The Third Annual Houston BBQ Festival took place just this weekend. I have always wanted to go. I have eaten at a few places in Houston, but this festival was perfect for me. It was a great way to sample some of the best joints in the Houston area without driving all over town. We drove in just for the event and went back after. I am going to go in chronological order, and the ones with a link are places I have reviewed in the past.
Killen's Barbecue - Our first stop of the day. We wanted to avoid lines and assumed this would be the longest for the day. Ronnie brought sausage and burnt end short ribs. The burnt ends were meaty and tasty. The sausage recipe has changed for the better, and I like it. It is now comprised of brisket, pork belly, and bacon. He was handing out whole beef ribs at one point, but I did not have stomach space to mess with it as divine as it sounds.
Spring Creek Barbeque - Brisket, pork ribs, beef ribs, and jalapeño poppers. The jalapeño poppers were a good change of pace even for the second stop.
Blake's BBQ and Burgers - Brisket, pork ribs, and sausage. Three stops in and I was already overwhelmed. I forgot to take a picture.
Pizzitola's Bar-B-Cue - Brisket and pork ribs.
Pinkerton's BBQ - The new kids on the block. They brought beef ribs, brisket, sausage, and jalapeño rice. The brisket and beef rib were money. The sausage was rich, but it is a work in progress. The jalapeño rice was one of the better sides I have ever tasted.
CorkScrew BBQ - Pork belly and boudin stuffed pork tenderloin. Yes please. I can eat both of these all day. I love pork belly. I love boudin. Awesome stuff from these guys.
Gerardo's - Carnitas and barbacoa tacos. I need to go here. The tacos had a ton of flavor.
Gatlin's BBQ - Brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and fish. I swore we ate here. Not sure how I forgot to take a picture. They are temporarily closed as they are moving to a bigger location.
Louie Mueller Barbecue (Taylor) - Wayne Mueller is trying to open a location in Houston so this festival was the ideal way to show off his product. He served beef ribs, brisket, and lamb chops. They were all superb. I ate maybe four lamb chops. The crowd loved what was being dished from his booth. Billy Durney from Hometown Bar-B-Que (Brooklyn, New York) provided some extra assistance.
Ray's BBQ Shack - Pork ribs, brisket, sausage, and fried corn. The deep fried corn was awesome. It had a nice crunch and texture to it.
Pappa Charlies Barbeque - Brisket, turkey, and sausage. The brisket was solid. I am not really a turkey person, but it was outstanding. Juicy and flavorful.
Feges BBQ - Patrick Feges stepped outside of the box and smoked a whole hog. It was well executed. The chunks of crackling were also wonderful. Crispy and delish.
Roegels Barbecue Co. - Brisket and sausage. The brisket was on point. I guess I just visited them at a bad time when I did my review. I will be back.
El Burro & the Bull - Brisket, check. Tortilla, check. Who does not love tacos? Amber and I really liked this dish.
Blood Bros. BBQ - This was the place I was looking forward to most, and they did not disappoint. The brisket and beef rib were supplied by 44 Farms and were quite excellent. Great taste, smoke, and texture. I hope to see a permanent location soon.
Tin Roof BBQ - Chopped beef slider, sausage, and a jalapeño cream cheese concoction. Everything that came from this booth was good. Not sure what the jalapeño cream cheese thing was, but I was eating it with my fingers. It was that delicious.
The Wooden Spoke - Pulled pork sandwich, sausage, and boudin. When you get close to the end, everything taste the same or does not taste that good. Not true here. I enjoyed the samples.
Oak Leaf Smokehouse - Fried macaroni and cheese brisket ball, corn pudding, broccoli salad, brisket, and chicken. What is going on here? Whatever it is, it is working. The bite of the fried macaroni and cheese brisket ball was different, but I kept wanting more of it. That corn pudding too.
Southside Market & Barbeque (Elgin/Bastrop) - The final stop included both the jalapeño cheddar and original sausage, and brisket. Also bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeño and cheddar pan sausage. How could you forget this? It was out of this world. There was so much going on, but it was worth it.
Amber and I had a fantastic time. We somehow managed to hit up all 23 tents. I would like to thank her for being a trooper in going with me and also being a hand model. It was nice to see familiar faces and "meating" new ones. Even the owner of The Beast, a Texas-style BBQ joint in Paris, France, was in town for it. JC Reid and Michael Fulmer did a phenomenal job in putting this event together. Thanks for having us. It did not feel crowded, and there was a lot of seating. You cannot truly judge barbecue at festivals like this, but you can appreciate when the men and ladies of barbecue do. It was a celebration of Houston BBQ. A scene that is on the rise and a force to be reckon with.