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BBQ in Houston

I take my sister to eat BBQ when she is in town from NY. I am looking for a place open on Tuesday - not Thelma's or Papa's.

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  1. Goode Company on Kirby and Buffalo Speedway has always worked for me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: redgrrl

      Sadly , in the last few years the sauce at Goode Co now has
      Changed to a mixture which seems more hot sauce
      Than his original recipe from yrs ago. We wont go back and we
      Went for over 20 yrs. Fire whoever ruined his true sauce!

    2. If you want to take a little drive, go up to Huffman, across the FM1960 Lk Houston Bridge and check out Just Passin Thru' Jazzy BBQ...it's a bus on the right hand side of the street next to an antique shop and ice machine...They are really nice and the BBQ is GREAT! Make sure to get the potato salad...it is the best I have ever had!! And, good luck, there are a lot of good BBQ around town.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chefaltieri

        You were right on target chefaltieri. This is some of the best barbeque I have ever tried - not a small feat being a native Texan who cut her eye teeth on brisket.

        I've driven past this place many times and had never tried it. To drive past it, it looks just like a bus on the side of the road except for the signs. You get on the bus and once in - wow a bus with a restaurant inside. I sampled their brisket, links, ribs, potato salad, beans, and lemon cake. It was all delicious. The brisket was very tender and fell apart on the fork, well smoked with a 1/2 inch smoke ring. The links were also very good - not sure if they are locally made or not. Either way, yummy. The ribs were also good and tender. The potato salad was a little on the sweet side but delicious nevertheless. Beans were more of the baked variety. And the cake....well, it was a very moist lemon bundt cake handmade by the owner. She said she makes fresh desserts every day. It is obvious that this lovely couple (who drive in from south 288) love to cook and it shows. Plus they are very friendly. I plan on going back soon and trying their burgers, hand cut fries, dirty rice, collard greens, fried oka, etc. etc. Oh yes, they will be starting a soul food menu soon. Wow - a boon for our little Huffman area.

        I moved into the Dayton area from Montrose - a culture shock to be sure and have pined for all the good food that was within an arms length of me. Slowly, I'm discovering these little gems. I would never have imagined that the food would be this good. I took some photos which I will try to post on the local chowhound site this evening. Thanks for the heads up.

        Info: Just Passin Thru Jazzy Bar-B-Que, 12110 FM 1960 East, Huffman, Phone: 281-324-6610. Hours: Tues-Sat 11:00 - 7:30 or so.

      2. You need to try Pierson & Co. on T C Jester. It's a small place, but great BBQ. Google it, there are reviews all over the place, and even on this board.

        2 Replies
        1. re: danhole

          if you are a serious chowhound, i recommend pierson's too. however it's a to go place so hopefully you live close by. you can eat there on the narrow countertops they installed along one window but it's not an ideal situation.

          i'd recommend luling city market if you want to go to a "restaurant." you still won't get table service there but the dining room is pretty large and the location is convenient too.

          burns and virgie's made the texas monthly top 50. i haven't been to either but i think both of them may be closed on tuesday.

          texas monthly top bbq article: http://www.texasmonthly.com/2008-06-0...

          1. re: neverfull

            They have actually added a few tables at Pierson's, so it's not like it was when you went, jenny. And they are open on Tues. from 11 am - 7pm.

        2. I have never had a bad experience at Houston Barbecue Company on Eldridge. I love the food and the people have been very friendly. Farther afield, Midway market in Katy is solid, too.

          1. I second Goode Company BBQ. Both locations (Kirby and the one on I-10) are great :)

            1. off of these recommendations i hit up pierson & co last night with some friends. we tried pretty much everything on the menu.

              i thought their ribs were excellent. the right amount of doneness, moist and meaty. the pork shoulder was nice, and not something you find much done right here in texas. i think the ribs and shoulder are where their mesquite only smoking process really shined. its not an overpowering smoke flavor, just the perfect compliment.

              the sausage was heavily spiced without being too hot. the reddish blend of spices tasted almost exotic (maybe with some currry?). clarence seemed to be willing to answer any question we had, but would not begin to discuss the sausage recipe. i really liked it.

