Houston

Smoked Portland 09

Smoke Gets in Your Food

Just when it appeared we had hit peak bacon—last week’s introduction of Sizzl, Oscar Meyer’s dating app for bacon lovers, could be pinpointed as the moment things jumped the shark—Chris Shepherd, the chef at Underbelly in Houston, found a way to improve the most popular ingredient of the past five years. Enter bacon sausage, ground up cured and smoked pork bellies stuffed into large format casing. Shepherd unveiled the dish at Feast Portland, and, no surprise, it was a hit. Yes, this is…

Pizzitolas BBQ 01

Pizzitola’s

Legends in the barbecue world perpetuate themselves. Keeping your doors open for decades takes hard work, loyal customers, and a little luck, and it doesn’t happen that often. In return, such barbecue joints are worshiped for their longevity, and rightly so. It’s a huge benefit, but it also comes with some disadvantages. Unlike upstarts who can charge more, tailor a menu for today’s tastes, and have no past to answer to, storied barbecue joints carry…

Southern Q BBQ 06

Southern Q BBQ

There’s a little red building with yellow trim along Kuykendahl Road on the north side of Houston. The fresh coat of paint is hard not to notice even while speeding along, and inside is some of the city’s best and most thoughtful barbecue. For Steve and Sherice Garner, this building has been a long time coming. The business started small several years ago when they were cooking just for their church. They then purchased a barbecue trailer that…

Killens BBQ 02

Houston BBQ Guide

Houston is enormous. It’s easy to say it’s the largest metropolitan area in Texas, but the size is hard to comprehend until you’ve spent the day driving from one corner to another, like I did last week in search of good barbecue. Consider this: it took me a full hour (without traffic) to travel from the Corkscrew BBQ in Spring to Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland, two of the best in the area. (And yes, I know certain Houstonians would…

Jackson St BBQ 07

Jackson Street BBQ

It’s big, it’s bright red, and Jackson Street BBQ is a great new option for Texas barbecue in downtown Houston. Opened earlier this year, it’s a joint venture between Houston chef Bryan Caswell and local pitmaster Greg Gatlin. The two joined forces on a menu with plenty of variety, and aimed squarely at Astros fans headed to Minute Maid Park just a few steps away. It can be startling to drive up to the joint…

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Pappa Charlie’s Barbeque

The transition from competition barbecue to commercial barbecue can be challenging. Restaurateurs generally have to cook more than once a week, there’s more meat to smoke, and a lot more people need to be pleased than one table of judges. In my experience, shelves full of competition trophies don’t often translate into good barbecue from the menu, which is why Pappa Charlie’s Barbeque in Houston is so remarkable. Owner Wesley Jurena doesn’t exactly have room for…