I’ve really had a craving for barbecue lately for some reason. I’ve got a copy of the Legends of Texas Barbecue by local food writer and have been following his recommendations in the Houston Press. I’ve done a little tour of Houston barbecue joints that have either never been mentioned or received only brief comments here on Roadfood. Others are welcome to chime in with reviews of other Houston barbecue places and comments on these.
Midway BBQ, 5901 Highway Blvd., Katy, TX
- the name on the hand-out menu is Midway Country Style Smoked Meats; the Midway Meat Market is next door.
Highway Blvd is US 90 through old downtown Katy, a booming suburb on Houston’s west side, along I-10 W. Look for the US 90 exit off I-10 at the Katy Mills Mall.
They use pecan wood for smoking. I was raised on oak-smoked barbecue and I like it best but pecan can be real good; it adds a little sweetness. It also makes for a very dark exterior but doesn’t impart bitterness.
According to the reviews I read you can skip the sides and there are limited accommodations for dining-in so I got my order to go. They guy pulled a brisket flat out of the holding pan and I asked for some fatty brisket; he had to go in the back to get a piece, which was uncut. I should have pulled out my camera and got a shot as it was beautiful to behold, blackened all over. It looked awesome when sliced although all the visible fat was gone. This was unceremoniously dumped in a plastic tub. I also got a full link (they make their own sausage and sell several varieties at the meat market next door) and some ribs, which were just as blackened as the brisket. The ribs and link were stuffed in a foil-lined bag. I don’t know what a plate looks like if you get it to dine-in but this place is not about presentation. I got the sauce on the side.
I burned rubber all the way home so I could sample this stuff.
The brisket was a little on the dry side but not too bad. I like the slight sweetness of pecan smoked beef. I’d rate the brisket at a B +; it would deserve a little better grade if it weren’t overcooked. The ribs were a little more overdone, so well done it was impossible to get them out of the hot bag without falling apart (they stayed very warm in the bag). There wasn’t enough resistance to pulling the meat off the bones; these literally were falling off the bone and even drier than the brisket. Still, I thought they were pretty good, probably worth a B or B-.
I wasn’t impressed with the sausage. Coarsely ground and with a natural casing, it was under-seasoned. Compared to some of the great sausages you can find at bbq joints all over Central and SE Texas (the areas I’m familiar with) I’d only give it a C; it was hardly any better than the big supermarket brands.
I’d been to this place once before, last summer after it was first mentioned in the Press, but it was a very hectic day and I never got around to making any notes. All I remember is that I wasn’t impressed with the sausage then but I did have a more positive impression of the brisket on that visit - it wasn’t as dry. I didn’t try the ribs that time, or the sides.
The food you see pictured (plus a little more rib meat in the bag) came to $11.31 including tax. Here's
a blog post from the Press that first mentioned the meat market, with more pictures. Here's
the Robb Walsh review of the bbq.
Both these articles are a little higher on this place than I am. It’s open M-S 10-7, Sun 11-7.
<message edited by dexmat on Sun, 02/1/09 2:17 AM>