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JimCo

Killen's Texas Barbecue - Ronnie Killen's Pecan, Oak, and Mesquite-Smoke Meats on E. Broadway Street and Park Avenue, Pearland

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JimCo   

A trip to Houston last week led to a trip to Killen's Barbecue in Pearland. By way of background, Chef Ronnie Killen had been running a barbecue pop-up out of his steakhouse in Pearland for a while, with waits that routinely stretched into two hours on the weekend. Earlier this year, he opened Killen's Barbecue and already they have gotten buzz that is putting it in the same breath of Lockhart's finest barbecue joints.

We arrived at about 10:30am on a Tuesday. The restaurant opens at 11. We were about the fifteenth folks in line, but by opening there were probably another 40 people behind us. The line moves slooooow.

I wanted to try nearly everything, and came close:

Brisket was a little tougher than I would care for, but I blame myself for ordering an end cut. While it was still better than most brisket I've had, it was still missing the deep beef flavor that I've found in the brisket at Kreuz Market in Lockhart. Still, it's probably the best brisket is going to find outside of Central Texas.

Beef rib was practically a dinosaur bone. Flavorful, juicy, and pretty fatty but that should be expected. I took a large portion home and this actually tasted better the second day.

 Pork belly (on the bone) is a unique dish to Killen's. It's smoked pork belly so it's hard to see how it wouldn't be great. A roughly one-inch thick slab of bacon that had been smoked for hours. It lived up to my expectations.

Creamed corn was the surprise of the day. It was fantastic. It shouldn't be surprising since the Chef owns a steakhouse, but it's clear some thought goes into the homemade sides.

Potato salad was the consistency of smashed potatoes, with a deep yellow color and a heavy flavor of mustard -- the perfect flavor to punch through all the animal fat that was being consumed. I loved it.

Banana Pudding was obviously homemade with vanilla pudding, chucks of banana and Nila wafers. I wanted more, but was forced to share with my two young sons. Damn kids...

Overall I'd say Killen's is already one of Texas' finest barbecue joints, but I think still has some work to get to the consistency of the places in Central Texas. Their brisket falls short of the best, but their sides are already world's better than anything you'll find at another barbecue joint. I have not tried Franklin's in Austin yet because I'm not willing to endure a three-hour line, but I'd gladly wait 30 to 45 minutes to get more of Ronnie Killen's barbecue.

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Josh   

Tim Carman from the Washington Post spent a bit of time in Texas over the past few days.  He posted an Instagram photo of his lunch at Franklin's BBQ in Austin, mentioning only the amount of time it took him in line before eating (over 6 hours).  Compare that with his reaction to his meal at Killen's (which I would put at the top of my TX list for its brisket and rib, but lower down for the sausage):

 

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On 10/27/2016 at 2:33 PM, Josh said:

Tim Carman from the Washington Post spent a bit of time in Texas over the past few days.  He posted an Instagram photo of his lunch at Franklin's BBQ in Austin, mentioning only the amount of time it took him in line before eating (over 6 hours).  

I saw that photo from his meal at Franklin, and it didn't look like their best day for brisket. 90 percent of the time you can tell how the brisket will be just by a visual. 

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Josh   

I am in love with the pork ribs at Killens.  The only others that come close for me are from City Market in Luling.  We'll see how the brisket changes now that Ronnie is changing the sourcing for his beef to Snake River Farms in Idaho (in hopes of getting a more consistent product than he was).

June 19, 2017 - "Killens Barbecue Elevates Their Brisket Game" by Scott Sandlin at houstonfoodfinder.com

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JimCo   
On 7/2/2017 at 10:50 PM, Josh said:

I am in love with the pork ribs at Killens.  The only others that come close for me are from City Market in Luling.  We'll see how the brisket changes now that Ronnie is changing the sourcing for his beef to Snake River Farms in Idaho (in hopes of getting a more consistent product than he was).

June 19, 2017 - "Killens Barbecue Elevates Their Brisket Game" by Scott Sandlin at houstonfoodfinder.com

I am in total agreement with this. Brisket gets all the attention at Killens, but I think their ribs are some of the best I've ever had. I've tried to create them at home, but can't find any interviews where he discusses his recipe or techniques for ribs.

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