              the brisket was good, but not great. i havent had better in houston, except for at the rodeo cookoff. the beans were delicious, like some sort of bizzarro meatless chili with cumin and paprika. i wasnt a fan of the sauce, but my dining partners were. luckily, the meat stood on its own without any.

              in the non-bbq arena, i really liked the boudin. bread pudding was better than the cobbler, but would be even better with less rum.

              clarence pierson invited us into the kitchen to take a tour. you could tell he is very passionate about his cue, which is obviously a good sign. got to take a look at his beautiful smoker, of which any man would be envious.

              thanks danhole and everyone else for the recommendation. i wish there was a place this good inside the loop, but its good enough to justify the trip. i will be back to this place.

              6 Replies
              1. re: bpdhlbrg

                I'm really glad you liked it! His smoked ckicken and turkey are great also. I'm not so crazy about the sauce, it used to be sweeter and not so vinegar based, but the meat really doesn't need it. If you go again, let them know that Dani told you about them. They are practically like family. I live down the street from them, and eat there a lot.

                Practically around the corner on Antoine is that chinese place I mentioned to you, China Doll. And on Pinemont is a good burger and wing joint called Little Bitty Burger Barn. Some good local spot around these parts.

                1. re: danhole

                  he asked how we had heard of his place and i told him he was getting good recs on chowhound, although i didnt mention you specifically. when i make it back over there to try the birds, i will remember.

                  i wont think twice about making the trip out there for good bbq, since it cant be had at many other places in town. but, one thing houston has in spades is good burgers. youve earned some credibility with the bbq rec, so ill ask: is LBBB better than what you can get at christians, lankford or bubbas? those are probably my three favorite conventional burgers around here.

                  1. re: bpdhlbrg

                    In all honesty, no. Just as good, but not better! My daughter and her boyfriend just had a burger there the other day and raved, so I have to revisit them. When I do I will let you know. I haven't been to Bubba's, but they raved about that place too. The time I went to Lankford I was disappointed (must have been an off day from what I hear) and I liked Christians a lot, but it was only slightly better than LBBB,

                    Oh, about Pierson's - you might call Clarence about chicken before you go to get one, or two. They run out! I am on a list, and they have my home munber so if they have excess, which has never happened, they can call and let me know. Virginia or Diane will gladly keep you informed. I think they have turkey more available than chicken.

                    1. re: danhole

                      LBBB does handcut fries, which I know Christians does not. So that's a big plus in my book. Comparing burger to burger, I agree with danhole.

                      1. re: Bulldozer

                        I had a 1/2 lb cheese burger last night, which is really 2 patties instead of one thick patty, and man was it good! Every bit as good as Christians, and much closer to my home.

                    2. re: bpdhlbrg

                      Just found out yesterday that the chicken is one Fri-Sat only, so call ahead to be sure you get one.


                2. Okay, so as I've said elsewhere, I've just moved to Houston and have begun my search for a good BBQ joint that I can patronize, enjoy and recommend to others.

                  Thus far, I've only tried two: Goode Co., which I think should be renamed Bad Co., and which I will never, ever set foot in again because while the bread and pecan pie were good, the BBQ meat itself was just horrible and the BBQ MEAT is why I go to BBQ MEAT joints.

                  And then last night, Pizzitola's.

                  Pizzitola's is not my dream BBQ spot, but it's light years ahead of Bad Co. The place itself was friendly, cozy, family-oriented and welcoming. My bubbly waitress told me that there was going to be a band that night. I think she said it's the owner's son and his pals. My first thought was "Oh no, a relative's band. I'd better eat fast." But the 3-piece band was good enough that I might even go back just to hear them. They were a scruffy, laid-back guitar trio singing bluesy/folksy/southern-rocky type music. As I've moved here from Austin, and that's very common in Austin restaurants, these guys actually added to the experience.

                  As for the food: I asked if I could try just one rib, so my one rib might not be representative, but I found it tasty (unlike the tasteless one at Bad Co.), although dry, and a little too salty for my personal preference. I might order ribs next time just to be sure my impression was correct, but overall, I was disappointed in that rib. The brisket was very good. Tender and flavorful. I liked the sauce as well and made a quite nice sandwich with the brisket. Even bought a pound of brisket to bring home. Although the sausage was not up to Central Texas standards, it was also quite good, and when you had a bite of it in your mouth, you could definitely taste it and knew you were eating sausage, unlike the bland piece of meat they called sausage at Bad Co.

