Thursday, August 19, 2010


HOUSTON: Beaver's
2310 Decatur Street

Houston, TX 77007
Open Tues-W 11-10, Thur-F 11-11, Sat 12-11, Sun 11-10

Beaver's is the darling of many a food blogger in Houston, the praise just usually isn't for the BBQ. I found it a great choice for a watering hole with a few of these adoring bloggers, and they realized that my presence would require that we order some of the smoked meat offerings. So, along with our crudo (excellent), lamb ahogada (prefectly messy) and numerous drinks, we ordered a 'smoker sampler' with brisket, pork ribs and house made sausage.

From all of the food we sampled at Beaver's, the ribs were an aberration. Although well seasoned, they were dry beyond belief, and chewy to boot. With little smoke flavor, they failed to get eaten bewteen the group. Brisket (dinner only) was a huge improvement. A thick slab of smoky, moist beef was layed out with a nice line of fat still attached. The meat was cut very thick, but it was still plenty tender. The rub created a burst of flavor, and the smoke penetrated the meat. After that experience, a bite of the vinegar-laced pulled pork was bracing. The meat had all the looks of great smoked pork, but the heavy dose of this intensely flavored sauce hid any of the flavor that it may have had coming off the pit. To prove that they do know pork, Beaver's offers a jalapeno pork sausage with a hefty dose of garlic. With a great mix of bold seasoning and hefty dose of smoke all wrapped in a snappy casing, this was some of the best sausage I've eaten.

While I must recommend trying the wide array of quality food on this menu, for the BBQ I'd suggest skipping the pork and the ribs. The brisket and sausage were just that much better, and are alone worth the trip to Beaver's.

Rating ***
Beaver's on Urbanspoon

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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.