Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thelma's Bar-B-Q

HOUSTON: Thelma's Bar-B-Q
3755 Southmore Boulevard

Houston, TX 77004


Open M-F 11-7, Sat 11:30-7

Update: Thelma's lost their lease and they are now CLOSED. They hope to find a new location, and I hope they do too.

2010: If you don't like this sauce, you're not gonna be a fan of Thelma's. This is true East Texas style BBQ which is judged by a chopped beef sandwich covered in sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. Before you can get your hands on it, you have to deal with Thelma and her surly attitude.

Or so I had been told. Thelma has rules. Those rules are posted ad nauseum on nearly every surface of the joint, and I like these rules, especially the one about orders not being taken from people on their cell phones. My guess is that the folks who warn about the rude owner are also those determined to break the rules. I didn't, and service was courteous in return.

I even asked for no sauce on my two meat platter, and was obliged without comment. At the table, my first bite was from the pile of dirty rice. So were the next few bites. This stuff had intense flavor and great meatiness. It was one of the best sides I've had at a BBQ joint. As for the meat, the ribs were huge and meaty with a great crust and a slightly sweet glaze. The moist meat was well cooked and came off the bone easily, but it could have used more smoke. Brisket was similar. The meat was moist, tender and well seasoned, but needed more smoke. No matter the flavor, they're not shy about piling it on. A few dips into that sweet, vinegary sauce did it well.

This brisket is more well suited to that huge chopped beef sandwich. The meat was chunked rather than chopped, with plenty of good crust all around. The bottom of the bun was hidden under a sea of meat and sauce that nearly filled the styrofoam container. That sauce had a kick of spice along with the super sweetness, and I really enjoyed the flavors all mixed together. Don't expect to eat this one without a fork.

Rating ***
Thelma's Bar B Que on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good for selmas rules,if you dont have some rules like the cell phone you wont get thru the line..and the other rules,well its sad you have to have them,but if you dont your place would be torn down in a bad the parents are worse than the kids now...i have to count to 3 to the parents quite often...


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.