In case you’ve ever wondered what the deal is with different ribs, you’re in luck: Gatlin’s has two kinds. Side by side, you’ll see that the baby backs are shorter and more curved, with a rounder bone and more of the meat on the top. Now compare the St. Louis ribs. They’re bigger, and the bone is flatter and straighter, with more highly marbled meat. (If a little flap of meat and cartilage called the rib tip had been left on, you’d have a sparerib.) Arguments can get heated about which is better, but we thought they were both excellent and exceptionally moist.
Method: Hickory; indirect-heat pit
Pitmaster: Greg Gatlin
Pro-tip: The Cajun dirty rice has a fan base.
Greg Gatlin is in charge of the smoker, but he also bustles around taking orders and tidying up. So does his mom, who is responsible for the fine bread pudding and other sweets. After a wait—which is often lengthy—you’ll receive plates neatly stacked with precisely sliced meat. In case you’ve ever wondered what the deal …
It was the end of a long day. My friends Nick and Clark had stayed with me bite for bite through six other barbecue joints and we were on our way to Houston to eat at this mightily heralded joint in northwest Houston that’s just over a year old. Greg Gatlin had his heyday on …