Gatlin’s BBQ, located just a few miles from downtown Houston, might have the best motto we’ve ever run into on our barbecue tours.

“Welcome to Gatlin’s,” the sign said. “Where love is the secret ingredient.”

And if you want to experience the reality of life in a no-zoning, anything-goes big city, this is the place.

Next door is a garden expo that looks like a nursery. Directly across the street are an engine repair business, a house where people live and an automotive sales building.

Welcome to Houston.

Gatlin’s gets rave reviews from some, but the Posse was underwhelmed.

“If this is the best Houston has to offer, we’ve kicked their ass,” Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins said, referring to the Dallas area.

Houston photographer Smiley Pool, who sandwiched a tour of duty at The Dallas Morning News between working at the Houston Chronicle, joined the Posse on this stop.

In Houston, Pool observed, “everyone says that if you want good barbecue you pile in a car and take a two-hour drive.” He referred to the great joints in Central Texas.

The Posse agrees. At Gatlin’s, we ordered brisket, ribs and chicken. To begin with, the service was excruciatingly slow. Then, the brisket was moist, but bland. And the ribs and chicken were just O.K.

“It’s a lot of O.K.,” Posse member Jim Rossman said.

Of course, you might want to discount Rossman’s opinion just a bit. On a solo run to City Market in Luling that morning, he had what he called the best rib he had ever eaten.

“Moist, creamy, crunchy perfection,” Rossman said.

Yes, the best barbecue in Houston is two hours away.


Photos ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse

Leave a comment



Marshall Cooper

5 years ago

And Daniel Vaughn ranked it a five star less than 6 months ago ….

hedrives

5 years ago

Anyone who thinks City Market (Luling) has great ribs needs a rib alignment. And to describe them as "creamy"? Creamy ribs? WTF is that? And you ordered chicken? The TX BBQ trinity is fatty brisket, ribs and sausage. You DID order fatty brisket didn't you? No wonder many people think Dallas is an uncultured dump with goofy alcohol zoning.

Marshall Cooper

5 years ago

And do you care to name your favorite BBQ joint(s)?

hedrives

5 years ago

In Houston, Gatlin's is the best. But, they are not near the top of TX BBQ joints. Here are some of the places I like:
Pork ribs Franklin's BBQ in ATX (I've been going since the trailer days & Aaron's pork ribs are some of the best), Opie's in Spicewood Springs.
Brisket: Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor, Franklin's again, Snow's in Lexington (I haven't made it to Fargo in Bryan, but I hear good things).
Beef ribs: No one gets close to Louie Mueller BBQ, but Black's in Lockhart comes in a distant second.
Sausage: This can be all over the place, but here goes: Kruez' Market in Lockhart for jalapeño sausage, Franklin's BBQ's new style is very good, Louie Mueller has a wonder jalapeño and regular link if you like the loose style.
We all know BBQ is best early in the day and that different people have different tastes, but there are many places that consistently give is great BBQ. City Market is not one of those places.

Anonymous

5 years ago

Go back to southern Oklahoma.

Anonymous

5 years ago

Way to completely skew your pallete by drinking a ginger-grapefruit beer with your meal too.

Anonymous

5 years ago

Woww..such a wonderfull place for meal thank for sharing and also check this Click Here

Anonymous

5 years ago

Stupid Dallas idiots. Ribs are supposed to have smoke ring and bark. They are supposed to be a mixture of savoury, juicy, spicy (if seasoned right), sweet in the meat sense and fall of the bone tender. Unless you are dipping your ribs in ranch dressing, they won't taste creamy.

In Houston, Gatlins, Hickory Hollow, Goode & Co., Blakes, Demeris, and Brook Street are among the best. Even Pappas (fka Luthors) is pretty dang good.




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