Southern Q... "You deserve good BBQ".
This statement, prominently displayed on the back of the bright yellow trailer where Southern Q carved out it's niche in the Houston BBQ scene over the past 4 years, speaks volumes. Steve Garner and his wife Sherice have landed, and I don't mean they broke down on the side of the road and can't go any further. "You deserve good BBQ" is their mantra, their mission statement, their philosophy, and it shows. It shows from the moment you walk into their new location and are greeted by Sherice, and Steve's mother Cathy, from behind the counter. It's there from the time your order arrives, until you finish up and are headed out the door feeling thanks and appreciation. You can't help but feel that they believe each and every customer truly deserves good BBQ, and a great BBQ experience.
|The meats at Southern Q BBQ|
|The new home of Southern Q BBQ|
I brought along a dining companion for this week's trip, my wife Susan, who thankfully seemed okay with the idea of BBQ for a Valentine's Day late lunch. Since we wanted to try a little of everything, we opted for the "Taste of the South Sampler", a combination of brisket, ribs, turkey, sausage, beans potato salad, Cajun rice and grilled corn--a great value for two, with enough left over to take a little home. We added a link of homemade smoked boudin on the side, which they served with Texas Firecrackers™. Brisket was the impressive standout for both of us on this day; great smoke flavor and bark, with a subtle hint of marinade that was "just there" in each bite--not overpowering at all. The smoked turkey, with a thin layer of caramelized sauce on the edge of each slice, seemed to have been perfectly brined to start, providing a balanced salt presence throughout, along with the moisture retention one expects from a good brine.
|Nice meal for two at Southern Q|
There has obviously been a lot of passion poured into the development of this location. Hand-painted BBQ-themed murals cover the walls, and typical BBQ restaurant Texana decor is tastefully located throughout. The new dining room has about a dozen tables, and there's room just outside to add outdoor seating for additional capacity during nice weather. They now have more room to spread out and think about what they might be able to add or do differently. One thing I noticed right away--the new place will allow them to expand their hours. Steve said "We're now open 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, Wednesday through Saturday, and 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday. We'll probably expand those hours during the summer months." He's also been able to bring on more staff; two in the dining area and 3 or 4 more in the kitchen, which may help in another way. Once some of these folks are up to speed on the operation, Steve might just be able to get a little more sleep than he has when he's been the only one on the pits at night.
I asked Steve if he'd been hurt by the rising brisket prices or if it had caused him to consider other beef product offerings, but he said no, he would stick with the typical cuts, what he knows his customers like. "It's the only way we know how; it's what we learned," he says. Similar to other BBQ joints around town, he said he might consider adding some daily specials now and again to increase draw. Prices are reasonable, with brisket at $15.95/lb, and ribs and sausage at $14.95/lb. Whole chickens are $12.95.
You're going to like this place...
|The "Taste of the South" spread from Southern Q BBQ|
|Steve Garner and Scott Sandlin of Texas Pit Quest "talking shop"|
(there 10 minutes and I already have sauce on my shirt!)
|Homemade smoked boudin with Texas Firecrackers™|
|Steve Garner checking the rotating stock in the Ole Hickory|
|Finish with homemade desserts, hand-made by Steve's mom Cathy|
|Steve Garner is ready for the ride|
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. www.southern-q.com