                  I don't usually eat dessert at BBQ joints, because I'm mainly there for the meat and I hardly need those extra calories, but my waitress told me that the owner's 80+ year-old mother still makes the banana pudding. So I decided to give a try - primarily because I think it's nice mama has gainful employment and isn't out running the streets and breaking into cars. Okay, so that's a little lame BBQ-joint humor; the truth is that I tried it primarily because I really love old-fashioned, home-made banana pudding and haven't had a good commercially-prepared one in many years. Sure enough, mama knows her banana pudding. This was delicious, rich and creamy, flecked with pieces of actual bananas. It even tasted like bananas instead of like bland instant generic pudding.

                  All in all, a pleasant experience. I found Pizzitola's to be quite passable and felt the money was well-spent (as opposed to resisting an urge to turn around and go back in and demand my money back, like I did at you-know-where). I'll return to Pizzitola's if I'm in the area around mealtime. But I don't think this is going to be "my" go-to Houston BBQ joint. At least I hope not.

                  But not bad.

                  Although I am going to keep looking.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Jaymes

                    For ribs, you can't go wrong with Texas Roadhouse. They enter em (and their chili and other things) in cook-offs, and win. Out in the Heights, also try Hickory Hollow. I haven't been impressed with Brown Sugar's or Texas Bar-B-Q House. Guy's Meat Market is somewhat famous. I'm just trying to name a few off-the-grid places that you normally don't see raving reviews about.
                    One that is, is Luling City Market. I've also read recommendations for (but haven't tried yet) Pete's on Telephone Road, Pierson on TC Jester and Houston BBQ Co on Eldridge.

                    1. re: Pirate Paul

                      I like the ribs at Hickory Hollow, too. Also the CFS. The ribs at Pierson's are better, but they are the smaller ones. Hickory Hollows are bigger.

                      1. re: danhole

                        hickory hollow hot tots are like manna from heaven

                    2. re: Jaymes

                      In my quest for "my" Houston bbq restaurant, was lucky enough to get to meet Danhole at Pierson's. What a great little spot that is. Everyone was so friendly, and they were doing a lively business. Even the mailman, who should know about restaurants in his area, stopped by for lunch.

                      The review posted on the wall raved on and on about the smoked pork, so that's what I ordered. There may be a pulled pork sandwich, but I got the plate, and that included two generous slices (not pulled) of the absolute most delicious pork I've had in a long time. I also got the potato salad and cole slaw, which were fine, but nothing special. They insisted I try the beans, and gave me a sample, and those beans are my new favorite. Not the sweet beans of southern BBQ, but not really the usual Texas pinto beans, either, they were somewhere in-between, hearty enough to be a meal on their own, with a nice chili sauce, and clumps of meat. I ordered some of those beans, and a pound of that pork to take home to my family.

                      This is a great little place, and I thank Dani for letting us all know about it!

                    3. Goode Co = Bad Co ... Luling City Market (Richmond and 610) = Bad Co 2. Best BBQ in Houston is definitely Beavers (off of Washington Ave), imho. Plus when the weather is nice, the picnic bench outdoor seating with a cold beer ... perfect.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: ninetysouth

                        Try out Brother In Law bbq out in channelview its good and they have an all you can eat rib dinner every wednesday starting about 5 oclock for about 13 bucks plus all the sides you can handle. this is a popular neighborhood place.

                        1. re: joedontexan

                          Happy to see someone mention Brother-in Law's. I agree... yes, indeed, the best ribs I've had in a long time! And the sliced brisket was very tasty too. Just had some yesterday. The french fries are always disappointing though. Over all, the BBQ is so much better than Goode Co BBQ ( or "Bad Co." as most like to say). Of course, my all time favorite BBQ is Cooper's in Llano, but obviously living in Houston I cannot go to Coopers as much as I'd like to. Anyway, Brother-in-Law's holds a firm slot in our Houston BBQ rotation along with Pierson's and Pizzitola's.

