Sunday, July 14, 2013

Review: Harris County Smokehouse on FM 1960

We recently passed by the great BBQ Holiday week in North America that begins with Canada Day and ends with US Independence Day, bookended by long weekends.  As I slide on into that weekend, I paid a visit to a BBQ place that my buddy Jack Long of the Quillian Center has recommended before, The Harris County Smokehouse.  Jack has raved about their breakfast tacos, their BBQ ribs and beef brisket, but he also said they grill up a mighty good burger as well.  I'd seen them more than a few times when driving in the area, so I ran by there after a long teaching session to investigate.

When you go inside, you are surrounded by Texas Kitsch to the nines.  I'm talking rusty Lone Stars surrounded by barbed wire, Taxidermy Animals (saw a brown bear in the entrance and many buck heads all over), red white and blue swoops, Cigar Store Native Americans carved in a tree trunk and a Menu Board printed in Wild West Wanted Poster Style font.  Even the table coverings have a pattern like a white and black Jersey cow's hide!  Yes sir folks, this is about as Texas Kitschy as a handlebar moustache, a ten gallon hat, dusters and chaps.  If you like that sort of thing, then this place definitely has your kind of ambiance.  ;-)  The layout is like most BBQ places where you read a menu, go through a cafeteria style line-up and place your order.  Most side dishes/veggies are all laid out and dished up when you place your order.  They have a bread warmer with yeast rolls and corn bread available on a self serve basis too.  There are many choices you can go with there, and the staff is friendly.

Their Menu is a nice mix of various BBQ and Texas Fare.  Big loaves of onion rings, Huge baked potatoes topped with various kinds of BBQ meat, Pulled Pork and BBQ Beef sandwiches, even burritos, tacos and quesadillas, and of course burgers.  Since I was about to chow down on some ribs and brisket on July 4th, I went there and grabbed a burger for lunch, specifically their ½ Lb Bacon Cheeseburger. I elected to go with grilled onions, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle and lite mayo.  I also added fries for $2.00 extra.  The burger is cooked medium by default, though you can order it more or less cooked depending on your preference.  I always get mine right in the middle, so this worked for me just fine.

The burger is served open faced, which is actually one of my preferences when I get veggies on my burger.  This actually keeps the veggies a little cooler til you put it together.  The bacon is thick, smokey, sweet and peppery.  The burger is a little salty, very juicy and the cheese is thoroughly melted, quite gooey.  The veggies are fresh, crunchy and crisp.  The portion is quite generous for the price ($5.95 for a half pound ground beef patty, cheese $0.75, grilled onions $0.35).  They also do a Texas Burger which includes 1/4 lb of smoked meat on top of the patty--I really wish I'd chosen that one, and know next time it's a better deal for the order.  Their fries are natural cut, a generous  portion, had a little bit of something sweet mixed in with the salt--couldn't quite identify it. FYI, I've noticed A LOT of restaurants are using a sweet and salty mixture on their fries as of late.  I don't find it bad per se, but I personally prefer something more savoury or spicy with my fries.  Just my own preference, no big whoop.

Report Card for Harris County Smokehouse:  
     Bacon Cheeseburger: A-
     Fries: B+
     Speed: B+
     Friendliness: A-
     Kitchen/Dining Area: A
     Men's Room: B
Atmosphere (Kitschy Texas BBQ place): B+

Overall Grade: B+

Harris County Smokehouse is located at:

13280 FM 1960 W just south of US 290
Houston, TX 77065
281 890 5735
7 AM to 9 PM 7 Days a Week

Eat Happy, Y'all!!!

Harris County Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

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