Best of Houston® 2021

Best Of Houston® 2021: Best Barbecue Ribs

Harlem Road's beef ribs, with the all-important, telltale smoke ring
Harlem Road's beef ribs, with the all-important, telltale smoke ring Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.
Best Barbecue Ribs: Harlem Road Texas BBQ Beef Ribs

Harlem Road Texas BBQ is a destination spot for Houston ‘cue enthusiasts even though, for all intents and purposes here, we consider Richmond near enough to be Houston. The corrugated tin and wood joint, with 10 indoor tables, is just rustic enough to put you in a Texas hill country mood. Their “slow and low” smoked meats are astounding and a closer-to-home option than trekking to Snow’s BBQ or The Salt Lick or the Original City Market in Luling. If there’s one single menu item that should send you to the outskirts of town, it’s Harlem Road’s beef ribs.

The ribs are dry rubbed in chef-owner Ara Malekian’s (yes, you did see him on Food Network’s “BBQ Brawl” this summer) blend of spices and then wood smoked long enough to infuse the meat and its flavorful marbled fat with those savory elements. Once done, a pound or two of tender beef will literally slide from its foot-long bone and onto your meal tray. Since it’s smoked to perfection, you might be tempted to skip the barbecue sauce, but try it since Malekian’s recipe features hints of Armenian coffee.

You don’t have to head to the hills for the state’s best barbecue. Just take a look at all the diverse and acclaimed options available in (and just on the edge) of the city. Harlem Road Texas BBQ is one of the leaders of this Houston barbecue renaissance.

9823 Harlem Road, Richmond
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