Houston BBQ Joints

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Let the Texas BBQ Posse eat cake, mom says, and we do

Customers line up on a Saturday morning at Truth Barbeque in Brenham, the Posse’s first stop of the trip. (Photo ©Michael Ainsworth/Texas BBQ Posse) At the first stop of the day on a barbecue tour, we almost never order dessert. Plenty of opportunity later for sweets, if we’re still hungry. And so it was at Truth Barbeque in Brenham on a recent Saturday morning. After tasting the joint’s beef rib, brisket, pork ribs, turkey and sausage, we confirmed that Truth deserved every bit of its recent Texas Monthly ranking among the Top 10 places in the state. “I can’t think we’re…
 - 06/26/2017
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A return visit confirms, Killen’s BBQ is one of the best in Texas

Phil’s lunch of brisket, ribs, turkey & Sausage at Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland. (Photo ©Phil Lamb) Posse member Phil Lamb checks in this week with a dispatch from Houston: The passage of time plays funny tricks on the BBQ mind. For example, I often wonder whether a particular joint serving above-average ‘cue will hold up over time. This is especially true of out-of-town spots we don’t regularly visit. Similarly, I occasionally wonder whether a joint we once ranked as “outstanding” was really all that special. It’s as if doubt starts to creep in after a few months go by. Did…
 - 05/23/2016
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Greater Houston, we have barbecue redemption

The four meat plate with a link of boudin brought a smile to Posse faces at Ray’s Real Pit BBQ Shack in Houston. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) In a previous post, careful readers might wonder about the heading over the itinerary of our weekend trip: “Houston Redemption BBQ Tour” What’s that all about? Flash back to the Posse’s first Gulf Coast tour two years ago. It was disappointing. The only good barbecue we found was in Galveston, 50 miles away. “Houston, we have a barbecue problem” was the headline on that chapter of our BBQ Chronicles. Some of our…
 - 09/29/2014
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From the NFL to Ray’s BBQ Shack in Houston, meet Herb Taylor, pit master in training

Herb Taylor, co-owner of Ray’s Real BBQ Shack in Houston. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/fotobia.com) At TCU in Fort Worth, offensive tackle Herb Taylor started every game during his four-year college football career. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007 and spent time with four other NFL teams over six years. Herb Taylor as a Kansas City Chief. Now out of football, Taylor is a co-owner and self described “pit master in training” at Ray’s Real Pit BBQ Shack in Houston. The other co-owners are Ray Busch and Maxine Davis, Taylor’s mother, who were’t there when we stopped. Taylor…
 - 07/07/2014
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Take a number — A different approach to BBQ lines

Posse members Jim Rossman & Gary Jacobson head up the line at Killen’s BBQ. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/fotobia.com) In our recent travels to Houston, part of the scheduling involved knowing that two joints – Killen’s and CorkScrew – were places that would require a wait in a pretty lengthy line. We hit CorkScrew BBQ in  Friday for lunch and did the same Saturday at Killen’s. Each place opens at 11am. I volunteered to be the line sitter each morning, arriving at 8:30 a.m. each day to secure the first spot in line. Note to our fellow line-waiters – I was alone…
 - 07/01/2014
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Killens’ BBQ in Pearland is going to crash everyone’s top 10 list.

Killen’s BBQ in Pearland. (All photos by Jim Rossman) I had lunch at Killen’s BBQ in Pearland today and the meats were spectacular. I have no doubt Killen’s is the best BBQ in Pearland, and likely the best BBQ in the Houston-area. The Posse will double-check my thoughts as we head down to Houston for a BBQ tour at the end of June and Killen’s is a highly-anticipated stop. I figured Mother’s Day would be a light day at a BBQ joint, but then I remembered this is Texas. Killen’s opens at 11 a.m., and at 10:05 a.m. I was…
 - 05/12/2014
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Houston-area barbecue fans finally get hip and learn how to form a line at Killen’s Pop-Up BBQ in Pearland

Long line at Killen’s BBQ in Pearland last Saturday. (Photo by Bryan Norton/bbqtreasurehunt.com) “Magic tingle.” That’s how Bryan Norton, a blogger who rides a motorcycle to many of the barbecue joints he visits, describes the experience of tasting perfect brisket. “It’s that magic combination of pepper, salt, perfectly rendered fat, and of course brisket that literally travels through your body,” he explained recently on the Posse’s Facebook page. “I’ve seen it make people giggle, laugh, roll their eyes back in their head, high-five and sometimes all of those at once,” Norton wrote. The Posse can’t argue. That may be the…
 - 07/07/2013
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Corkscrew BBQ: Finally found the best BBQ in Houston…well, Spring, TX.

