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Best bbq in houston

I am in town for one more night. I want to find the best bbqin town. I know it's not Goode Company, because I went there last night and it was very mediocre.

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  1. You are correct. There are many many posts on this topic if you search.

    So here's one: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/786571

    All the best places are not in Houston. I have heard in this forum that Rudy's BBQ (various locations) is surprisingly good, though I haven't been yet. My favorite is in Richmond, a far suburb, The Swinging Door (closed M&T).

    This topic is quite weary on this board so I would suggest that search. Let us know if you find anything fantastic!



    1 Reply
    1. re: Lambowner

      I ate at the original Rudy's a couple of weeks ago west of San Antonio. The brisket was not very good. The sausage was real good. The negatives are adding up against it once again. You have to pay for pickles, you have to pay for onions (2 separate charges). I don't eat them but hubby does and no one else I know charges for that. I got a pound of chopped beef to go for sandwiches for the next day and it made 2 sandwiches. No sauce with the to-go (half pound of brisket and the chopped beef). Have to pay extra for that too. When we get a pound of chopped at the Tony's near my house, it makes 2 meals for us. Or at least 1 meal for me, 2 for him. I'm going to avoid the original Rudy's again.

    2. Within the loop, I like Gatlin's. Outside the loop, I like Rudy's on 290.

      1. My personal opinion is that BBQ is a tough call for dinner. Usually it was smoked hours before and held, and often it turns mushy and fairly unappetizing. I try to eat bbq for lunch, (or in the case of Snow's in Lexington - for breakfast).

        That said, the best place in Houston has been closed recently. Pierson's has a recording noting that Mr. Clarence has had some knee surgery but that they would be reopening. <knock, knock, knock>

        For good Texas bbq, you have to go to Luling, Lockhart or Lexington, or to Franklin's in Austin.

        You would think that you could find good Texas bbq in Houston.

        (...but I don't think you can right now...)

        8 Replies
        1. re: DoobieWah

          But for the best of the worst that is IN Houston, what do you recommend? I haven't been to Gatlin's either. Hickory Hollow in the Heights gets love from some of my friends. Demeris caters a lot, they have a restaurant on Shepherd. Pappa's was okay last time I tried it. Gabby's? I'm traveling in the "way back" machine to the last time I actually ate BBQ IN Houston.

          1. re: Lambowner

            We've now been to Dozier's out in Fulshear quite a few times. I buy a whole brisket and bring it home. Although that's definitely pricey, at about $80, I can carve it however I like it and, even reheated after freezing, it's tasty.

            When we eat there, if we can convince them we want our brisket off of the deckle/point/fat cap/high end/moist/fatty, etc., it's pretty good.

            It's thanks to you, DW (I think it was), we found Dozier's. It's been the best brisket I've had since we moved to Houston. Although it's not up there with the Central Texas iconic joints, it's not bad, and we're glad we have it.

            1. re: Jaymes

              I used to go to Dozier's quite a bit when I would troll for trains before they ripped the tracks up. The brisket and ribs were always good, as was the pepper bacon to go. I haven't been in probably ten years. Also out of town is Galvan's Sausage House in Richmond, fatty brisket wit good bark, and delicious beef sausage. They have other varieties now, but I stick with the beef.

              1. re: Jaymes

                I had Dozier's at a party last year, and the brisket that day wasn't great. But it's not IN Houston either! What would we all say is the best inside the city limits? Or at least inside Beltway 8?

                1. re: Lambowner

                  I'll go with Pierson's, inside the city limits and Beltway 8.

                  1. re: James Cristinian

                    And now you must explain, "trolling for trains!" Pierson's is still closed for owner surgery. OP needs tonight!

                    Hey, my email notification is working again! It was suspended for a month or a year.

                    1. re: Lambowner

                      Ok, if he must have BBQ tonight, then I'd call Gaitlin's, doubting they'll be open, or something that is open, Luling City Market. I know it takes a lot of flack, but it meets the criteria, not Goode Co. and open. I've had some very good ribs there and above average brisket, but it is late, so as Doobs pointed out, it is not optimum BBQ time. Trolling for trains is looking for trains on the railroad, and before they ripped out the tracks down Westpark and Westheimer to Fulshear and Wallis, was the old Southern Pacific Bellaire Branch, a lightly used line so a train was a real treat. If I had to see a train I'd drive to Wallis, pick up the Santa Fe to Rosenberg, and follow SP's Sunset mainline into Houston, pretty much a sure bet of multiple trains from Wallis on. I am a mild train nut job, but believe me there are those much more afflicted with the hobby. A stop in Fulshear at Dozier's was always part of the regimen. Now, it is a trip down Alt. 90a to Richmond and Galvan's Sausage House, mentioned above, with a front row seat on the railroad.

              2. re: Lambowner

                Gaitlin's is really good but they suffer from tortoise like sevice. It shouldn't take 25 minutes to make the guy in front of me's plate, and my three meat a la carte, this with three people in the kitchen and one at the counter. I found the brisket and ribs to be on par with Pierson's, the sausage not as good. I agree with Doobs on the dinner part, BBQ is for lunch.

