A Side Lover's Lament

Stop right there before you head down to comment land at the bottom of the page and write, "You don't go to barbecue restaurants for the sides." Don't even think of writing that -- it's just a dumb thing to say. If barbecue restaurants don't want to be judged on their sides, then they shouldn't make them at all. They should just be meat markets. This brings me to my question: Where can one find decent sides at a barbecue restaurant in Houston?

Katharine Shilcutt fell into the pit of despair recently on her trip to Dickey's, and then found some hope at The Brisket House. Apparently the potato salad at The Brisket House is dreamy. But how 'bout some beans? Goode Company has two types of beans -- jalapeno beans (which, if there is a hint of spiciness, or flavor for that matter, in these, then I am Levi Goode himself) and Austin baked beans (which have chunks of pear and are an abomination). A recent trip to Pizzatola's also produced a serving of cardboard pintos. Could someone mix a little burnt-end action in there?

The best barbecue sides I have ever experienced are at Willy Ray's in Beaumont. The carrot soufflé is out of this world, the beans are slightly sweet and spicy, and the potatoes are extra flavorful. Whether I think they are worth a drive to Beaumont is debatable, but I really would like to find something within 90 miles that is worth ordering. Can anyone help?

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