Our meal of Brisket, deer sausage & pork ribs at Brook’s Place in Cypress. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

In the Spring of 2013, Trent Brooks said, he was struggling to sell 3 or 4 briskets a day from his barbecue trailer located in an Ace Hardware parking lot in Cypress, outside Houston.

“Then one Wednesday,” he recalled, “I opened and all of a sudden my Twitter account exploded. In an hour, I was done.” Sold out.

The next day, he said, there were about 50 people in line when he opened.

What happened?

Brooks’ Place made Texas Monthly’s list of the Top 50 BBQ joints in the state. Instant celebrity and business boost.

Pitmaster/owner Trent Brooks. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves)

“For a month, I sold out in 2 hours a day,” Brooks said.

A half-dozen strong, the Posse arrived at Brooks’ joint about 2:30 on a Friday afternoon during its recent Houston-area tour. The first stop of the day was CorkScrew BBQ in Spring; the second, Virgie’s in Houston.

We sampled brisket, pork ribs and a very spicy deer sausage and liked them all. Four members said Brooks’ barbecue was the best of the day. Two gave the nod to CorkScrew.

“”There’s a lot more going on here flavor wise,” Posse member Jim Rossman said of Brooks’.

“CorkScrew is a little more delicate,” said Phil Lamb. “This is more robust.”

Brooks said he cooks with a mix of oak and pecan wood and uses mainly salt and pepper in his brisket rub, though he was protective of the exact recipe.

“I’ll give you one ingredient that you wouldn’t normally think of,” he said. “Cinnamon.”

Brooks started his joint part time in 2009 and went full time in 2011 after the company he worked for let him go.

“After I lost my job, I didn’t look back,” he said.

Open 5 days a week from 11 a.m., Brooks said he normally sells out by 2-3 p.m. on weekends and 4:30 to 5 on week days. He said he sells 50-60 briskets a week now.

The ordering and eating areas of the place are sheltered by a metal canopy attached to the parking lot.

When it rains — and it rains a lot, Brooks said — he turns the space into a drive thru. Customers can order and get served without getting wet.

Brooks’ Place, 18020 FM 529, Cypress, 832-893-1682. Open Wed-Sun 11am-til the meat runs out. Website: Website: http://www.brooksplacebbq.com (Texas Monthly Top 50)

Brooks Place’s trailer is located next to an Ace Hardware in a Cypress parking lot. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

 

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