            2. Rudy's is consistent and good.
              Luling City Market on Richmond (not to be confused with City Market in Luling) is good often.

              Pappas and Goode are just crap

              Neither are on the level of Franklin's or Louie Muellers... but not many places are.

              6 Replies
              1. re: paleogeek

                Has anyone been to or heard anything about Stockyard BBQ on Westheimer? It's getting great reviews on other sites. Live nearby and am very curious!

                1. re: scw

                  Just a follow-up. Went. The most disappointing meal of my life. Avoid. Make the trip to Luling or Lockhart. This was probably the worst BBQ I've had in Houston to date!

                  1. re: scw

                    Funny, Doobs was just asking if anyone had been to Stockyard. I'm sure he'll stumble across your comments here. Thanks for the tip. Houston remains a BBQ-free zone.

                    1. re: scw

                      Hadn't seen this before - not the worst I've ever had in Houston, alas, but not worth a revisit. I found out about it on the Houston BBQ Project site and have been given a bum steer on a couple of places by that site.

                      1. re: scw

                        Has anybody been to the Brisket House on Woodway? The Press has given it good reviews but the pictures don't impress me much.

                  2. #1 Gatlin #2 Luling on Richmond

                    Your right Goode is complete crap. Rudy's is not so hot either. Gatlin is by far the best in Houston.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Schumacher

                      Umberto did not reveal his choice. :( I like it when people report back.

                      1. re: Lambowner

                        Yeah, me too. Way to go Umberto. There's still time for you to save face and post your decision and review. Or maybe he ate some really bad bbq and is still in the hospital - yikes!!

                        1. re: texasredtop

                          Thanks to everyone who replied! I only had time to go to Shorty's in Willowbrook with some co-workers for lunch. It was really good. We had ribs and chicken, I don't remember what else. I strongly recommend it, since they are good people and need some love. When I return for work I am going to Gaitlin's, Luling, and Rudy's. I need to decide if my friend, who claims that Podnah in Portland, OR is the bbq around, is wrong. Cheers!

                          1. re: Umberto

                            The last time I ate at the original Rudy's on I-10 just west of San Antonio, it wasn't very good at all. That was Thanksgiving Day 2011 so not that long ago.

                            Thanks for reporting back. You may continue your life now without worry that we will be hunting you down :-)

                      2. Gabby's 3101 N. Shepherd, Houston 77018 713-864-5049 is good and has all the pork ribs you can eat on the weekend. Makes a big baked potatoe also.

                        Hillow Hollow 8038 Fallbrook, Houston 77064 281-469-5323 also one on Washington Ave. Also makes great Chicken Fied Steak.

                        1. Saw that on Houston Press's "Best of Houston" list, Gatlin's got the nod for best 'cue in town. And it has several mentions on this thread.

                          Has anyone been recently? Still good? The ribs get mentioned a lot, but how about the brisket?

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Jaymes

                            I haven't been since my last December post and based on the press review, slow service, I won't go back. When I went, twenty-five minutes to serve two people is not to be tolerated. They were not short staffed, three slowpokes in the kitchen, one up front, yes it was good, the ribs and brisket, sausage ok. Having worked some food service at a young age, I just won't put up with their lack of service. The last time I drove by, I noticed they put some tables outside to stash the folks waiting for food.

                            1. re: James Cristinian

                              For alternatives try Galvans Sausage House in Richmond, for brisket as good and better sausage, skip the ribs. Virgie's on Gessner is outstanding.

                            2. re: Jaymes

                              We've been enjoying Tony's BBQ for a year or two since they opened on in LaPorte. I am not a fan of brisket at most places but I gobble it up at Tony's. I often buy a pound of sliced and a pound of chopped and we make sandwiches for several days. And their sauce is my favorite sauce around. http://www.tonys-bbq.com/

                              Also we stopped in at Pappa's bbq on the way to some show at Reliant about a month or two ago and my grandson had the chopped chicken baked potato. The chicken on there was delicious. I've been meaning to get back over there and see if they have a chicken poboy.

                              1. re: texasredtop

                                Pappas bbq chopped baker is awesome a baked potato all the way with chopped beef. I know Ill get slammed but this is the only thing I would recommend at this mediocre joint. Try it you will like it.

                            3. Well, I'm new to Texas bbq - learned about bbq from my time in Virginia, but grew to love Eastern Carolina (pork shoulder with spicy white vinegar based sauce) - so I wanted to see what everyone's thoughts were on a place I just tried.

                              Based one someone else's rec for coffee, I ended up driving 20min. south from Hobby after landing down to Pearland Coffee. Picked up a couple pounds of their beans, chatted briefly with roastmaster, then noticed an amazing smell of hickory coming from next door:


                              Looked like a tiny mom/pop type place - apparently the owners are ?Cuban. Recs from other people in line included the 1/2 baked potato with chopped beef ('moist' brisket!) with all the trimmings (sour cream, cheese, green onions!). This was awesome! Had sliced brisket and sliced chicken plus two sides (yellow rice and pinto beans). Chicken was excellent with or without the sauce as were the two sides. Still unsure about the brisket - soft and tender, but a bit dry and maybe less smoky than I would have preferred, although I forgot to ask for the moist cut (had too much fun talking to the folks in line with me - super friendly people).

