Texas BBQ House Does Lone Star 'Cue in Phoenix

Talk to a Texan about barbecue and the discussion gets serious — fast. The eyes squint ever so slightly, the arms fold, and short nuggets about smoking with oak, dry rub, and the quality of meat are spoken of in a slow, matter-of-fact tone that sounds both polite yet final.

If the Texan happens to run his own 'cue joint, the oral lesson will be over in seconds. But why talk about it when a smoked slab of steer can be presented like a offering to the gods, laid on a butcher block table, and sliced with a meat cleaver so sharp, the pieces fall away like pages turning in a book of beef, rubbed edges glistening, tender flesh ready to be consumed?

"Try this, ma'am."

It's all about the meat, sold by the half-pound and served on butcher paper at South Phoenix's Texas BBQ House.
Jackie Mercandetti
It's all about the meat, sold by the half-pound and served on butcher paper at South Phoenix's Texas BBQ House.

Location Info

Map

Texas BBQ House

5037 S. 24th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85040

Category: Restaurant > Barbecue

Region: South Phoenix

Details

See: Texas BBQ House in photos.

Texas BBQ House
5037 South 24th Street
602-343-6447
www.texasbbqhouseaz.com
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Moist brisket (half pound): $6.29
Pork spare ribs (half-pound): $5.04
Sausage link: $3.89
Turkey breast (half-pound): $5.84

A slice of moist beef brisket was handed to me on bright white butcher paper, cozily curled up in the center, its aroma causing me to swallow in anticipation. I plucked it from its paper nest, tilted my head back, let it dangle a bit, then dropped it in my mouth, letting its warmth rest on my tongue before lazily chewing the tender meat, salty and fatty, savoring its slow-cooked, smoky flavor.

"More, please," I managed to say.

"Yes, ma'am."

Texas BBQ House in South Phoenix isn't a place you're likely to drive by, but it's worth the trip if you're looking for Texas barbecue — and nothing but Texas barbecue — in Phoenix inspired by Lockhart, Texas.

If you've spent a fair amount of time around the barbecue pit, you know you can't talk about Texas barbecue without talking about the town of Lockhart. Thanks to its immigrant German butchers, Texas barbecue was born there (along with other central Texas towns) in the 19th century, the institution being passed to those passionate about keeping its traditions intact.

Mike Pitt, owner of Texas BBQ House, understands Texas barbecue. A backyard pit master and caterer in his hometown of Corpus Christi, Pitt came to Phoenix four years ago to start his own restaurant — until the economy tanked. Three months ago, along with fellow Texan Doug Dieckmann, who worked 'cue joints in Austin, Pitt finally saw his dream realized.

"There's barbecue on every corner in Texas," Pitt says. "I wanted to bring Texas barbecue to Phoenix and show people how we do it back home."

Located off the beaten path — specifically, on the corner of 24th Street and East Roeser Road — the stark, orange-and-rust-colored building with the modest patio area may lead one to expect Texas BBQ House's small interior will be just as bare-bones. Nope. Inside, it's clean, cheery, and comfortable. Amid tables and booths topped with black-and-white checked tablecloths, sepia-toned Western photographs, buckets of signature rub serving as functional décor, and the logo on the back wall with the tagline, "That's how we do it, son." underneath, locals munch meat while watching sports (always sports) on one of the small TVs or gather around the counter to shake hands and inquire about the brisket they've been hearing so much about.

And after only being open for three months, Pitt tells me he's already Texas-'cued the Arizona Diamondbacks on more than one occasion. (Signed photos of manager Kirk Gibson and coaches Alan Trammell and Matt Williams hang in the entryway.)

At Texas BBQ House, the emphasis is on the meat — brisket, barbecued chicken, pork ribs, pork loin, chopped beef, regular and jalapeño sausage, and turkey — all smoked over oak with family-recipe dry rub. There are no sandwiches or "meal deals"; this is meat à la carte, sold by the pound (think of it as deli-style), and this custom makes it easy to eat light, try more than one menu item, or bust a gut.

And the sauce? The sauce is not discussed. This is meat as the gods of cooked animal flesh intended it to be — perfectly prepared and confident enough to stand on its own. (But, hey, if you want some sauce, it's on the tables and also available for purchase.)

Another Texas barbecue tradition alive and well at Texas BBQ House is the dinnerware. Your "plate" is a scrap of butcher paper, your "tray" a shallow plastic Pepsi crate, and your "utensils," for those who truly understand barbecue, are your hands — or your hands plus a slice of white bread, used to roll up the meat. (There are plastic forks, but I'm convinced they're meant for side dishes and desserts of banana pudding and pecan pie.)

What Texas BBQ House needs to get right in the way of Texas barbecue, it does. The brisket is heavenly and, depending on the amount of marbling desired, available in lean, moist, and "cutter's choice." Cooked low and slow, the taste is lightly smoked, salty and fatty, with a thin, crackly crust. The chopped beef arrives in a delicious pile as dark as night, moist and smoky, and making for a sinfully good sandwich, especially with onions, pickles, or jalapeños available at a small bar. And the smoked sausages are plump and peppery, stuffed with a mixture of pork and beef, cumin, and, if so desired, bits of jalapeño.

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12 comments
Anon
Anon

Sad to say, it wasn't that good and won't stay open with that grub. Pretty average, not bad, just not worth a trip to it.

Sunshyneeday
Sunshyneeday

Texas BBQ House certainly has everything you want in good BBQ. The brisket is amazing and can't be beat, especially anywhere in the Phoenix area.

Alolinaejo
Alolinaejo

Finally something close to real BBQ in Phoenix. And Rudy's is damn good, but every real joint in Texas has this setup.

B1
B1

I tried the cutters choice brisket yesterday and it was good enough to order another helping of the moist. Great job guys! Next I tried a rib and it was tasty but a little tough and dry, I will give them another try as I see potential. The turkey was moist and flavorful but had way too much rosemary for my taste. Another I will give a second try. The sausage was good but just average, not the Texas style I wanted but some will enjoy them. When I saw pinto beans my eye lit up but was somewhat disappointed as they seemed like a jazzed up canned bean. They were tasty but I hope to find a place that makes fresh pintos Texas Style. All in all I will be back and highly recommend the moist brisket and look forward to trying the rest of their menu.

Jacq Davis
Jacq Davis

Haha, this seems to be inspired by my favorite Texas BBQ restaurant - Rudy´s "Country Store" and Bar-B-Q. I will have to see if they are anywhere close to Rudy's in quality.

Erica O.
Erica O.

This place sounds amazing. I am definitely going to get my brisket on.

araphat
araphat

Yea! More BBQ is always welcome.

Dharmon
Dharmon

Best BBQ in Arizona , i am a backyard BBQ King , cant hold a candle to there BBQ . Everything i have tryed has been the best , and i have tryed it all , Mike and the gang there are great . Keep it up . You need to open one in Surprise

Guest
Guest

This place is absolutely amazing! The owner is very down-to-earth, one of the best, and you can sense that this place is meant for family and good 'ol BBQ...great meat for a great price!! Congrats on a fantastic restaurant!! This kansan girl is very proud :)

CenTex BBQ
CenTex BBQ

"They say there isn't a Texan in the barbecue business who's gotten pork ribs right — not so at Texas BBQ House."

Sounds like someone hasn't been to Franklin BBQ.

Also, I appreciate the effort to bring brisket to the valley. God knows that freakin tri-tip was a 3rd trimester abortion in all the "BBQ" joints around town. Looks like a Rudy's knock-off, but heck, I'd never complain about a Rudy's clone in the desert.

Well done.

 
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