                        2. re: ninetysouth

                          I always think of BBQ as being inexpensive. Having saying that, I think Beaver's is over-priced, decent but overpriced.

                          But their nut burgers rocks!

                        3. Swinging Door -

                          Continuing the search for good 'cue in Houston, went to the Swinging Door. It was a birthday celebration, so there were at least twenty of us. About half had been to this place before, and one person is pretty good friends with the owner. The joint was jumping, and it's cute and lively, clearly very popular. It's nothing at all like the "just meat, M'am" bbq temples of Central Texas. It's also nothing like the small, African-American-owned baked beans and sweet potato pie joints of East Texas and the South. It's large, and rambling, seemingly in a 1950's-style ranch house, with more the feeling of a "Howdy Y'all Texas BBQ & Bandanas & Cowboy Chuckwagon" themed franchise restaurant, in the manner of Goode Co. I figured I was in pretty big trouble when I asked for my brisket, "off the high side," and the waitress screwed up her pretty little nose in confusion. I tried again. "Wet?" Nothing. "Fatty? The deckle? Moist? The point?"

                          "Loose?" she said finally. "Do you want it loose?"

                          "I don't know what that means. I don't want chopped BBQ..."

                          My son joined in, "She wants it off of the fat cap."

                          "Fat cap?"

                          Me, deciding okay, whatever, I just want to order: "Um, okay, fine. I'll take it 'loose.'"

                          I and all of the newcomers ordered various plates with brisket, sausage, ribs. Every single one of the returnees, without exception, ordered turkey. So that should tell you something right there.

                          Final summation: I'd give the meats a B- to a C+. My 'loose' bisket was just average. I do think it was from the deckle, but it didn't have much flavor. It wasn't bad, though, and the sauce was tasty, so I dumped a lot of that on it. Others that just got the regular brisket said it was dry, and I noticed most of it remained on their plates. The sausage certainly lacked the snap, crackle and pop of the best of Texas hot links, and also the juice and flavor, but it wasn't bad at all. It certainly had enough flavor that you knew you were eating sausage. As for the ribs, my son, who's a pretty good pitmaster hisownself, and whose part-time high school job was working in a barbecue joint in Austin, took one bite, looked at me and said, "Mom, I think they've boiled these ribs." Sure enough, they were either boiled or braised, then finished on the pit. So they most certainly were not a representative example of the pitmaster's finest skills, but at least they were moist and tasty. And they had enough texture that they didn't "fall off the rib," which often happens when you boil them first because it's hard not to overcook them. Second only to dry ribs, I hate the mushy, messy mishmash of overcooked ribs.

                          The sides were fine - homemade, I understand.

                          All in all, I would never go to the Swinging Door by myself just to get a little 'cue. It was more an event kind of place, but it was attractive and fun. I think it's pretty authentically the kind of Texas-BBQ-themed restaurant that Goode Co has patterned itself after, but the meats, at least, are much better. If my Yankee friends come to Texas and want to go out somewhere to get a taste of Texas, I'd take them here. I'll suggest they get the turkey.

                          1. If you want to step back in time, go to Bar-B-Q Inn on Crosstimbers.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Asticat

                              There is another thread on this board about Bar-B-Q Inn, and in it I mentioned that in all the years I have eaten there I have never had the BBQ! Odd, huh? But I go for the CFS, and my DH gets the fried chicken. Great place, though.

                            2. Are there any BBQ joints with savory (not sweet) sauces and tongue-melting levels of heat? I also love good dry-rub style BBQ.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: aynrandgirl

                                Pierson's sauce has a tart tang to it. It really isn't sweet at all, but as I said elsewhere I prefer it on the side. Not sure that it is tongue melting! Now my husband thinks it is too hot, but he is a wuss, so I wouldn't go by his opinion ;-)

                                I hope someone else will chime in about a good dry rub. The best dry rub BBQ brisket I ever had was at a church function. It was rubbed and mopped. I'm not sure if that is how Clarence (at Pierson's) does it or not. I just know it's good!

