Leon's World's Finest In & Out Bar-B-Que
8/3/13 1:30pm - While on vacation in Galveston, I finally got my chance to eat at Leon's. They made 2013 Texas Monthly top 50. After a week long seafood binge, I was ready to sink my teeth into Top 50 Texas 'Que....and I'm still ready. I have always suspected that TM sometimes lists a few joints just because its good magazine business. Either that, or they try to make up for not listing them in the past. Galveston has never been represented in TM Top 50 and from what I read, the owner is loved by his patrons and Galveston. There should be room in the Top 50 to give some love back to a man like Leon O'Neal.
I scored Leon's a 75 out of 100. This is Regional Texas BBQ.
Smoke: Oak. Ole Hickory gasser hidden behind a cedar fence up against the back. Just a few steps behind it lies the old smoke house. Its sad to see the old rusted steel barrel smoker left there abandon and forgotten. I understand that Leon made the switch to a gasser after Hurricane Ike. Another unrecorded Ike casualty.
Brisket: Fair. Zero Nada smoke ring! Solid gray with a thin black bark. It tested tough of tender and finished dry. Some smoke and a little salty rub. Not Top 50 quality by a long shot. Use the sauce.
Ribs: Very Good. Near perfect tender spare ribs served with the rib tips cut separate. I thought that was clever and I will serve my own spare ribs the same way from now on. A great salty black peppery rub. Good smoke and rosy red ring. Great overall flavor. Top notch ribs. No sauce needed at all.
Sausage: Excellent. I found some pirate treasure! A coarse ground beef (maybe some pork) sausage with strong traditional spice, garlic and salt flavor. Great black peppery and tid-bit of cayenne heat after taste. Fabulous and wonderful east Texas style sausage. If they sold it at the HEB, I would serve it at my table. No sauce needed at all.
Sauce: Fair. A tomato base, faint vinegar weak tangy sauce. Hints of black pepper and chili powder. Overall flavor was very mild and almost undetectable. It somehow lost all its flavor when sampled with the meats. It did nothing to improve the brisket. It was almost a flavorless sauce. Very strange.