Ray's Real Pit BBQ Shack

6/6/13 12:17pm - Mercedes, Hummers, cop cars, King Ranch pickups and clunkers like mine start filling up precious parking space around lunch time. The combination of Texas BBQ and down home cooking is a winner no matter who you are.

I scored Ray's 81 out 100. This is Regional Texas BBQ.

Smoke: Hickory. The words "real pit" are in the name, but there is little evidence for wood fired barbecue. This place has all the hallmarks of gas fired rotisserie. Smoker is hidden from view, no visible stacks of wood, 1/8in smoke ring and the exhaust vent on the roof. I call bunk on "real pit".

Brisket: Good. 1/8in brown smoke ring. Nice thin bark. Dry of tender, starts out moist but finishes dry. Brisket falls apart. I suspect foil wrap and long cook time. Descent smoke, rub and good flavor. Use the sauce.

Ribs: Very Good. Very tender, clean bite, clean bone. A salty rub and good smoke. No sauce needed.

Spicy Sausage: Excellent. Biggest surprise of all. This may be the best spicy sausage in Houston. Its the best I've had. A homemade, coarse ground pork sausage with great herb flavor and red pepper flake kick. Lasting after taste. Casing was crisp and smokey. No sauce needed at all. Package it and sell it at HEB. Its that good.

Sauce: Excellent. A sweet sauce with Tabasco kick. Different and delicious. A thick tomato base with honey, brown sugar and molasses flavors. It did not work well with the sausage but gave the beef and ribs a great flavor boost. Dip the first bite and you will dip every bite after that.

PS: Potato salad was so good I forgot there was barbecue on the plate.
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