Here at RNK we have a staff lunch every other week, usually catered by a local restaurant in the area. We had decided to have Central Texas BBQ during our lunch a couple of weeks ago. The entire week leading up to our lunch Caleb wanted to have something else instead of Central Texas BBQ, not because he didn’t like Central Texas, but because he knew we weren’t going to repeat anytime soon and wanted to save Central Texas for a later date. Obviously, we didn’t save it, but I think that perfectly frames what Central Texas means to this city, it is an institution. I was raised in Pearland and Central Texas BBQ is one of my favorite restaurants. I couldn’t be more excited to write this review and tell the world how much this little place means to me.
Central Texas Style Bar-B-Q Store Front
Central Texas Bar-B-Q has been family owned and operated for over 45 years and has become known, for now, as the best barbecue in Pearland. It is a very folksy style joint, it actually is a converted 5 room home with all kinds of unique and fun knickknacks all over the walls and tables. It gives you the feel that you are stepping into a different era in time when you walk in. Truly a product of another age and I am very thankful that it still exists!
Usually I would break up the meal into appetizers and entrée and dessert but a proper barbecue meal isn’t made up of such formalities. A proper barbecue meal is much simpler that than. A real barbecue meals includes some sort of meat, sides and usually dessert, so that is how I will go about it.
All the meats come off of a large smoker or barbecue pit and are served with a wonderful sauce. We decided to go with the chicken, which is always one of my favorites anywhere I go for BBQ. Chicken is pretty hard to screw up and usually comes out very moist and tender with a lovely smokey flavor. I believe most of the staff was surprised at how good the chicken breast was.
BBQ Chicken and Sausage – Central Texas Barbecue
Our second meat was sausage, I believe it was some type of beef sausage, but their menu isn’t super specific. This was my personal favorite of everything. They were juicy but not fatty, and just a wonderful flavors of smokey barbecue goodness. I could and would eat a whole serving to myself!
Last but not least was chopped beef which really just is sliced brisket broken down even more and served drenched in barbecue sauce. A lot of places that do chopped beef will end up turning out a soupy mash of what was beef and some poor quality barbecue sauce to mask how bad their beef is, but not Central Texas! The chunks of beef were clearly visible and extremely tender. You could tell that they started tasty sliced beef and only improved on it.
Our sides consisted of about as traditional sides as you can get with BBQ. We had what they called ‘New Potatoes’. We couldn’t figure out why they decided to call them that when all it really was were red potatoes cooked baked potato style then slightly mashed and covered with butter and cheese. They were absolutely delicious! We had ordered a lot of food and had leftovers of almost everything except for this. Everyone loved it.
My Plate – Central Texas Barbecue
We also had congri, or at least what was suppose to be congri. For anyone that doesn’t know, congri is cuban rice and black beans. Unfortunately, they were out of spanish rice so we got black beans and white rice. I must say I was very disappointed by this because the white rice and black beans were very good and I can’t imagine how much better it would have been if we had the proper dish.
Our last side was baked beans, I think they were pinto beans with a sweet sauce and ham chunks. I never have been much of a fan of baked beans any where I go, sad to say that these weren’t able to change my mind. Everyone else was happy with them and I will say that they are some of the better baked beans I’ve had, they beans were firm but tender. The rich sweet sauce was good but not overwhelming and the ham chunks were a nice touch.
Banana Pudding – Central Texas Barbecue
For dessert we had the quintessential dish of any good Texas barbecue, banana pudding. Now this can go anyway and is very easy to screw up with bland pudding or soggy cookies but this was one of my favorites of all time. The pudding was just sweet enough and had the freshest taste of bananas you could ask for, the vanilla cookies were crunchy and the bananas were just amazing.
Every time I eat Central Texas Bar-B-Q I am overwhelmed with joy really a comfort food from my childhood. I couldn’t recommend this place enough!