When Truth Barbecue opens its new joint in Houston, it’s hard to imagine a location more different from the original place on the outskirts of Brenham.
It’s only 80 miles or so as the crow flies, but the new setting could just as well be on a different planet.
Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins and I got a first-hand look at the contrast during a recent tour of Houston area barbecue joints.
We started at Truth in Brenham on a Friday morning, ordering that day’s special, the Texas Trinity of brisket, pork ribs and sausage.
The food looked and tasted so good that we broke our normal Posse rules. Usually, we just sample bites of smoked meat and few sides, leaving plenty of room for more barbecue at later stops. But this time we ate a full meal and more. Stuffed, I think, is the appropriate word.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever had a better barbecue meal,” I told Chris.
While at Truth, we ate outside, with a glimpse of the Brenham water tower in the distance. Just across Highway 290, we could see Rosebowl Lanes. Nearby, a sign outside the Regency Inn Motel advertised a weekly rate of $175. “Open 24 hours,” the sign said. “Truck parking.”
During our visit, Owner/pitmaster Leonard Botello IV and his director of operations Corey Taylor told us about plans for the new Truth, located in a former J. Black’s restaurant and bar not far from midtown Houston. They said they were hoping to open by the end of last year, but Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath intervened. Now, they said, they hope to open soon, late May or June.
After stuffing ourselves at Truth, we drove to Tomball on the northwest side of the sprawling Houston metro area and checked into our hotel, located just a few minutes from our first stop the next morning, Tejas Chocolate Craftory. While Chris edited some of his photos from Truth, I napped. Two hours. Hey, I’m officially a senior citizen. Naps are good for old folks.
Rested and restored, we decided to visit the location of the new Truth on our way south to Pearland and dinner at Killen’s Barbecue.
The new Truth Barbecue location, at the corner of Heights Blvd. and Washington Ave., is just across the street from a giant new development that will include a 96,000 square foot H-E-B, office space, and more than 200 apartments. A mile or so away on Allen Parkway is the stunning — or startling, depending upon your point of view — Federal Reserve Bank branch.
The many different shapes and architectural components of the Fed building provide a good metaphor for what Botello and other young Texas pitmasters are bringing to barbecue. But that’s a story for another time.
Chris parked in the J. Black’s lot and we walked around. The building is about 6,000 square feet. Lots of room for barbecue and more.
To our surprise, though, we saw no signs that remodeling had begun. The sign at the front still said “J. Black’s Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge.” The place closed in early 2017. Another sign near the corner of the parking lot said “Super Bowl Specials and DJs all week.”
The Posse can’t wait for the new Truth Barbecue to open. And we’re certainly not renovation or construction experts. But May or June may be optimistic.
Truth BBQ, 2990 US-290, Brenham, (979) 830-0392. Open Fri-Sun 11am-4pm. Website: https://www.truthbbq.com