When in Rome… You’re not really going to make me finish the saying are you? This was my first time traveling to Houston, TX and everyone and their grandmother informed me that I needed to find some barbecue. Why is barbecue food in Texas the go to? Do they have special grills? Or do they believe they’re grill experts because it’s nice all year round? (Don’t debate me when I say it’s nice all year round either) I asked a couple of foodies in the Houston area for recommendations regarding the best barbecue in town. Killen, Gatlin’s, 529 BBQ, Rays, and PinkertonsBBQ were all mentioned. I was running on limited time, so I only had the option of going to one of the mentioned and it was an excellent choice!
Upon my arrival I was greeted by the owner Grant Pinkerton, who had this ecstatic look on his face as if he remembered me from kindergarten. Unfortunately, it was just his one year anniversary of opening this restaurant. (I’m excited, you just can’t hear it in my words) I love hearing success stories. I was able to speak with him a little about where he grew up at and why he wanted to start a barbecue restaurant. He informed me ever since he was young he loved to barbecue food. From the smell, look, and taste, he was fascinated by it all. He gave me some suggestions on some foods that I should try while I was dining. The interior was set up like a regular barbecue restaurant with long tables and long seated chairs. The food is also cut fresh for you as you stand in a line, cafeteria style.
During my visit I was able to try four different smoked meats. One huge pound of a beef rib, some glazed pork ribs, smoked tenderloin, smoked turkey, and jalapeno rice. I’ll start off with the one pound of beef rib. This rib was huge (as you can see from the picture) but the taste was something I’ve never tasted before. It was fatty (and before you judge, fat on beef is amazing if seasoned right), smoky, and sweet and savory. I didn’t expect to eat this rib the way I did, but if you would’ve seen the way I ate it, you’d be ashamed. But, are you really supposed to have table manners while eating barbecue food?
The next items that were ordered were the glazed pork ribs, smoked tenderloin and turkey, and jalapeno rice. The best ribs I’ve ever had come from my grandmothers grill. Unfortunately, these glazed pork ribs that I had didn’t compare or come close to what my grandmother makes. The ribs, which were good, were a little tough. The sauce was amazing, but the ribs tasted as though they were on the grill a little too long. Now, to play devils advocate, my grandmother’s ribs are the best on the planet. This is not up for debate.
The smoked tenderloin and turkey were pretty good as well. But, I’d like to shed light on the smoked turkey because I don’t remember chewing any of it. I placed the turkey on my tongue and it melted in my mouth. It was smoky, moist, and flavorful. It had just the right amount of seasonings and you could see the juices fall of the knife with each cut. The tenderloin was good and fatty as well, but the turkey stole the show. I wouldn’t think of ordering turkey at a barbecue spot, but having turkey at this place makes me consider ordering more turkey. The rice was an excellent side dish and the jalapeno and cheese complimented the smokiness of the rest of the food that was ordered. There isn’t too much to say about the rice, because it’s rice. You’ve had Uncle Ben’s before.
Overall, this restaurant is a go to. If you happen to be in Houston, there are so many barbecue spots that I doubt you’d go wrong with any of the ones you choose. This specific location just happened to fit into my schedule. I’d like to see how the other barbecue spots stack up versus the one I just went to.