Friday, July 2, 2010

Barbecue Inn

HOUSTON: Barbecue Inn
116 West Crosstimbers Street

Houston, TX 77018


Open Tues-Sat 10:30-9:30

We timed it just right to arrive in Houston just as the Barbecue Inn was opening. Despite its name, this joint is much more well known for their home cooking like chicken fried steak, fried shrimp, and fried chicken. But I was here for the BBQ.

This isn't the most beautiful part of town, but certainly doesn't feel dangerous in any way. As I left my car I was approached by a pan handler. I brushed him off and got a look of disdain reserved for folks like me who are exiting their Audis holding their fancy camera. I continued to the entrance and was quickly greeted by a hostess. This is a full service joint. While perusing the menu, the Houston Foodie (Chris Reid) arrived. He would be my intrepid guide for the day. His charge? To show me the best BBQ that Houston had to offer without wincing a bit from the overindulgence that was about to commence.

Chris is a pro in gluttony, so he understood that we needed to share plates even though we were both starving. Ribs are available as an appetizer, and a plate of brisket was very reasonable.

Brisket arrived covered in a thin tomatoey sauce with little depth of flavor. The fat was fully trimmed, and the slices were a bit dry, but the flavor of the unadulterated portions of beef was decent. Outside of a thick black crust, there was little smokiness.

A plate of St. Louis style ribs were much better. Seasoning heavy in black pepper helped create a nice crust on the meat. These bones were moist and tender, and the fat within the rib was nicely rendered. While the ribs also had little smoke, their flavor was very good. A plate of fried chicken ordered by my wife showed why they were so well known for their home cooking. The meat was moist, and the breading perfectly crisp. I'd have a hard time not ordering on my next trip.

Rating ***
Barbecue Inn on Urbanspoon


Annie Bulloch said...

I nibbled one of the ribs at Barbecue Inn once, but that's the only time I ever had barbecue there. My family has been going there to eat friend chicken and other "home cooking" specialties for four generations now!

Jenbug said...

I'm with Annie on this one. Even though it's called "Barbecue Inn", I've never had their BBQ. I always get the fried shrimp, which are out of this world! And I've heard the fried chicken is the best in town.

Last time I was home, I went to Rudy's BBQ in League City. I thought it was great, but I'm no connoisseur. Can you review it for us BBQ civilians? Thanks!


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.