                                1. Heard that Thelma's has reopened. Has anyone been? How does it compare to the pre-fire Thelma's?

                                  1. Theres a place on Gessener between clay and Tanner that is superb its called Virgies BBQ the family owned restaurant has wonderful BBQ and there sauce is terrific There closed Sun-Tues but boy is it delicious

                                    1. There's a Spring Creek Barbecue restaurant nearby where I live. Obviously, from the outside, it's easy to see that it's a corporate chain, so I've avoided it.

                                      But the parking lot is always full.

                                      So I'm wondering...

                                      Has anyone tried it? Is it any good? Would it be a better choice than Goode Co for a large group of visiting out-of-towners? Is it worth even so much as a step inside for a sliced beef sandwich?

                                      Spring Creek Restaurants
                                      9005 Broadway St, Pearland, TX 77584

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Jaymes

                                        I've never even heard of it but looks like there are several in the area. Any smoke in evidence or a visible stack of wood out back? Personally I'd rather take a chance on an unheralded shack or roadside stand than a chain place, especially for bbq.

                                        Since you're in Katy have you ever tried Midway. My two visits there didn't yield great Q - overcooked, somewhat dried out - but just wondered if you'd ever tried it.

                                        1. re: dexmat

                                          Since I've moved to the west side of town, I've tried several places. Nonmacher, Galvan's, Midway, Swinging Door come immediately to mind. They were all okay, but none that I've decided to adopt as "my place." Or even, for that matter, much wanted to return to. Certainly none have stolen away my heart from Luling, Lockhart, Taylor.

                                          Galvan's was pretty good, but I had a long chat with the owner. He's really in it for the sausage. I like sausage as well as the next gal, I suppose, but truly great central-Texas-style brisket is my favorite.

                                          And for that, I'm still looking.

                                          1. re: Jaymes

                                            Never heard of Nonmacher; that's a new one on me. I wasn't that impressed with Galvan's. I guess Pierson's is still the best I know of but it's a long way from me and I don't make the trip very often and keep trying others.

                                            A couple more I've heard of are Plantation BBQ - 90-A, Richmond, closer to Richmond than Galvan’s, in front of Lev’s, apparently just a trailer. Robb Walsh named a bbq bkfst taco from there one of his 100 favorite dishes. And Ribs on Wheels, 7120 FM 1464, s. of WP Toll Road. I may try one of these this week as I'm getting a craving for Q and can't make a trip to CTx anytime soon.

                                            1. re: dexmat


                                              Nonmacher's is not bad. I've been a couple of times. Not great, but not bad.

                                              For Houston, I should add.

                                      2. For future reference, you can always take her to Bud's BBQ in Baytown. It's right by where I work and is open everyday and all day. I must say that the BBQ ribs is by far the best I've ever had in my life! So juicy and tender .. fall off the bone :)

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Dished12

                                          I second the nomination for Buds BBQ in Baytown. Their ribs are so yummy...

                                        2. Here's a new one: I stopped off at In-laws and Outlaws BBQ in beautiful downtown Manvel in December. I was making several trips to Froberg's to get stuff for Christmas baskets for neighbors and relatives and saw it several times. The reviews online are raves and compare it to Central Texas shrines; I was skeptical.

                                          The parking lot smelled great; the smoker is out back.

                                          I had just had one of the large fried pies at Froberg (sweet potato makes a better filling for a hot greasy fried pie than a substitute for pumpkin IMO) and wasn't really hungry so I just got a sliced beef sandwich and some chips. There was a 3/8" smoke ring; the smoke ring was very faint but the smoke flavor was adequate. The sesame seed bun was stale and needed toasting or steaming; for that matter they could have lost the sesame seeds. I had asked for only a little sauce and got so little I couldn't tell anything about it. The meat was tender.

                                          They told me they use a mix of mesquite and pecan; the latter keeps the mesquite from burning so hot, so they claimed, but the majority of the flavor is from mesquite. I would have said pecan but I did not notice, and did not miss, the bitter/acrid taste of mesquite.

                                          I wasn't wowed but would give them another try when passing through. I liked it better than my one visit to Central Texas Style BBQ in Pearland a few years ago which left me with no desire to try a second time.

                                          I remember jambalaya was one of the sides offered.