In our travels over the great state of Texas seldom do we get a chance to revisit some of our previous BBQ joints and restaurants. Sometimes, you look at that with trepidation. Will it be as good as you remember? Did you catch the cooks on a good day or a bad one? Did the cook hate his wife that day or did he get some? All of this counts in Texas, land of the big, best BBQ and triple wide mobile homes. Yes, consistency is extremely important with good ‘Cue, but there are so many places to try, and so little time….and with the lack of time, it is sometimes difficult to return and check on consistency
Last week, however, we were traveling to East Texas for business and made a point to stop in Centerville, a town of about 900 at the intersection of State Hwy 7 and I-45. Back in late January we had stopped mid-morning on a cold, rainy day on the way home and shared a sliced beef brisket sandwich, from a semi-permanent trailer/shack called “Country Cousins”. The sandwich was wonderful and we had promised ourselves that if we ever came back that way we would try more of the menu. So now the pressure was on. It was after lunchtime and we were hungry travelers hoping our previous stop was not a mirage. The place was busy when we pulled up, always a good sign. We tried the two meat plate, with sliced brisket and sausage, with two sides and tea. The first mouthful soothed our anxiety. The brisket was melting in our mouth, the sauce, dark, thick and smoky. It was tomato based with some molasses perhaps, with a touch of kick. The meat had a good smoke ring and was outstanding. The sausage was thin sliced and mild, just OK. The sides were very good, tasty, crunchy potato salad with good texture and flavor, not bland at all. The beans were pork n beans style with some beef and thick with a sweet cooking sauce, hot, just off the stove delicious. My companion declared “Country Cousins” the best BBQ found so far on The Barbecue Road. It was very close to that. It rates an “A”. The only reason it didn’t get an A+ was the sausage needs more character, something to make it stand out and not just seem it was Elgin Sausage thrown on the grill for a few minutes. We may be going back that way in June and will make a point to stop again. Well Done, “Cousins”, well done!
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