Houston

Interview: Trent Brooks of Brooks’ Place

Owner/Pitmaster: Brooks’ Place; Opened 2009 Age: 45 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Red Oak, Pecan, Hickory, and Mesquite Brooks’ Place isn’t exactly easy to get to, but that’s part of its charm. Cypress is at least a thirty minute drive from downtown Houston. It’s a destination, and those in line along with you understand that traveling for good barbecue is worth it. Trent Brooks has been running this trailer on a parking lot in front of an…

Interview: James Davis of Davis Meat Market

Owner/Pitmaster: Davis Meat Market; Opened 1988 Age: 76 Smoker: Gas-fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Oak I rang a buzzer outside this bright red metal building in Houston’s Fifth Ward, and owner James Davis met me at the door. As soon as I stepped inside the smell of raw meat was present, but not unpleasant, and it was tempered with a whiff of fried cracklins. I followed Mr. Davis to his back counter where most of the transactions happen. Along the way I…

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Kings of Competition BBQ

With all the contests and various sanctioning bodies, competition barbecue can get confusing, but one thing is clear. Getting into the Champions Corner at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo World’s Championship Bar-B-Que is a big honor. It is bestowed upon the winners of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Bar-B-Que Cook-Off, the American Royal, and the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue, also known as The Jack. That means Royal winner Tuffy Stone and the…

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Triple J’s Smokehouse

The smokers were everywhere. Co-owner Rhonda Scales had led me through a swinging door into the kitchen where a hulking rotisserie pit was churning with tomorrow’s briskets. “We use all oak,” she told me as we walked out the back door. Split oak logs were piled around two more trailer-mounted rotisseries, a Southern Pride and an Ole Hickory, that were loaded with poultry, links, and boudin. “We only use wood. The gas is just to…

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Baker’s Ribs – Houston

Two weeks after this review ran, Russell Roegels ended his franchise agreement with Baker’s Ribs and rebranded the business as Roegels Barbecue Co.  Great barbecue at a chain restaurant? I was skeptical to say the least, but in Houston I stopped at the lone Baker’s Ribs location in town. I’d heard it from friends, colleagues, and the store’s owner via Twitter that this was destination worthy barbecue. Having had a number of serviceable meals at…

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Highway BBQ: Part Three

If you’ve spent any time on the interstates of Texas, you’ve probably seen barbecue restaurants advertised on numerous billboards, blue service signs, or obnoxiously huge structures situated along the access road. Who among hasn’t seen one of those logos and thought, is the food worth stopping for? If a place needs that much advertising, maybe the barbecue tastes terrible. Or, the food may be so good that thousands of customers stop in,  adding dollars to a huge…