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Josh

The Pit Room, Owner Michael Sambrooks' and Pitmaster Bram Tripp's Central Texas Style Barbecue in Montrose

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A recent visit for lunch put The Pit Room into contention among the best barbecue in the Houston area.  Starting with the standards: the brisket was moderately to heavily smoky, with a great peppery bark, and well-rendered fat.  Sliced in front of you as you order, I asked for half moist, half lean.  Both were fantastic, though I'm a sucker for the fattier cuts.  Pork ribs had a similar peppery bite and were tender without being mushy.  I'd have a hard time choosing between these and the ribs at Gatlin's when they're firing on all cylinders.  Of the three house-made sausages, I went with the venison.  Taste-wise, this was a hit, though I prefer a little looser of a link.  These are very dense.  I'll opt for the jalapeño on my next trip.  The meats are served with a piquant sauce that, while not at all necessary, made for a nice addition on every few bites.

There are a few non-canon twists to the menu here that really identify this joint as a Houston restaurant, rather than a generic Texas barbecue place.  One of these is an appetizer of freshly fried chicharrones drizzled with a house hot sauce (like e a slightly more vinegary and spicy Cholula).  If you're with a group of 4 or more, go for these for sure.  For just 2, the serving size was just too much.  It'd be nice to be able to order a half-size order of these.  The option for Elote and charro beans as sides (among the standard cole slaw and a nicely done mustardy potato salad) also makes this place feel like home.  The tacos served on freshly made flour tortillas made from rendered brisket fat have been highly touted, but I couldn't fit anything else in on this trip.  

There are a number of local brews on tap and in cans and bottles, and a accoutrements bar with pickles, escabeche, and salsas.  FYI, by 12:30, the place was full with a growing line out the door, but it seemed to move pretty quickly.

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Pit Room wowed again for lunch today. The venison sausage was a bit looser today (still quite dense). Marked improvement over last time. Tough to choose between the 3, but I think it was my favorite among the garlicky beef and jalapeño-cheese. Brisket on point again. 

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