Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pit Quest Saturday - Southern Q, BBQ Godfather, & Corkscrew BBQ

Our day started with the best of intentions.

Today I teamed up with @BBQBryan and @HoustonFed for a three-stop Pit Quest run on the north side of Houston. We were all looking forward to the opportunity to try some new spots and re-visit some of our favorites. Three guys, talking too long, lingering over good barbecue, and before we knew it, our day had gotten away from us.

We started our day with a trip to Southern Q BBQ & Catering at their 11:00 am opening. Knowing that I had just been here and had been crowing about it online all week, my two companions wanted to check it out for themselves.

The "Taste of the South" Sampler at Southern Q

We were greeted upon entering by Steve Garner, who, after quick introductions, shuffled off to the kitchen and brought out a small boat of today's house-made jalapeno sausage for us sample. Spicy, moist, loaded with beef and pork, and great texture. Memorable bites for all of us. We quickly settled on the "Taste of the South" Sampler so we could get some of everything, plus a couple of links of smoked boudin. Again, the sausage on the Sampler left a lasting impression on all of us today, with big flavors and its coarse, slightly loose beef and pork fill. Brisket was on point, with an East Texas-style spice in the rub and a thin, crispy bark. Everyone was pleased. It's not Central Texas-style; you won't find a thick, heavily black-peppered bark, so if this is your yardstick, you might be disappointed. Don't be--remember that Texas BBQ has many different branches on its family tree, and on the East Texas-style branch, Southern Q is a standout. (See last week's Texas Pit Quest post for more details on Southern Q).

East Texas-style sides and BBQ at Southern Q

BBQ Godfather, Spring, TX
Second stop on today's Quest was a visit to BBQ Godfather, the food truck operation on Rayford Rd. in Spring, TX. Today's special was their Pork Belly BLT, so we ordered one, plus a pound of brisket and three spareribs to share, and a side of their Bacon Mac 'n Cheese. Visually, the Pork Belly BLT was a nice composition.

Pork Belly BLT at BBQ Godfather
We had a little trouble with the texture of the pork belly, which we anticipated would have that nice combination of fat and crispiness you find on a perfectly-seared piece. This was a little dry and tough, and both smoke and seasoning was a bit lacking. As an overall sandwich though, it has potential. Ribs were good, and I found the brisket to be decent as well. As thick as the slices were, it could have used some additional time on the pit to break down connective tissue. The flavor penetration, from rub or smoke, wasn't quite there either. But it was a beautiful cut and I will definitely be back to give this brisket another chance.

That brisket though...

@HoustonFed and @BBQBryan in a serious BBQ discussion

Brisket and ribs at BBQ Godfather

We held out hope for the Bacon Mac 'n Cheese side. It was topped with much the same cut of pork belly as was on the BLT, diced large, dry, and lacking much flavor. Maybe it would have been improved with a topping of diced, thick-cut, cured and smoked bacon instead, something more bacon-like. In the end, I decided BBQ Godfather has the all the right pieces in place to be a real contender in the Houston BBQ scene, so at least another visit or two is warranted to increase our sampling distribution.

Brisket, ribs, Bacon Mac 'n Cheese, Pork Belly BLT at BBQ Godfather

Just before 2:00 pm we left BBQ Godfather and headed west down Rayford Rd. towards our final destination of the day, Corkscrew BBQ. We hoped to make it in time to get the last of pitmaster Will Buckman's renowned daily offering. As we passed under I-45 and were in the lane waiting to turn left onto Budde Rd., I checked the phone and the daily Corkscrew "Sold Out" message popped up. Foiled! @BBQBryan put it well in a later Twitter post, "Our plan to avoid a line @CorkscrewBBQ was technically successful. They sold out before we got there."  :-(

Sold out at Corkscrew :-(

We resolved to alter our sequence next time.

- Scott

@TxArch and @BBQBryan did not plan this at all.

Southern Q BBQ & Catering, 16540 Kuykendahl Rd., Houston, TX 77068, (832) 250-4851.
Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm; Sunday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

BBQ Godfather, 2074 Rayford Rd., Spring, TX, (713) 828-5690.
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, credit cards accepted.

Corkscrew BBQ, 24930 Budde Rd., Spring, TX 77380, (832) 492-1184.
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 am to sold out.

1 comment:

  1. Southern Q's food is ALWAYS on point and consistent! Customer service is also awesome! It doesn't get any better!