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Guy's Meat Market, Houston


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Restaurants & Bars 3

Guy's Meat Market, Houston

hermitt4d | Jul 28, 2003 04:11 AM

I’ve been reading about this place for over a year now and recently started checking it out. I've been a half dozen times. Robb Walsh has referred to Dozier’s in Fulshear as the only example of central Texas’ meat market type barbeque in the Houston area. Guy’s is a meat market that serves bbq. Not only that, they make their own sausage, sauce, and seasoning blend, all of which they sell on premises. Guy’s is also a small convenience store and they sell bags of several types of wood.

Below is a link to a website with a picture of the place. A reviewer on another site says they’ve won awards at the bbq cookoff at RodeoHouston and there is one trophy in view. Guy’s is located on OST (Old Spanish Trail, US 90A) just west of 288 (the South Freeway).

Sauce: I’m neither a connoiseur nor even a fancier of sauces; I prefer it on the side and use it only if the meat is not interesting enough without sauce, so I can’t say much except that it has a little bit of red pepper and finishes with a little heat and is ‘ok.’ I save it for the hamburgers.

Ribs: the ribs I’ve had have been very meaty and moist, though sometimes a little more toothsome than I consider ideal. Without the sauce they’re a little bland, but rather than bury the smokiness of the meat under a slathering of sauce I usually only add a little kosher salt. The meat is a little pinkish around the edges, but there’s no well defined smoke ring. They're good, but of ribs in the Houston area that I’ve tried, I’d rank them behind Williams, Dozier’s, Thelma’s, Hinze’s and Leon’s.

Brisket: The brisket I’ve had has been a little dry, but, unlike Thelma’s, not chewy or tough. They seem to serve only the flat point cut, well trimmed of fat; I wish they didn’t trim so much fat, it could be juicier. There’s noticeable smoke flavor but the visible smoke ring is only about 1/8”. The best part of the brisket is the charring of the outer surfaces; I like the ‘outside’ pieces, and you’re likely to get it here. The brisket here is better than most in the Houston area and is okay without sauce, but I wouldn’t call it great.

Guy’s could stand to use a little bit more of their own seasoning blend on their brisket and ribs. One thing I haven’t tried yet but plan to is to buy some of their rub and have it on hand at home to sprinkle on the cue.

The real winner for me here is the sausage, made on premises, I’m sure. It’s much plumper than most, more the size of summer sausage, and very meaty with little apparent filler. It has a little bit of red pepper, so it finishes with a little heat, too. The sausage served is all beef, but beef and pork hot links and beef and pork spicy sausage and all pork sausage are available in the fresh meat case to take home. The 100% pork with garlic is excellent; I haven’t tried the other two yet, but Guy’s sausage is probably my favorite sausage at barbecue places in the Houston area.

I haven’t tried any of their sides.

Guy’s also serves ‘BBQ Hambergers (sic)’ Tuesday thru Friday, 11am to 1pm, or until they run out. The patties are 8 oz., handformed, at least 1/2” thick, and are smoked along with the bbq. Because they’re ground meat, they tend to absorb more smoke than the brisket and have a little deeper smoke ring. But because they’re cooked in advance, they don’t have that ‘hot off the grill’ appeal. In fact, they can be close to room temp and dry from sitting around. The earlier you get there, the better, I think. They’ll serve these with all the fixin’s, which results in a very overstuffed burger. There’s no place to eat at Guy’s, everything is ‘to go.’ The first time I went, I tried to eat mine in the car in the parking lot; it started coming apart as soon as I started unwrapping it; I got it all over my shirt and between the seats and on the floor and my car smelled like hamburger for several days (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) I decided after one sample that mayo, iceberg lettuce and cheese really don’t go all that well with smoked meat, so I’ve experimented with other combos of fixin’s. I’ve settled (for the time being, anyway) on asking for ‘pickols, unyuns and jalipinos’ (sic) and some bbq sauce. Verrrrry messy but ummmmmm good. I’ve found it’s better to get some cue to go at the same time; you get sauce on the side that way. I rush home, put the hamburger patty in the microwave and warm it up a bit if it needs it, then dredge it in the sauce, plop it back on the bun and enjoy.

The menu boards offer ‘sandwitches, hambergers, unyuns, pickols, jalipinos and chilley!’ Somebody at Guy’s is a comedian, or thinks they are. There’s a freezer case with hamburger patties, chili, and other cooked meats for sale, including some game meats. They also do cajun turkeys; I think I remember seeing tasso and boudain. If and when the weather turns cold again, I plan to try their chili.

Prices are very reasonable. An order of sliced beef is $4, an order of ribs or sausage $3; that’s enough food for 2 people, easy. Don’t be put off by the long line at lunch, this place operates at full tilt and service is very fast. The people are all very friendly.

Altho nowhere near the equal of Black’s or City Market in Luling, my two central Texas bbq faves, and not as good as Williams, Dozier’s and Leon’s, my Houston-area bbq faves, I rank Guy’s among a small handful of the better places in Houston for bbq and burgers. It’s much more convenient for me than Thelma’s (and it’s nowhere near such a dive); I have yet to have good brisket at Thelma’s in a half dozen visits, so though the ribs and chicken and catfish are good there, I prefer to go to Guy’s.


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