One again from our very own Low Budget Review Guy….eating his way across Texas once again.  He always comes up with interesting places that are easy on your billfold.

A recent trip to East Texas brought the opportunity to try some new BBQ places, always a treat.  The first stop was The Barbecue House inNacogdoches .  This large, stone building with a bright red facing, looked encouraging from a food standpoint.  Inside, we were directed to the traditional serving line where we ordered our meats, placed on paper plates on plastic cafeteria trays, then slid further down the gleaming line to the sides, where we could serve ourselves two choices  from the many options.  There was an interesting assortment of additions as well as the complementary white bread loaf.  There were individual packages of cheese, freshly made jalapenos stuffed with pimento cheese and several types of cobbler for desert.  We were a good sized group so we were able to try many sides and meats.  Upon ordering your meat choices, they were cut and placed on the plate.  A dry rub was then massaged into the order and then BBQ sauce was ladled on.  We were not given an option of rub or no rub, sauce or no sauce, but perhaps locals know what to expect so they can advise the servers beforehand.  The rub was quite good, the sauce a thin, vinegar based sauce, pale orange-almost yellow color, as most vinegar sauces are.  The overall mixture of the rub and sauce gave the flavor a spicy kick.  There was an ongoing debate as to which of the two was more responsible.

BBQ House

Barbecue House, Nacadoches Texas

The brisket was tender had a nice smoke ring, but not much charred edge.   The pork ribs were less tender but meaty and flavorful.  The sausage was bland, but not overly full of fat, like many are.  The sides were a mixed bag.  The mustard potato salad was just OK, mostly pureed potatoes.  It could use more mustard and seasoning.  And I prefer my “tater salad” to be chunky.  Perhaps they make it blander to offset the spiciness of the BBQ.  The beans were not traditional Texas Pinto beans, but more like the beans from Campbell’s Pork and Beans.  These were quite good, tasted as if slow cooked with molasses and brown sugar.  The best side dish was the coleslaw.  It was mayo based, but tasted as if it had just been made (and maybe it had been), fresh, crisp, delicious.  The best coleslaw we had tasted on the BBQ Road (so far).   The blackberry cobbler was warm, filling, a good choice.  The tea was a disappointment, commercial  and tasting as if it had been in the container for a while.

Overall, I give the BBQ House a “B”.   Meats were good, not great, earning points for the unusual flavors, losing points for not giving us the options of wanting the rub or sauce, and the sides ranged from OK to very good.  I would go back again.

Country Cousins BBQ in Centerville Texas

On our way back to central Texas, my companion spotted, “Country Cousins”  a small red building on the side of the road, just off I-45 and Hwy 7 in Centerville. On a cold, wet, raw winter’s day the place seemed to offer a warm inviting embrace of comfort food—BBQ.

Even though it was mid-morning and not even lunch time, there was already a line at the walk up counter on the wooden porch. A good sign.  While waiting,  I realized that this was a food trailer, like those that are popping up all over Texas, although this was wood not metal.  This trailer had been there long enough the owners had added the porch, some ground facing, and on the far side of the large parking area, a screened-in building that I realized had a large smoker and stacks of oak wood, getting seasoned and ready for cooking.  The aroma was enticing.  When my turn finally came, I ordered a sliced brisket sandwich and a small side order of potato salad.  The brisket was extremely tender, the tomato-based sauce warm and delicious, a perfect accompanist to the meat.  The potato salad was mostly pureed, with a few small chunks.  It was OK.   While we did not get the opportunity to sample their other options, so the grade is incomplete,  I rate Country Cousins an “A”.  It was the best sliced beef BBQ sandwich we have tried in years.  I look forward to my next trip, so I can try other items on the menu.

Now Thats A Brisket Sandwich

ED Note: This is part of a continuing feature on reddgranite.com on best BBQ joints in Texas. Each trip our Low Budget Review Guy, who normally writes about travel in Texas and other interesting items to do on a low cost basis, stops at BBQ joints rating them to standards we have set in our very own reviews. While there is a lot of debate on the best state that you can find the best BBQ, few can argue with Texas Best BBQ. Many of these are served in interesting locations throughout Texas.  In most cases, the small towns across the face of Texas offer consistently the Best Texas BBQ

Peace – ed.

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