Truth looks too cute to be serving serious barbecue. The carefully curated interior—with its hand-lettered signs, Texas license plates, and Instagram-ready desserts—is a far cry from a no-frills meat market or a rusty roadside pit. The first bite announces the fact that youthful proprietor Leonard Botello IV has been an admirer of the handiwork of other masters of the craft, notably Franklin Barbecue’s Aaron Franklin. The pork ribs are decadently moist and slightly sweetened with a glaze. The brisket possesses an intense meaty flavor, subtle but deep smoke penetration, and a fine black-pepper crust. On occasion, they’re in a hurry to get a brisket out and the fat doesn’t render enough, but that’s a very rare flub. And the sides—can we talk about the sides? There is creamy mac and cheese with sizzling bacon crumbled on top; slow-cooked collard greens; rapturously buttery corn pudding; and bright, crisp slaw. The homemade white bread will make you reassess the spongy store-bought stuff. Somehow you must leave room for one of Truth’s five or so different monster cakes, which Botello’s mother, Janel, makes from scratch. Liberally slathered in homemade frosting, the slice you couldn’t finish will be your dessert that evening.
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