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Feb 10, 2012 08:49 AM

Pierson & Company BBQ

I thought I read they were closed but saw a review on Yelp that was from a few days ago. Anyone know the scoop? We're looking to have a casual (but delicious) lunch on Valentine's Day before the diets start the next day. I was thinking Pierson or Avalon Diner for the burger.

Pierson's was only open Thursday - Sunday previously. Hopefully he'll open more to make up for all the time lost :-)

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  1. I just called and the phone still has the recorded message about Mr. Clarence's knee surgery. The message says they are "temporarily closed", but it's the same recording they've had since last September or October, so...

    If anyone knows differently, please let me know!

    19 Replies
    1. re: DoobieWah

      The review was from Tuesday. So I'm not sure what is up. They had personally told someone that they would be open again after the holidays so it sounds like they might be back but forgot to change the answering machine message :-)

      1. re: texasredtop

        If you use Facebook, check out and "like" Houston Barbecue Project, maintained by J.C. Reid, who writes often (and well) for the Chronicle on this topic. If anyone knows whats going on with Clarence Pierson, its this guy,

          1. re: Cheflambo

            I've liked his page for a while and have been following along. Don't think he's hit on any hidden gems yet. Shilcutt reported in November that Pierson's double knee replacement took more rehab than he thought it would. Originally he said two weeks. Wonder where he got that from. A relative took months to recover after just one. Can't imagine two at once. Upshot is that he is still planning to reopen when he can. Allegedly.

            1. re: Lambowner

              I just checked and haven't gotten a response on the BBQ Project page. We're going to try Avalon Diner for our Valentines Day lunch (burgers). Then the diet resumes Wednesday. I've been off of the diet since the first week in November and gained 6 pounds. That was hunting season, Thanksgiving, Christmas, a week in New Orleans and generally eating things I shouldn't. So I have to buckle down again and take that off plus a few more. Hubby loves eating low-carb so we may take a trip to Pierson and try and pick up some meat after the diet gets going.

              1. re: texasredtop

                I just received an email that I had a response and here it is....

                "I drove by this past Friday. There did not appear to be changes since I was last there several weeks ago, i.e. it is still closed. It certainly did not look open. I also called Saturday morning - if it's open at all that would be the day - and got the same voicemail message. The Yelp review looks fake to me - very strange indeed."

                Why would people post fake reviews? I can understand a fake review by an owner that said the place was good or maybe a fake review that a place was bad by a competitor but this is just too strange. Oh well, it takes all kinds.

                Edited to add: I just checked the date he uploaded the pictures and it was in December so he obviously ate there in the fall and just now posted the review not knowing they were closed.

                1. re: texasredtop

                  That's what i assumed about the Yelp post. IO sometimes post way after the fact, but I always say when I was there. I still need to try Gatlin's.

                  1. re: Lambowner

                    Well, now that y'all have seen my FB photo, if you see me in a restaurant - don't hesitate to say hello :-) Not too many older women with red hair to their waist. lol

                    1. re: texasredtop

                      Folks ... please .... do NOT rely (solely) on Yelp. There are so many other (more reliable) sources for information about local restaurants. Make the effort to get to Gatlin's -- its another little hidden gem that is worth the trip.

                      1. re: Cheflambo

                        I don't use Yelp or any of the other similar sites. I use Chowhound and sometimes Trip Advisor if it's an area that the CH board isn't frequented much. It came up on a google search for Pierson because I was trying to find out if they had reopened. It was the only review for them that was recent.

                        Gatlin's website is blah. The photos show ribs slathered in bbq sauce. If you wouldn't recommend it, I would never even consider it. We have a backup plan for Valentine's lunch and will use that but I will put Gatlin's on the radar. Can you get meat without the sauce? I like sauce - sometimes, but I like to apply it myself. I always get it on the side because if the sauce isn't good, I'm not going to eat any of it.

                        We are going to try the raved-about burgers at Avalon Diner Tuesday.

                        1. re: texasredtop

                          Gatlin's will certainly give you ribs without the sauce. (If you have any doubts about how things are served, you can call the restaurant - preferably during non-peak hours - and ask.) And since not all restaurant websites are created and maintained by professionals who do nothing else (for a hefty fee) some sites (especially for mom-and-pop type places) are done on the fly, or by the owners themselves, or by a generous 3rd party who may have been paid w. food, The best way to judge a place for yourself is to actually go there and eat the food.

                          Yes, we all want to see the menu before we go and spend our hard earned money in a place we might not already know. And I have acquaintances who get locked into what they see on a website, then have a snit because the menu they were handed when they sat down was in any way different from what they were expecting. But honestly, I would rather think that any restaurant I spend my money in paid more attention to their food than anything else.

                      2. re: texasredtop

                        "Older" isn't an adjective I would think of. The hair is certainly a tip off, though, TRT! You look great. You can always delete your post if you don't want it there for all eternity.

                        1. re: Lambowner

                          I'll be 60 this year :-) I'll leave it, no big deal. Maybe others will be looking for the same answers as I was or someone will post when Pierson's re-opens knowing there are those of us waiting anxiously. Thanks for the compliment. Since retiring 3+ years ago I've worked hard at the gym and trying to get healthier.

          2. re: DoobieWah

            Well looky here, Doobs! Great BBQ in Galveston. On St. Paddy's Day. Just for you!


            1. re: Lambowner

              Thanks for the heads up Lambsy.

              That's Louis Mueller's outfit,, (from Taylor) that will be there though, not John.

              Too bad too, cause John's a real character. (and I would kill every one of you for one of his beef ribs!)

              I have a lot of family stuff this weekend so I doubt I will make down there, but thanks and I hope you enjoy.

              1. re: DoobieWah

                It will be John as the article states. If he's able to make it. We'll be thinking of you!

                1. re: Lambowner

                  I have it on pretty good authority that John was slaving away at his pit on S 1st in Austin this weekend.

                  Apparently, Anthony Bourdain will back me up as he filmed a sequence there Saturday.

                  1. re: DoobieWah

                    I like Bourdain a lot but also do not like him in some ways. I'd like to see him visit Houston just once for the food instead of selling his book or the onstage version of the same. There was an episode of he and Andrew Zimmerman eating Mexican tacos in Brooklyn acting as if he'd found the Holy Grail of street food in the tacos all while they both slammed TexMex with out actually mentioning it. Come on down Tony, and try some really good TexMex, or not and hit up the many taco nirvanas we have here, on hundreds of street corners in the city.

                    1. re: DoobieWah

                      Indeed...which is why I said "if he's able to make it" above. He (John) sent a bunch of sausage down to Galveston, though. Who wouldn't entertain AB instead!! Happy for him.

                      AB has actually been in Austin for days at SXSW and went to Franklin's, so I hope he is filming an all Austin episode. He's been Stateside lately on his show.


            2. Has anyone heard if Pierson's has re-opened? I am coming to Houston in a couple of weeks from Canada, and Clarence's food and hospitality has always made his a favorite place to stop.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jcontario

                I made a call to Pierson's and a message said they will re-open on 5/5/2011 due to Mr. Pierson's knee surgery, not a good sign. You might try Virgie's on Gessner or Gatlin's near the Heights. Both offer good BBQ and are run by real nice folks. Gatlin's is a little better in my opinion, but they can be quite slow. Virgie's is also delicious.