Post Oak Ranch BBQ

2/20/14 11:57 - What a find, an authentic Texas BBQ joint! Don't know how long this place has been smoking 'que, but carbon dating suggests since the 1970's. Its doubtful they have ever spent one dollar in renovations. This only adds to the charm, when you park and walk through the door you fell like you are in an Urban Cowboy movie. An awful rock masonry facade with window AC units, tin roof, faded overhead sign, and busted up parking lot. There is an ancient long forgotten dusty beer can collection inside. For Pete's Sake, they have a velvet painting of Clint Eastwood from the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Vintage! Love this place.

I scored Post Oak Ranch an 83 out of 100. This is Reserve Grand Champion Texas BBQ.  It restored my hope in Houston, Tx barbecue.

Smoke: Hickory. Wood fired BBQ in an ancient Black Olyer. I love how the smoke stack in the back is rusted and leaning to point its looks like it will fall over. The staff described the smoker as "one of those old style pits with the racks that turn around".

Brisket: Good. A 1/4in smoke ring beneath a beautiful thick black bark. I got the lean cut and it tested dry of tender.  It had good smoke flavor and could not detect any rub seasoning. It started dry and finished dryer. Use the sauce.

While I was waiting on a picture of the pit, the manager cut me a slice of fatty brisket. Oh Mah Gah, that was so good but it was too late to score. If you go you must request the fatty slices. No sauce needed.  I will have to come back for an updated score based on that slice.

Ribs: Very Good. Near perfect tender big meaty spare rib. Nice rosy pink smoke ring beneath a thick bark. They are glazed with the BBQ sauce so they are slightly wet which makes for good finger licking. Smokey and delicious. No sauce needed.

Sausage: Very Good. A course ground beef link with bold traditional spice and strong peppery after taste. Casing was smokey and snappy. After eating truck loads of grocery store quality links, this was a nice treat. No sauce needed.

Sauce:  Very Good.  A simple thin super tangy red tomato vinegar sauce with great flavor.  This sauce works well to add flavor to the meat but not mask the smokey goodness.  Don't forget to get it on the side, but if you forget so what!

They offer a beef rib, but I'll have to come back that also.  Maybe one of my fellow meatheads can review.
Post Oak Ranch Bar-Bq on Urbanspoon

Central Texas Bar-B-Q

2/10/14 11:30am - Some places are just pass their prime.  The barbecue that made Central Texas successful for four decades (1969) was not the barbecue I had today.

I scored Central Texas a 76 out of 100.  This is Regional Texas BBQ.

Smoke:  Hickory. Actual central Texas BBQ joints prefer Oak, but who am I to judge. Real wood fired brick ovens!  I love how the smoke stack chimney is painted with the Texas flag.  Brick pits are rare around Houston so this was a real treat to see one. After lunch is was real disappointment my barbecue was smoked on these pits.

Brisket: Good.  A nice 1/4in smoke ring under a thin black bark.  Tested dry of tender.  Overcooked to point it fell apart just by touch.  The fork could not pierce and hold the slice.  A spoon would have been a better choice.  The bark had a slight bitter smoke flavor.  I could not detect the presence of a rub.  Use the sauce.

Ribs:  Fair.  Once again overcooked and dry of tender.  The ends were burnt.  There was a the presence of a rub but it's flavor was long gone.  Bitter smoke and burnt were the dominate flavors.  Use the sauce or skip all together.

Sausage:  Good.  An average run of the mill grocery store quality link sausage.  Mild traditional spice flavor and very little after taste.  A pleasant link for the dinner table but not for a BBQ joint.  Use the sauce.

Sauce:  Very Good.  Call it mighty mouse sauce because it "saved the day".  A tangy tomato vinegar based sauce. Served warm its a citrus tangy sauce with cider vinegar, lemon.  They serve their BBQ covered in the sauce, just let them do it.  Its OK.
Decor:  I do not write nor care about restaurant decor but it would be an omission error not to mention this place.  I do not know how to describe it.  The words that come to mind are quirky folksy bad dream but not quite a nightmare.  The interior resembles a junky antique mall with interesting one of a kind pieces.  All the dining tables are actual home furnishings covered with cut glass.  Beneath the cut glass are pictures of family?, friends?, locals?, strangers?, rednecks?, psychopaths?  Anyway they are hard not to notice and every customer leaves with the question "Who are these people?".  There are interesting carnival type one of a kind antiques that will bring a smile or a laugh.  The decor is so strange that it is a masterpiece to itself.  I would never recommend going some where just to check out the decor, but this is the one exception. 

Central Texas Style Barbecue on Urbanspoon

Baker's Ribs

2/9/14 12:38pm - Finally my Sunday School class picks a BBQ joint to gather after church and best of all it was on my hit list.  This place is wood fired BBQ, who woulda thunk it.  It looked like a dead ringer for a gasser.

I scored Baker's Ribs an 80 out of 100.  This is Regional Texas BBQ.

Smoke: Oak and Pecan.  The hide wood stack out back along with the smokehouse.  I couldn't see what kind of pit they use, but the bellowing blue smoke out of real smoke stacks is a dead give away.  Wood fired BBQ.

Brisket:  Good.  1/4 in smoke ring beneath a thin crunchy black bark.  Tested tough of tender and a knife was needed.  Smoke was heavy on the bark but not through the slice.  Could not detect a rub.  Use the sauce.

Ribs:  Very Good.  A St.Louis style spare rib tested very tender with clean bone.  The rub was long gone but there was a subtle sweet spritz on the bark from maybe a fruit juice.  Overall flavor was good and smoke was mild.  No sauce needed.

Sausage:  Good.  A course ground tight packed pork beef sausage with mild traditional spice and faint after taste.  Casing was little tough and not a lot of smoke.  Use the sauce.

Sauce:  Good.  Very tangy tomato vinegar based sauce with molasses, Worcestershire, and lemon flavors.  It is served warm and shoots out of the container!  I nearly soaked my pants.  Use with caution or it could ruin your day.
Baker's Ribs on Urbanspoon