When you think of a Twinkie, does a golden snack cake come to mind? I would suggest you stretch your imagination to a hefty jalapeño, seeded and filled with melt-in-your-mouth brisket and cream cheese, the whole package wrapped in bacon, then smoked, then glazed with house barbecue sauce. These Twinkies, concocted by Michael Hudgins, are available at Gold Tooth Annie’s. Michael and his wife Lei ran Gold Tooth Annie’s in Fountain from 1995 until 2007. When Lei passed away, Michael closed the restaurant. But in early 2021, Michael brought the restaurant back as a food truck, still using Lei’s secret recipes. Those Twinkies are like poppers on steroids, with an equal partnership between the rich brisket and the cream cheese. The barbecue sauce adds a welcome zesty note. Deceptively small and simple, these babies are rich.
The meats that Hudgins smokes are simple and straightforward, juicy and tender, just about perfection. Given a choice between baby back and spare ribs, I choose spare for something different. The meat pulls easily from the bone, so infused with smoky goodness that sauce isn’t even necessary. (He makes the sauce, which has a great vinegar tang with just hints of sweetness and spice, from five ingredients, three of which are commercially available. And that’s all he would tell me.) When I ordered brisket, I was asked if I wanted it from the lean end, or the tasty, fatty end. Of course I ordered from the fatty end, and got two big slices of juicy brisket with just enough fat to make them unctuous, not greasy. Once again, that sauce was a fabulous addition, but the beef easily stands on its own.
As for the sides, Hudgins maintains a careful guardianship of Lei’s recipes, refusing to divulge even a hint. He was out of the macaroni salad the day I visited, so I went with potato salad. There’s a little crunch from finely chopped celery, and I thought I detected a hint of sweetness. Hudgins said there was no Miracle Whip in the recipe, so I’m going to guess a little sweet pickle juice might be in there. For my taste, it could have used a little mustard for contrast. The beans are similarly a bit on the sweet side, and play very well with the smoky brisket. The slaw, however, is sweet and tangy at the same time, flecked with celery seeds, fresh, crunchy and delectable. If you like slaw on your barbecue sammies, this is the slaw that you need.
Hudgins is very good about updating the trailer’s weekend hours on Facebook. When Twinkies are going to be available, you can order them in advance so he can make enough and you can take home as many as you want. If you’re feeling generous, you might even want to share them. But I won’t blame you if you don’t.