Photo by Chuck Cook

Tejas Chocolate Craftory

Photo by Chuck Cook
Something is afoot in Tomball. The last time there was a culinary stir, it was over Bootsie’s, Randy Rucker’s wildly experimental restaurant that won national acclaim but never seemed to win over the natives. Now it seems that with places like Tejas Chocolate Craftory, the wave is slightly less ambitious, more practical and actually appreciated.

As the name indicates, Tejas started as a “bean-to-bar” chocolate company. That meant that it literally made its own chocolate from cacao beans. The cacao beans were being roasted on a barbecue pit, so why not also use it to make barbecue? It’s a symbiotic relationship, as chocolate in various forms is incorporated in the rub of the exquisite beef short ribs, the lush mole barbecue sauce and the decadent bread pudding. The pulled pork is a must-have. It’s unabashedly fatty, like satin in the mouth, and the leftovers make an outstanding hash for breakfast the next day. Also, don’t dare pass up the carrot soufflé, a warm, smooth, flan-like pudding that’s on the menu as a side dish but could also serve as a lightly sweet dessert.

On our visits, the brisket was perfectly cooked but the rub could have used a little more salt to really enhance the “beefiness.” Don’t miss the pastrami burnt ends if they’re available. A dining companion was obviously struck by divine inspiration when he called them “truffles of meat.” Obviously, buy a small box of the creative — and very large — chocolate truffles to go, or a Dark Matter bar with black salt and pepper. Don’t make a pilgrimage to Tejas on Sundays or Mondays, as it’s closed then.