Corkscrew BBQ in Spring, just north of Houston. (Photos by Jim Rossman) For several months I’ve been monitoring the buzz around Corkscrew BBQ, a trailer operation in Spring TX, between Conroe and Houston. My parents had forwarded me an article from the Houston Chronicle praising a new classic of Houston BBQ and decided it would be a priority on my next trip to visit my parents. Fast forward and today’s the day. I got to Corkscrew just after noon and there were about 15 people in the line that stayed about that long until 1:30 p.m., when Pitmaster Will Buckman…
 - 05/03/2013
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The Barbecue Chronicles: Houston, we have a barbecue problem

The eight stops on the Texas BBQ Posse’s Gulf Coast BBQ Tour.  (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Houston is a wasteland for good barbecue, but Galveston and Bryan aren’t. The main mission on the BBQ Posse’s recent 35-hour, 700-mile barbecue tour to the Texas Gulf Coast and back was to find good smoked meat in Houston. We didn’t. But an hour south, on Galveston Island, we met Leon O’Neal and learned again about the true power of barbecue. O’Neal, who runs Leon’s World Finest In & Out Bar-B-Que House at Broadway and 55th, told us about the cleanup after Hurricane…
 - 06/24/2012
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A meditation on “creamy, crunchy” BBQ perfection

Recently, one of our readers, probably from Houston, took issue with a reference here to the spectacular ribs at City Market in Luling, seen in the photo above. A Posse member called the best rib he had ever eaten — just that morning at City Market — “moist, creamy, crunchy perfection.” Our reader wondered how any real barbecue fan could ever call a rib creamy. Of course, he was probably more upset that the same post essentially said the best barbecue in Houston was average when compared to the best in Dallas. Hot barbecue opinions, like hot sports opinions, do…
 - 06/15/2012
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Houston BBQ king Jerry Pizzitola’s epiphany: His brisket isn’t in the same league as Snow’s

WARNING: This post contains some gloating, but we hope it stops well short of excessive celebration. A few weeks ago, we wrote about our latest BBQ tour, in search of good smoked meat in Houston. We didn’t find any. And we quoted Houston Chronicle photographer Smiley Pool, who shared a Pulitzer Prize while at The Dallas Morning News, saying if you wanted good BBQ in Houston, then you had to get in a car and drive two hours. Several readers chided our taste and challenged our BBQ expertise. One even took at shot at the beer we drank. That’s low.…
 - 06/12/2012
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History more interesting than BBQ at Pizzitola’s in Houston

Pizzitola’s. Great name for a pizza joint. And that’s exactly what what some potential customers mistakenly thought until the place changed its signs several years ago, adding references to barbecue, said manager Lexie Moore. “Everyone thanked us for bringing barbecue to the neighborhood,” Moore said. “We had it all the time.” We arrived at Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue on Shepherd Drive in Houston about an hour or so before closing on a Friday night. The joint touts itself as “Houston’s Home for Spareribs” and they weren’t bad. Neither was the sausage. But the brisket was closer to roast beef, dry and without…
 - 06/12/2012
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If you want good BBQ in Houston, get in a car and drive 2 hours

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…
 - 06/11/2012
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Avoiding the dreaded barbecue belch

On a barbecue tour, sometimes wisdom sneaks up on you. And so it was in Galveston on Saturday when Leon O’Neal told us his secret to preventing his customers from burping after they ate his smoked meat. Use dry wood, the owner of Leon’s World’s Finest In and Out B-B-Q said, standing in front of a tall wall of cut oak. “That’s where the after belch comes from.” In other words, sappy wood is burping bad. Some might put this wisdom in the same category as always buy brisket from the left side of the cow, which we wrote about a…
 - 06/05/2012

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