Gatlin's Barbecue

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 sauce needed.

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 must.
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