<a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/TBWOWsBvjDI/AAAAAAAAC6U/Dlz1o6mmvUo/s1600/Pierson%27s+01.JPG"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/TBWOWsBvjDI/AAAAAAAAC6U/Dlz1o6mmvUo/s200/Pierson%27s+01.JPG" alt="" border="0"></a><br><span><span>HOUSTON: Pierson & Company Bar-B-Q</span> <span><br>5110 West T. C. Jester</span> <span><br>Houston, TX 77091</span> <span><br>713-683-6997</span> <span><br>Open Tues-Sat 11-7</span></span><br><br>Update: This joint is temporarily <span>CLOSED</span>. Pitmaster and owner Clarence Pierson had surgery on his knees a while back and is recovering for a hopeful comeback.<br><br>2010: After trying so many average DFW 'cue joints, I had little hope for finding truly great BBQ in another Texas metropolitan area. My guide for the day assured me that we'd be hitting the best that Houston had to offer, so today would be Houston's test. The second stop of the morning brought us to a joint that had been garnering some local clout along with accolades from the likes of <a href="http://www.houstonpress.com/2008-08-28/restaurants/bbq-on-tcj-pierson-company-bar-b-que/">Robb Walsh</a> since its opening about two years ago. Let's just say expectations were high.<br><br><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/TBWOAD1V6VI/AAAAAAAAC6M/bol4pBFj3o8/s1600/Pierson%27s+02.jpg"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/TBWOAD1V6VI/AAAAAAAAC6M/bol4pBFj3o8/s400/Pierson%27s+02.jpg" alt="" border="0"></a><br><br>In addition to the standard brisket and ribs, we opted for sliced pork and a link of boudin. The boudin was dense but moist with great flavor from green onions and a great smoky flavor. The spare ribs were large and meaty, possibly from giant four pounds racks. The meat was perfectly moist with juiciness streaking through it due to the perfectly rendered fat. A very heavy spice rub kept any black crust from forming, but the meat was incredibly smoky throughout from a good dose of mesquite smoke. Sliced pork wasn't so much sliced as chunked. The rub was the same as that used on the ribs, but it wasn't quite as heavy. No residual fat was evident because of the long smoking time, and the tender, moist meat just fell apart into nice bite sized morsels.<br><br>In the opinion of most, including me, the true test of any joint's skill is their brisket. This brisket was slow smoked in an upright pit by Houston's <a href="http://www.bbqpits.com/">David Klose</a>. The meat had a deep smokiness into the core of each slice. A large line of fat was left on the edge of each slice, and this fat was so silky tender that their was little question that it would all be eaten along with the meat. This brisket was nicely seasoned and lusciously moist and tender, and truly some of the best I've eaten in the state. If this keeps up on this tour of Houston, then there's no question that it's got Dallas beat.<br><br>Rating *****<br><a href="http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/8/661282/restaurant/Oak-Forest/Pierson-Company-Bar-B-Que-Houston"><img alt="Pierson & Company Bar B Que on Urbanspoon" src="http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/logo/661282/minilogo.gif"></a> <p><img alt="" class="media-image attr__typeof__foaf:Image img__fid__35374 img__view_mode__media_original attr__format__media_original attr__field_file_image_alt_text[und][value]__ attr__field_file_image_title_text[und][value]__" height="384" title="" typeof="foaf:Image" width="680" /></p> <p>It’s been an unlikely past few weeks for things that, until very recently, were on the margins of society. Since late June, we’ve seen the entire country rally around the U.S. Women’s National soccer team—World Cup champs 2015, <em>what!</em>—and many Americans celebrate the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. And, crazy as it may seem, <em>those two things came together last week</em>. </p> <p>Houston Dash players Ella Masar and Erin McLeod announced on Twitter last week that they had tied the knot: </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">To my best friend, my love, my rock ... All my reasons ... Cheers to our next chapter <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/lovelovelove?src=hash">#lovelovelove</a> <a href="http://t.co/YARAXqISFW">pic.twitter.com/YARAXqISFW</a></p> — Ella Masar (@emasar3) <a href="https://twitter.com/emasar3/status/618836385911287809">July 8, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The love of my life said "I do"... <a href="https://twitter.com/emasar3">@emasar3</a> you are all my reasons- plus your initials don't change;) win win? <a href="http://t.co/ec6SANV0Pd">pic.twitter.com/ec6SANV0Pd</a></p> — erin mcleod (@erinmcleod18) <a href="https://twitter.com/erinmcleod18/status/618830688247279616">July 8, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>McLeod and Masar’s relationship serves as a bit of a mirror to the country’s own relationship with gay marriage in recent years. Only four years ago, <a href="http://archives.fca.org/vsItemDisplay.lsp?method=display&objectid=43C1CA01-C29A-EE7A-EEDC845D15B2BA6A" target="_blank">Masar penned a column for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ website</a> decrying the “ungodly lifestyles” of some of the women she encountered through the sport, specifically citing homosexuality. But like many Americans, Masar’s attitudes shifted as she began to better know the gay people she denounced—a process that included falling in love with McLeod. As she wrote in an essay for Pitchside Report, living as she is stopped seeming at odds with her faith once she met her now-wife: </p> <blockquote> <p>You see, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that I am deeply in love with Erin Katrina McLeod. Yes, I know, she is a woman. Yes, I hear you, it is wrong. Yes, I know, I am sinning. Yet, please tell me who can throw the first stone? [...]