Gatlin's BBQ

Preview of new location in 2015

Some of you may know I did not eat barbecue till I started college. I grew up in the Houston area, but I had no sense of the barbecue scene there. The only BBQ joint I have eaten in H-Town was at Goode Company Barbeque. An ex-girlfriend introduced me to it, and I liked the food so much, I wanted to eat there every time I go home. It had all changed the last time I ate there though. I had just finished my first marathon, and Amber and I went there to "celebrate." The brisket was dry and not good. They also did not have any moist but only lean? Weird. Everything I ate was forgettable and borderline bad. We were going to Houston this time for the Justin Timberlake concert. I know. You can blame the wife on this one. This at least gave me an opportunity to try some new places. I consulted the Texas Monthly Top 50 list for some help and ended up choosing Gatlin's BBQ because it was not out of our way to the hotel.

Trying to park around Gatlin's was a pain. It was in an industrial part of town, and they were busy as well. A good sign, right? The eating space inside was a little bit cramp. They did have outside seating, but we were not tempted to do so on this cold day. Did you know that the pitmaster/owner Greg Gatlin used to be a defensive back at Rice? <insert Miley Cyrus voice> "That's pretty cool." Today I ordered the usual- brisket, ribs, and sausage. Surprise, surprise. The brisket was solid. It had a good crust with a nice smoke ring. It was a tad dry and could have used a little bit more salt, but I still liked it. The ribs were the winner here. They were tender and juicy and had an excellent rub/glaze. The smoke was also on point as well. I could probably have eaten a rack of them. The homemade spicy sausage definitely had a kick. I like the grit and casing, and it had an ideal flavor. I also got some potato salad and coleslaw on the side. The potato salad, although mustard based, was really good. It was eggy and sweet. The coleslaw was not bad either. I should have tried the dirty rice. I heard it was delicious and awesome. Maybe next time?

Gatlin's BBQ is a definitely a great choice for barbecue in the Houston area. I enjoyed everything I ate, but I wanted something more. For once, the hype got to me but do not get me wrong. It is worth the visit no matter where you live in Houston or beyond. I also met Greg's mom, Mary. She has to be the nicest person in the barbecue business. Next time I go to Houston, Gatlin's will be definitely on my radar again. Grade: B+

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 3510 Ella Blvd, Houston, TX 77018
Phone: (713) 869-4227


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