I managed to get a little shut eye on the plane and arrived in sunny, hot & humid Houston around 11:00 am. I recovered my luggage, picked up my rental car and headed straight to my first barbecue stop, Tejas Chocolate and Barbecue in nearby Tomball. It was about a 30 minute drive from the airport and when I arrived there was a lineup about 10 or 12 deep out the front door.
Tejas was ranked number 6 in the Texas Monthly Top 50 last year. Last summer after the issue came out, I was able to get a copy delivered to me in Calgary which included the Top 50 Passport.
The line moved at a decent pace and once I'd made it onto the patio I grabbed one of the Lone Star beers they keep in a cooler outside for their customers. I was in Texas after all and Lone Star is the National Beer of Texas! The restaurant is located in an old house in Tomball with a large front patio.
|My first Lone Star!|
|So much chocolaty goodness!|
It had been requested that I bring some chocolate home, so I scoped out the display while waiting to order my lunch. I was posting to Instagram while in line and I received a reply from them inviting me to come back to the pits after I'd eaten to say hello. Very cool!
When it was my turn I ordered some brisket (moist, of course) and a jalapeno cheddar sausage with a side order of their famous carrot souffle and a shot of the mole barbecue sauce.
You order and pay at the counter here and they give you a number. I found a table on the covered patio outside and it was only a couple of minutes before my number was called. I went inside to get my tray and grabbed some pickles before heading back to my table.
|A tray of pure barbecue gold!|
From there I headed into Houston and made my way to Roegels. I'd had the opportunity to enjoy Roegels on my last Houston trip and it was excellent. They are also another Top 50 joint, so that meant another stamp in my passport and it was an chance to get a couple of entries into the Tales From The Pits podcast big giveaway. Brian & Andrew from the podcast have placed one of their stickers at 10 bbq joints around the state. To get an entry into the contest, you need to take a selfie with yourself and the sticker in the picture, and you get a second entry if you also include a picture of your food from that restaurant. The prize is a Yeti cooler stuffed full with t-shirts, hats, coozies, stickers and some gift cards and other swag. I managed to get 6 out of a maximum 20 entries while I was in Texas. The draw is at the beginning of July...fingers crossed!
|Getting into the contest!|
When I was at Roegels last year, I ate lunch at the restaurant and got an order of their Bourbon Banana Pudding to go. By the time I got around to eating it at the airport, it had warmed up and was a little runny. This time around, I ordered my food to go and ate the banana pudding fresh and cold while I was there. I was once again served by Bruce, one of the friendliest and most helpful barbecue people I've come across. Once I got checked into my hotel I stashed my to go box in the fridge and when I ate it cold two days later it was still excellent! Clearly a quality product.
After my day of travel and eating, I was done for the day. I packed it in for the night, ready for another day of barbecue starting the next morning!