</p> <p>Trust me when I say, living in the “light” is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. It was the moment where I let go of my pain, of all of my anger. When I started to understand the power of true forgiveness. When I accepted all my mistakes, and finally took a hard look at the selfish human being that I had become.</p> <p>Every day I have to continually remind myself of who I am and who I want to be—who Jesus has called me to be and by loving Erin, who only reinforces that, you think she hinders it.</p> </blockquote> <p>It’s a sweet story, and one that demonstrates the capacity for people to grow and change. That’s an ability that’s led even the great state of Texas to recognize the union between Erin McLeod and Ella Masar. (It’s unclear where the wedding was held and whether their teammate Carli Lloyd attended the ceremony, or if she was still busy scoring on Japan.) We’re living in a country where women can make a living playing soccer <em>and</em> get married to their teammates. That’s not a sentence that would have made much sense even just a few years ago. </p> <p><a href="https://instagram.com/p/49M8RssAFu/" target="_blank"><em>(Photograph via Erin Masar, Instagram)</em></a></p> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/TBWMahB8KTI/AAAAAAAAC6E/mEJ-GtCR_Rc/s1600/Barbecue+Inn+01.JPG"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/TBWMahB8KTI/AAAAAAAAC6E/mEJ-GtCR_Rc/s200/Barbecue+Inn+01.JPG" alt="" border="0"></a><br><span><span>HOUSTON: Barbecue Inn</span> <span><br>116 West Crosstimbers Street</span> <span><br>Houston, TX 77018</span> <span><br>713-695-8112</span> <span><br>Open Tues-Sat 10:30-9:30</span></span><br><br>We timed it just right to arrive in Houston just as the Barbecue Inn was opening. Despite its name, this joint is much more well known for their home cooking like chicken fried steak, fried shrimp, and fried chicken. But I was here for the BBQ.<br><br>This isn't the most beautiful part of town, but certainly doesn't feel dangerous in any way. As I left my car I was approached by a pan handler. I brushed him off and got a look of disdain reserved for folks like me who are exiting their Audis holding their fancy camera. I continued to the entrance and was quickly greeted by a hostess. This is a full service joint. While perusing the menu, the <a href="http://www.houstonfoodie.com/">Houston Foodie</a> (Chris Reid) arrived. He would be my intrepid guide for the day. His charge? To show me the best BBQ that Houston had to offer without wincing a bit from the overindulgence that was about to commence.<br><br>Chris is a pro in gluttony, so he understood that we needed to share plates even though we were both starving. Ribs are available as an appetizer, and a plate of brisket was very reasonable.<br><br><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/TBWKuLzNSMI/AAAAAAAAC58/msZmerVzJVw/s1600/Barbecue+Inn+02.jpg"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/TBWKuLzNSMI/AAAAAAAAC58/msZmerVzJVw/s400/Barbecue+Inn+02.jpg" alt="" border="0"></a><br><br>Brisket arrived covered in a thin tomatoey sauce with little depth of flavor. The fat was fully trimmed, and the slices were a bit dry, but the flavor of the unadulterated portions of beef was decent. Outside of a thick black crust, there was little smokiness.<br><br><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/TBWKt-RxPyI/AAAAAAAAC50/jYU4voPdTNM/s1600/Barbecue+Inn+03.jpg"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/TBWKt-RxPyI/AAAAAAAAC50/jYU4voPdTNM/s400/Barbecue+Inn+03.jpg" alt="" border="0"></a><br><br>A plate of St. Louis style ribs were much better. Seasoning heavy in black pepper helped create a nice crust on the meat. These bones were moist and tender, and the fat within the rib was nicely rendered. While the ribs also had little smoke, their flavor was very good. A plate of fried chicken ordered by my wife showed why they were so well known for their home cooking. The meat was moist, and the breading perfectly crisp. I'd have a hard time not ordering on my next trip.<br><br>Rating ***<br><a href="http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/8/110381/restaurant/Greater-Northwest-Houston/Barbecue-Inn-Houston"><img alt="Barbecue Inn on Urbanspoon" src="http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/logo/110381/minilogo.gif"></a>
Ever considered eating at this four-diamond restaurant – but daunted by the price tag? Ah, the beauty of the
Go Texan Restaurant Round-Up. Now through Friday, October 2nd, enjoy the nearby bounty of Texas meat, fish and produce, all prepared by the innovative Executive Chef Jonathan Gelman and Chef de Cuisine Stephen Bonin. At $39 (not including alcohol), we found the three-course meal at the stately Grill to be a pretty stellar deal. Take, for example, the beautiful Bella Verdi green salad we munched on, dressed in a garlic-pink peppercorn vinaigrette, and playfully held together by a parmesan bric dough. Or the antelope short ribs from Broken Arrow Ranch that are served with Austin Farmers Market tomatoes and Brussels sprouts. “Nice opening act,” I commented, secretly wondering if the Grande Dame of Austin eateries could turn out equally fine subsequent courses? My husband described his entrée, a fresh Texas pea tortellini bathed in basil pesto and studded with olive oil powder and Earl Grey tea-orange blossoms, as “tragically hip”. (It didn’t keep him from eating every morsel, and mopping up the plate with a piece of French bread.) I, on the other hand, took the Texas Gulf bait. Seared Gulf snapper on a bed of rapini, lentils, aged black garlic, and tomato butter proved to be a sterling choice – flavorful, healthy, and the perfect size. Pastry chef, Tony Sansalone, knows how to quietly dazzle as well. During the Driskill Grill’s Go-Texan Restaurant Round Up, you’ll enjoy an apple tart with homemade vanilla ice cream or a chocolate raspberry gateau – sweet denouements to a theatrical evening of impeccable food and atmosphere.