2009: This purveyor’s name is probably familiar to most of you out there from Pappadeaux, Pappasito’s, and Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. This Houston-based family of chains churns out some decent quality grub at most every location, so I wanted to see how well they could handle smoked meat. I stepped up to the counter and ordered the “House Special,” which is a plate of brisket, sausage, ham, a large spare rib, and two sides. Salt was the dominant flavor in the ham. This pork must have taken only a quick dip in the smoker. The sausage was better, with a multitude of spices. I detected black pepper, red pepper, garlic, and what I think may have been oregano. The meat had a fine grind and decent snap. The spare rib had been basted with a sweeter version of the dipping sauce and was not as meaty as expected. The meat was a bit dry, and the crust had wilted under the liquid baste. Sliced brisket was the real winner. The beef came from the point, as evidenced by the fat interlaced throughout. Luckily, this brisket had been adequately smoked, so the fat was well rendered. A hearty crust and a deep red smoke line helped contribute to the deep flavor. Ribs might not be their specialty, but the Pappas family knows how to smoke a brisket.