3/5/13 11:15 - With all the hype I wanted to see if Gatlin's measured up. Does Houston finally have its claim to fame for excellence in Texas Barbecue? Would Houston finally have its City Market, Kreuz, Smitty's, Louie Mueller's, or even Cooper's or Salt Lick? Its 5 star barbecue, but time will tell if it reaches legendary status.
I scored Gatlin's a 93 out of 100. This is Grand Champion Texas Barbecue
Smoke: Hickory, No visible stacks but I was fortunate to witness six pallets of
Hickory delivered. That's alot of wood. Encouraging. The smoking process is
hidden from view. I saw a brown tin shed with blue smoke coming out.
Encouraging. There is a mysterious white metal building in the back.
Suspicious. I did not see any exhaust vents. There is more evidence for real
pit than rotisserie.
Brisket: Very Good. The slices i was served from the flat had little to no
smoke ring. Disappointing. Full smoke flavor. A hint of rub. A soft wet bark
over the fat cap. This was literally fall apart tender. No knife needed but the
spoon came in handy. No sauce needed at all. Very very moist. A little too
moist if you know what i mean. I suspect briskets are wrapped in foil. I have
no issue with that, if that explained the over the top moistness. (4/8 - a
comment on a bloggers review witnessed foil wraps) However, I am suspicious
about a certain Cajun technique being used on the competition circuit these
days. I am a not a rigid purist but if true, that would be disappointing for
me. It was not the brisket i was hoping to write rave reviews about.
Ribs: Very Good. A little tough of tender. Good smoke. A nice peppery rub. No
Sausage: Excellent. A Cayenne spicy pork sausage with long lasting after taste.
The spice starts out mild and finishes strong. A real treat compared to
traditional spice sausage. No sauce needed.
Sauce: Excellent. Bottle it and drink it. A strong vinegar tangyness with
subtle lemon flavor. Made everything taste even better. Heck I dipped the bread
in the stuff.
PS: The dirty rice is a