Russell Roegels has been starting fires and smoking meat for over two decades. The Texas native started his career in the barbecue business washing dishes and working pit duty at the original Bodacious BBQ in Longview (now ranked the 4th best cue joint in the state by Texas Monthly) and began his entrepreneurial career by opening the lone Houston location of Baker's Ribs back in 2003.
Roegels Barbeuce Co Since then he's been a respected member of the Houston's BBQ elite, celebrated for smoking one of the best cuts of brisket in the state.
One of the best parts about eating at Roegels (apart from the barbecue) is the authentic country aesthetic that wafts over the place like an invisible veil concealing it from its bustling city surroundings. Despite being a stone's throw from the absolute hellscape that is Westheimer west of the loop, the red barn with an interior like a lakeside cabin feels like a country summer day. The combination of a covered patio lined with picnic tables and dimly-lit cafeteria dining room offer the best of both worlds when it comes to barbecue dining. On smokehouse aesthetics, Roegels Barbecue scores a 10/10.
For a joint with brisket this good, you'd think they would take it easy on other proteins. Perhaps "stick to what they know". But that's just the point — Roegels has spent enough time around pits, cooking other people's menus and learning the ropes of East Texas barbecue that pork ribs, pulled pork, smoked turkey and chicken come as natural to him as that peppery black brisket. The pork ribs carry over a bit of that Baker's Ribs magic Roegels was once known for, as does the pulled pork. The smoked turkey is some of the most tender and moist this writer's ever tasted. And most recently, Roegels has joined the handful of Texas pit masters offering a southern smokehouse take on pastrami beef. The daily special is available on Thursdays as a traditional Ruben sandwich or on Fridays as a whole pastrami beef rib. On non-brisket proteins Roegels scores a 9/10.
It's been noted in other reviews that while Russell and his crew man the pits, the sides and dessert menu can largely be attributed to his wife and co-owner, Misty Roegels. In this way the two make one hell of a culinary team, as Misty's sides have been raved about by reviewers both amateur and awarded. While the loaded mashed potatoes, pinto beans and bourbon banana pudding are noted fan favorites, this writer opted for mac n' cheese and potato salad. The former satisfied sure enough, with a creamy and cheesy consistency that fell in the perfect range between too thick and too watery. The potato salad unfortunately needed flavor, perhaps in the form of a mustard base or simply more seasoning. It was nicely textured but seriously bland. On quality of sides Roegels scores a 7/10.