describes it.

So when it sells out, there’s no running to the kitchen to quickly whip up more.

“We run out regularly, and when we’re out, we’re out for the day,” said Marti Hammon. “And we start again the next day.”

The Lost Texan gets its name from Hammon, who is from Houston. When she moved to Utah about 40 years ago, the two things she missed were live music and Texas-style brisket.

“So I started cooking it for myself,” she said. “I served it at my home barbecues. In Utah, barbecues were usually just hot dogs and hamburgers, so this was something different.”

She and James Hammon married in 1997, “But we’ve been cooking together since 1992,” said James, who grew up in Utah, and learned about barbecue from Marti.

“His experience has been learning as he goes,” Marti said of James. “He taught himself, and he can do all kinds of things — smoked pork butt, ribs, smoked meatloaf,” she said.

They sold their barbecue at Farmers Market Ogden for 12 years and did private catering while they both had full-time jobs.

Then in 2015, they heard about a possible location for a restaurant, in a Pleasant View strip mall.

“We had the opportunity to get this place at the right price and at the right time in our lives,” said James.

They opened in July 2015 and have been going strong since. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, customers were already used to getting takeout from them.

But the past year has been challenging for the couple. Marti fell and broke her hip while working in the kitchen in November 2022, necessitating a hip replacement. Then this past September, James had a massive heart attack and needed double bypass heart surgery. Given the restaurant industry’s current staffing shortages, the Hammons are now open from Wednesday through Saturday, and closed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

“We can’t find enough staff to work during the day,” said Marti, adding that they have “incredibly responsible kids” working for them after school. “Part of our mission statement is to teach kids how to work and be responsible.”

James praised one staffer who started working there at age 15, “and now she’s my head cook and going to college.”

The Lost Texan doesn’t do online ordering or third-party delivery, unless it’s a large order. “But we’re always prepared to have food for pick-up,” Marti said.

Food is served “cafeteria style,” where you pick up a tray and choose from the items behind the glass counter. The cold sides, such as cole slaw and potato salad, are kept refrigerated.

“We make everything here ourselves — we smoke our own meats, and our sides and rubs and sauces are all recipes developed by us. We consider it all very important, down to the last detail,” said Marti.

In addition to the standard menu, there are daily specials. Wednesday is smoked meatloaf — a combination of beef and pork, jazzed up with cheese, bacon and seasonings. Thursday is burnt ends, where a whole smoked brisket is slow-cooked, then the ends are cut into chunks and smoked again.

On Friday and Saturday, pork ribs are the daily special.

You’ll also find some interesting sides besides the traditional coleslaw and mac and cheese, The Texas pinto beans aren’t the usual sweet baked beans served at many barbecue joints. “There’s no sugar in them at all,” Marti said. “A lot of the Latino community orders them when they come in.”

Another favorite, “Texas Candy,” is made with pickled jalapenos, stuffed with cream cheese, salami and seasonings, and served cold.

“It’s a signature item, and when people know I have them, they will buy them by the dozen,” she said. “Because once we’re out, we’re out.”

Her personal favorite is the chopped beef brisket sandwich, served with pickle and onion.

James’ personal favorite is the chicken quarter — a seasoned, smoked thigh and leg. Oh, and the smoked meatloaf, he added.

The Lost Texan is also known for its Honor Wall, a display of dozens of framed portraits of military members, veterans and first responders. The tradition started with their son, Jared Reaves, who was in the Coast Guard when he passed away from leukemia. Their daughter, Jessica, served in the Army and another son, Jake, served in the Marines. Anyone is welcome to email a photo and name of their friend or family member who has served, to losttexanbbq@gmail.com. James Hammon will print, frame and post it on the Honor Wall.


Lost Texan BBQ

Location: 1144 W. 2700 North, Pleasant View

Contact: https://losttexanbbq.com and 801-948-9494

Prices: $10-$25

Hours: 11 .m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday


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