AP NEWS

BARBECUE

May 12, 2018 GMT

BARBECUE

Brooks’ Place BBQ

Pitmaster Trent Brooks cranks out outstanding Central Texas-style brisket while mixing in occasional specials like smoked oxtails and smoked catfish at his little-trailer-that-could in an Ace Hardware parking lot. Sides include garlic potatoes, mac and cheese, and kicked-up baked beans. Don’t miss Brooks’ bacon-wrapped sausage and cheddar-stuffed jalapeños. Of note: Customers carrying firearms receive a 10 percent discount. 18020 FM 529, Cypress, 832-893-1682; brooksplacebbq.com. NW

Burns Original BBQ

The classic East Texas-style barbecue served at this Acres Homes institution includes big, meaty pork spareribs and a killer chopped beef sandwich. Anthony Bourdain stopped by to film the Houston-focused episode of his CNN show “No Reservations.” 8307½ De Priest, 281-999-5559. NW

Corkscrew BBQ

Pitmaster Will Buckman’s classic Central Texas-style, all-natural prime brisket is among the best in the city. Pork spareribs are huge and perfectly cooked, and the smoked turkey is always a great choice. Really hungry? Try the Whole Hog, a monster sandwich topped with pulled pork, sliced sausage and spare ribs. Just know if you arrive late, they may be out of what you’re craving. 26608 Keith, Spring, 832-592-1184; corkscrewbbq.com. NE

Gatlin’s BBQ

When Greg Gatlin opened his joint in 2010 he brought back a craftsman approach to Houston barbecue with all-wood-burning smokers. What started as a ramshackle house in the Heights is now a contemporary location in a shopping center near Oak Forest. Don’t miss the sausage, old-school dirty rice (pungent with liver bits) and the peach cobbler. Check out the specials, too. 3510 Ella, 713-869-4227; gatlinsbbq.com. NW

Goode Co. BBQ

Founded by late, legendary Houston restaurateur Jim Goode, the Kirby Drive location is known for superb Czech-style sausage, as well as a hot jalapeño pork sausage. Son Levi now presides over a menu whose other highlights include pork ribs and stellar sides; try the Jambalaya Texana (Tex-Cajun rice dish) and Austin baked beans. Use the jalapeño cheese bread to sop up Goode’s tangy barbecue sauce and don’t forget a slice of pecan pie. 5109 Kirby, 713-522-2530; goodecompany.com. Other locations at 8911 I-10 and 20102 U.S. 290, and 8865 Six Pines Drive in The Woodlands. Inner Loop, W, NW, N

Jackson Street BBQ

A collaboration of chef Bryan Caswell (Reef, El Real) and pitmaster Greg Gatlin (Gatlin’s), this downtown barn of a barbecue joint has much to offer, including a full bar, smoked deviled eggs and outrageously good jalapeño cheddar biscuits, which are best paired with burnt ends. 209 Jackson, 713-224-2400; jacksonstbbqhouston.com. Inner Loop

Pinkerton’s Barbecue

Young pitmaster Grant Pinkerton is making a splash in the Heights. His offerings are emphatically Central Texas in style; colossal beef ribs, almost 2 pounds per bone, have a deliciously charred and crusty bark seasoned with salt and coarse ground pepper. Sides, including smoked duck jambalaya and a crisp coleslaw, are all made in-house. Desserts, too. Also on offer: craft cocktails and a list of wines meant to be paired with barbecue. 1504 Airline, 713-802-2000; pinkertonsbarbecue.com. Inner Loop

Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue

The rare, decades-old brick pits that still produce the barbecue here are in no better hands than those of owner Jerry Pizzitola and pitmasters Davy Reynosa and Josh Scott, who continue the traditions of original pitmaster Carlton Gould, who recently passed away. Original owners John and Lela Davis were pioneers in the Houston barbecue community, operating Shepherd Drive BBQ (as it was originally called) as a black-owned business during the 1950s-era Jim Crow laws. The thick, meaty pork ribs seasoned simply with salt, wood and smoke are as good as ever.. 1703 Shepherd, 713-227-2283; pizzitolas.com. Inner Loop

Ray’s BBQ Shack

Pitmaster Ray Busch continues a long tradition of soulful barbecue in Houston’s Third Ward with outstanding brisket, ribs and “Lott’s Links” sausages based on a recipe from an old-school, now-shuttered nearby joint of the same name. Be sure to order the stupid-good fried corn on the cob. 4529 Old Spanish Trail, 713-748-4227; raysbbqshack.com. SE

Roegels Barbecue

Pitmaster Russell Roegels is solid on the basics: beef brisket, pork ribs and sausage. But it’s his daily specials that make his off-the-tourist-path restaurant worth the effort. Think smoky pork chops, pork belly and lamb chops. 2223 S. Voss, 713-977-8725; roegelsbarbecue.com. W

Southern Q

Smoked turkey legs are a specialty on weekends here - a throwback to a traditional East Texas-style barbecue dish. Pitmaster Steve Garner has both the rich, fragrant boudin and the spicy, garlicky sausage links made to his recipe by a local butcher. Wife Sherice always offers a welcoming smile for guests. 16540 Kuykendahl, 832-250-4851; southernqbbqcatering.com. N

Tejas Chocolate Craftory

Scott Moore and partner Michelle Holland were bit by the bean-to-bar chocolate bug and began making handmade, craft chocolate in their kitchen in 2011; now they’ve got a full-on chocolate-and-barbecue emporium in Old Town Tomball that Texas Monthly recently named the sixth best barbecue joint in the state. The brisket and ribs are excellent, as are the signature sandwiches (think brisket and blue cheese). Side dishes including the carrot soufflé are not to be missed. 200 N. Elm, Tomball, 832-761-0670; tejaschocolate.com. N

The Brisket House

Pitmaster Wayne Kammerl is distinguished for the quality and consistency of his Central Texas-style ’cue served during both lunch and dinner - a rarity when many of the best joints sell out of meat and close up soon after lunch. The trinity here - brisket, pork ribs and locally-made sausage - is terrific. 5775 Woodway, 281-888-0331; 3217 Center, Deer Park, 281-884-8058; 3301 Cypress Creek Parkway, 832-286-1487; thebriskethouse.com. W, SE, NW

The Pit Room

The three types of handmade sausage at this Montrose joint may be the

best in Houston: all-beef sausage loaded with mustard seeds and other spices; pork sausage with chunks of fresh jalapeño and melty cheese;

and dense, smoky and peppery venison sausage. Thoughtful sides and condiments, as well as tacos

with flour tortillas made in-house

using fat collected from brisket trimmings. 1201 Richmond, 281-888-1929; thepitroombbq.com.

Inner Loop