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Jul 11, 2008 11:44 PM

best bbq in/around houston

Is Houston serious about bbq anymore? I'm from Memphis and want to know where to find the best Texas style bbq in Houston. We are wiling to drive out of the city a bit if it;s worth it. Thanks!

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  1. There has been a lot of BBQ posts here lately, so you might want to do a search for them. I will give you this link to a new place that is our new favorite:

    A bunch of us, that met on this board, got together and had a BBQ smackdown. Pierson's won first in brisket and second in ribs, by a narrow margin. If you goggle Houston BBQ smackdown you will see lots of info.

    Virgies is supposed to be very good, too, but we didn't get to try it. Soon, though. Allison Cook just had a review on it in the Chronicle. Goode Co. was pretty much bottom of the barrel. And yes, we are more than serious about our BBQ!

    1 Reply
    1. re: danhole

      Pierson's on TC Jester
      Houston's on Eldridge

      my 2 faves.

    2. I just tried Smitty's in Lockhart (about 1.75 hours from Houston) after many years of avoiding because of the hype. I am the pickiest, snobbiest, most critical food person I know who still possesses a modicum of social literacy, and I can say confidently it was the finest brisket I have ever placed in my mouth. No sauce offered, and to my great satisfaction, none needed. I don't mean to denigrate the Big H town, but I am confident you would be hard pressed to find Q of this caliber within a 75 mile radius. My fiancee who is normally a reluctant meat eater sat and ate in stunned silence right along with me, and when she finished, her first words were simply; "can we get more?"

      2 Replies
      1. re: magnumvino

        Interesting post about BBQ...just have to throw my opinion into the ring. In about a month's span, I have tried the "holy trinity" of Texas BBQ twice: Luling City Market, Smitty's, and Kreuz -- each time in one sitting.

        The first time I went, I was more impressed with the sausages at those places -- since it was unlike any sausage I've had before. I don't remember how the brisket was, but I also didn't know there was a difference in lean and moist.

        The 2nd time I went, I made sure to order moist brisket at all three places. Luling's brisket was excellent -- moist, fatty, and tender. Unctuous is the word that comes to mind. My friends kept shouting the praises of Smitty's, so I was prepared for the best. However, I got the worst. I requested the extra moist brisket, and instead got a very dried-out piece of meat. I don't know if it was because the pitmaster looked to be in a bad mood or what, as he did glare at us as we ordered. It was comparable to some of the drier briskets I've had in town. VERY disappointed. Kreuz's brisket was also mediocre.

        This is not to bash Smitty's, but to say that BBQ is a fine art, but also a fickle one. BBQ has so many variables in it that it is likely that one place might have an off-day every now and then.

        1. re: magnumvino

          As a new Houstonian reared in Qdom by my husband who's from South Carolina, I just don't get the brisket thing. Every so often I taste a little brisket in the vain hope that the very nature of the meat has changed. But it hasn't. It's always, always dry.

          In South Carolina BBQ is always pork, period. You would no more order BBQ beef than you'd order "beef carnitas". Those in SC typically eat pulled pork. Here in Houston, we've learned to eat pork ribs. We like the ribs at Luling CIty Market and the ones at Dozier's in Fulshear. We loved the late, lamented Williams, and liked it better than Burns which we find so-so and not worth the attittude. Houston BBQ Company on Eldridge is a clone of the Houston Luling and it's good, too.

        2. I'm not all that familiar with Houston's offerings, and I'm certainly no BBQ expert, but on 2 occasions, I've eaten at a place called Thelma's and thought the BBQ and sides were really good. The portions were very generous and the price was very reasonable.
          Very simple place. Not the greatest of areas, but the atmosphere was very warm and welcoming. Seemed like a lot of regulars enjoying the food and conversation
          . .

          2 Replies
          1. re: Tay

            thelma's is good if you like sweet barbeque sauce. no sense in asking for the sauce on the side b/c first she'll glare at you if you ask, secondly, it will come out swimming in her sauce anyway and you won't dare send it back. the fried catfish is fantastic there. but the homemade tartar sauce is too sweet. so is the potato salad, coleslaw and sweet tea. just watch yourself if you are a diabetic.

            thelma's is also a great value. the 2 meat plate is $8.50 and it is a TON of food. i could barely eat half of it. the catfish sandwich is $5.50 and comes with 2 full-size catfish fillets. it is also a well known fact that their scale is off. pay for a pound of meat and take home almost a 1.25-1.5 lbs.

            1. re: neverfull

              Yes, very true about the sweet as opposed to the hot/spicy. Since I'm not a big fan of the, burn-off-the-roof of-your-mouth, sauce, it worked for me. I do tend to agree that the sides and tarter sauce were too sweet. Maybe I was just in need of something cold to drink, but I liked the tea. I see your point about not daring to send anything back.Lol! She is kind of, uhhh... how should I put it?....'Intimidating.' I believe prior to opening her restaurant she drove a truck. Obvious Yankee that I am, think she got a kick out of me. .
              What struck me as interesting was the varied customer demographic. Business people in expensive looking suits, others in jeans and shorts.
              The love of good food is the common thread

          2. My favorite by a long shot is looking to be Piersons. Great brisket and very good ribs.

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