Brooks Family BBQ


9/19/14 12:38pm - Funkalicious! That is the one word that best describes this East Texas style BBQ joint. I was greeted by a stereo blasting out the Gap Band's "You drop a bomb on me".  In my mind I was dancing all the way up to the counter.  Felt like I was back at the high school dance listening to a funk play list from the 70's & 80's. The BBQ roots of this family stretches back 50 years to Nacogdoches.  Harlon brought his family to Houston in the 70's and started Harlon BBQ (out of biz).  Marlon continued the family tradition and open his restaurant December 26, 2013 across the street from UH's new football stadium.  No relation to the Brooks Place in Cypress.  The service is great; they pour the love on their customers.

I scored Brooks Family BBQ an 84 out 100.  This is Reserve Grand Champion Texas BBQ with a little Funk.

Smoke:  Hickory and Mesquite.  There is a steel barrel smoker outside but its most likely for catering, since outdoor cooking is forbidden.  Not a stick of wood in sight and their Facebook page is littered with rotating steel racks.  Its a gasser.

Brisket:  Very Good.  An nice bright red 1/4in smoke ring beneath a respectable black bark.  Slice thin but it tested and ate tender.  Well done.  Good smoke flavor.  Seasoning was mild but you could taste a hint of salt.  No sauce needed.  Not bad for a gasser.

Ribs:  Very Good.  Fall-off-the-bone spare ribs.  Even though these ribs were overcooked they were very moist. The red savory salty pork suggests these ribs may have spent a night in a brine.  Love it.  The moist seasoned bark suggests these ribs spent their final hours wrapped.  Lot of love goes into these ribs.  No sauce needed.

Sausage:  Excellent.  A pork link that was a cross between East Texas and Mexico.  An East Texas spicy sausage seasoned with chile powder.  One minute I thought I was eating Chorizo the next I think I am eating an East Texas link.  Marlon said they purchase these links from Frenchys.  Very bold spice flavor and long lasting aftertaste.  A little orange grease on the plate made me wish for a tortilla.  No sauce needed.

Sauce:  Good.  A purchased product with a private label.  Since nothing here needs sauce who cares.  A sweet thick red sauce with a little spice that lingers after the tangy fades away.  It does complement all the salty flavors.  It does the job.
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Heavy's Outdoor Bar-B-Que


9/5/14 12:16pm -  I was six days too late to run into Daniel Vaughn eating at Heavy's.  I did not eat the same BBQ he did.  This was once the location of McBees, which made top 50 back in 2008.  The name may have changed but the quality has not.

I scored Heavy's a 90 out of 100.  This is Grand Champion Texas BBQ.

Smoke:  Mesquite.  Well I knew I would run into this sooner or later.  The combination of a gasser and wood fired pit.  The same two twin pits that made McBees famous are still in use today, but behind them is a Southern Pride.  I am guessing the briskets start out in the pit and spend the night in the gasser.  Around 145F the smoke ring process stops and so does smoke flavor.  At this point your pit becomes a oven.  Only bark and fat benefit from the smoke past this point.

Brisket:  Excellent.  Top 50 quality.  A 5/16in impressive red smoke ring underneath a big black bark.  Near perfect tenderness, silky and moist.  Smokey fat rendered well.  Full smoke flavor with a salty rub.  No sauce needed.

Ribs:  Very Good.  I wished these ribs tasted as good as they looked.  They scored high on tenderness but lack of flavor hurt.  A bronze bark with pink meat.  A soft bite left a clean bone.  Near perfect tenderness.  The seasoning was visible but all the flavor had vanished. Surprisingly very little smoke flavor (gasser ribs?)  These ribs only had one flavor, pork.  Use the sauce.

Sausage:  Excellent.  Anytime I see a smoke ring in a sausage, I get a little excited.  At first bite I knew this was a winner.  A beef/pork mixture with bold traditional spice.  Just enough salt to makes it pop with flavor.  The garlic and pepper leaves a long lasting aftertaste.  No sauce needed.  According to DV's article, they purchase this sausage from Pollok's Market in Falls City, Tx.  Its a fifth generation recipe dating back to 1854.  A fabulous link and a real connection to the old world.

Sauce:  Good.  An average thin tangy sauce that does the job.  Make sure you get it on the side.


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