                              Anybody else been there? Can you help me calibrate my Southeastern BBQ taste buds?

                              BTW, since this topic refuses to die (in its various incarnations) should we have a sticky?

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: neointima

                                I've eaten at Central BBQ many many times. They had one by Hobby Airport at one time and it was convenient to work. Plus I've been to the one in Pearland several times and they catered over a hundred meals for me over several months when I worked near Ellington. I don't know about the owners but don't think they're Cuban. The son and his wife delivered most of our meals and they were as Texan as it gets. We saw them so much that when she had her baby, they brought her by to see us. Their sides are the best! They had some of the best bread pudding I've ever eaten and I'm from southern Louisiana. I haven't been there in 4-5 years since I retired as we don't get to Pearland often (and when we do we eat pizza at Big Humphrey's) and I think it's there only restaurant still operating. I don't remember loving their bbq as much as I loved the sides. Their potato salad was homemade and had green olives in it. I now put them in my potato salad when I make it. And they had lots of sides to choose from. All homemade. Glad you enjoyed it.

                                1. re: neointima

                                  I went to this place just once, several years ago, and saw no reason to go back. At the time, I was very into barbecue, making numerous trips a year to Central Texas to eat at the most highly regarded in Luling, Lockhart and Taylor (this was before Snow's and Franklin's). My notes are lost thanks to a computer crash. Of course, things may have changed. I don't recall thinking the owners were foreign born.

                                  BTW, since you're a fan of Carolina cue, keep us informed of what you think of the local options if you get to check them out. Lyndon's on Hollister, off of 290, supposedly does Carolina style, Fainmous on South Post oak and Andy's Hawg Wild in Pasadena do Tennessee style pulled pork. There are other places these days that do pulled pork but don't claim to be doing it as it is done in Carolina or Tennessee. I really like Andy's which I went to just a couple of months ago. I used to like Lyndon's but haven't been in 4 or 5 years, probably.

                                    1. re: Lambowner

                                      A permanent message "pinned" at the top of the board.

                                      Chowhound doesn't use them.

                                      By the way Lambsy, in case you missed it Neo and his spouse and Jaymes and I are meeting up at 10am Saturday morning at Dona Tere on Beechnut and thence to Gerardos and Alamo Tamales.

                                      Are you sure we can't entice you to come watch us drool and swoon over spicy fatty greasy pork products?

                                      1. re: DoobieWah

                                        The 'FAQ:' thread at the top of the main page of the board is a sticky, isn't it? They've been used for other purposes in the past on CH.

                                        1. re: DoobieWah

                                          I'd do almost anything, including eating tamales, to get out of helping people move. But she's my kid, sooo. Ya'll take pics!

                                    2. Went to Mark's on Airline Saturday for lunch.

                                      Really nice people.

                                      My brother got a rib plate and I got brisket.

                                      Flavor was good, BUT... the brisket had no smoke ring and was that kind of mushy moist that tells me it's been held in plastic and/or foil for a few hours. We noticed that we didn't smell any smoke when we got out of the car, so I assume they are cooking elsewhere and bringing it to the shop, but I can't say for sure.

                                      The ribs were meaty but clung to the bone. They could have stood a little more time on the grill for me.

                                      It wasn't bad and I would certainly go there again, but this ain't Snow's/Franklin's/Mueller's good, just Houston good.

                                      And to reiterate, the people are really nice. The owner, Mark, sat with us and answered some questions and pointed out his many awards, (Ft. Bend County Fair Cookoff, Houston Rodeo Cookoff, etc.). I'm positive however that those judges weren't eating what I had on Saturday.

                                      Nice guys, decent food. I will go again, but I'll probably try the sausage and chicken next time.

                                      From there we went to Houston Dairymaids, Flores Spices and Canino's. I got Slow Dough pretzel bread at Dairymaids so we skipped El Bolillo.

                                      The search continues.

                                      1. Read over the weekend that Thelma's has closed.


                                        No real reason given.

                                        I hadn't been since a couple of years before the original location burned. I never experienced the rudeness nor even witnessed it but I did not like the sauce at all. The catfish was actually her best dish, I thought.

                                        The comments section contains news of a new place on Telephone, and then there's the place taking over Thelma's location.

                                        1. Best bbq for Northwest Houston. These are not in order, one is as good as the other.
                                          Gabby's at 3101 N. Shepherd, 77018, 713-864-5049.
                                          County Line at 13850 Cutten Road, 77069, 281-537-2454. It's Ribs at 11035 Jones Road, 77070, 832-678-2088
                                          I don't need to travel all over Harris County and surrounding areas to get to great bbq.