Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pierson & Company Bar-B-Q

HOUSTON: Pierson & Company Bar-B-Q
5110 West T. C. Jester

Houston, TX 77091


Open Tues-Sat 11-7

Update: This joint is temporarily CLOSED. Pitmaster and owner Clarence Pierson had surgery on his knees a while back and is recovering for a hopeful comeback.

2010: After trying so many average DFW 'cue joints, I had little hope for finding truly great BBQ in another Texas metropolitan area. My guide for the day assured me that we'd be hitting the best that Houston had to offer, so today would be Houston's test. The second stop of the morning brought us to a joint that had been garnering some local clout along with accolades from the likes of Robb Walsh since its opening about two years ago. Let's just say expectations were high.

In addition to the standard brisket and ribs, we opted for sliced pork and a link of boudin. The boudin was dense but moist with great flavor from green onions and a great smoky flavor. The spare ribs were large and meaty, possibly from giant four pounds racks. The meat was perfectly moist with juiciness streaking through it due to the perfectly rendered fat. A very heavy spice rub kept any black crust from forming, but the meat was incredibly smoky throughout from a good dose of mesquite smoke. Sliced pork wasn't so much sliced as chunked. The rub was the same as that used on the ribs, but it wasn't quite as heavy. No residual fat was evident because of the long smoking time, and the tender, moist meat just fell apart into nice bite sized morsels.

In the opinion of most, including me, the true test of any joint's skill is their brisket. This brisket was slow smoked in an upright pit by Houston's David Klose. The meat had a deep smokiness into the core of each slice. A large line of fat was left on the edge of each slice, and this fat was so silky tender that their was little question that it would all be eaten along with the meat. This brisket was nicely seasoned and lusciously moist and tender, and truly some of the best I've eaten in the state. If this keeps up on this tour of Houston, then there's no question that it's got Dallas beat.

Rating *****
Pierson & Company Bar B Que on Urbanspoon


air said...

Houston definitely tops Dallas for BBQ. Happy to hear you're having a good time in my hometown. If only Boogie's were around for you to try; not sure if you had heard about their fire. IMO they are right on par with Pierson's, possibly better.

Ray said...

I'm really glad to see you have started reviewing Houston BBQ spots. What other H-Town BBQ places can we expect to see in upcoming reviews? Is Burns BBQ a spot you plan on reviewing? What about Virgie's? I know you mentioned Virgie's in the BBQ Smackdown 2010 thread.

Anonymous said...

The Diet Coke in one of the pictures is a travesty for real Texas BBQ explorers. How about a Shiner, iced tea, or if you must have a soda, a Big Red or Dr. Pepper?

BBQ Snob said...

I assure you that was a companion's Diet Coke. I was drinking DP.

Columbaire said...

Clarence and family deserve the berth among the elite. No secrets here, just barbecue that you'd put right alongside any of the 5-star cen-tex and hill country meat markets. How do you pay a higher compliment?
Magic is knowing which brisket goes exactly where relative to the heat and for how long. After that, careful selection of the wood, careful tending of the hearth - this is the art. Those are in the blood at Pierson's. The rubs on beef, pork, and fowl are distinct, simple, and effective. The sausage is cooked to the right kind of tooth with a really great smoke balance. Same to be said of the bird - right bite, juicy, but done. Five stars is really special and Pierson's is just exactly that.
(P.S. If it were only my two visits to measure, that wouldn't do. I'm writing this after reports from two of my knowing cronies, and the sixth report from my son who took up the odyssey while still in high school fifteen years ago.He and Walsh concur on most food topics and he considers living in the Heights no real handicap anymore.)

Anonymous said...

Is Pierson's still open. Phone is disconnected.

Jason said...

My wife is standing outside of this place right now (it's closed sadly, at the moment) but still in business, according to "open" signs. Although she did describe it as "rotting and almost falling down".

BBQ Snob said...

Sorry, they are open until the meat runs out. It always seemed in good structural condition to me, and the smoked meats are popular.

Jason said...

Now that she's returned, I've taken a look at the few photos she took and the place looks ok, except for a tiny shed in the back (the pit?) and the stairs next to it, which look deadly.

I think she was just embittered at missing out on her BBQ adventure (Canada, home of non-existent or horrible BBQ, directly to Houston).

Anonymous said...

Pierson's, sadly, has closed again. Not sure about reasons, but I live nearby and there is a for sale sign up on the property


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.