Brooks’ Place, a great BBQ joint in Cypress, is pretty amazing. And it’s not just the great-tasting, well-smoked meat. What really blew me away was the proprietor and pitmaster, Trent Brooks. After I placed my order I had to get a peek at the pit that was in use. So I went to the back of the trailer to admire the pit. Brooks was inside, and though he didn’t know me, he invited me right in, opened up the cabinet smoker and showed off the meats. He’s been doing this for a long time. So he knows when a brisket is done pretty much instinctively, by look and by feel. And oh the bark on those briskets! Brooks has invented his own brisket rub, and it is something special — it helps put a bark on those briskets unlike any other bark I have ever seen. Pretty amazing stuff. After he showed me the briskets he showed me a half dozen smaller pieces of meat that were just finishing up, and he asked me if I knew what they were. I of course guessed wrong a couple of times. When he told me what they were I was stunned. I’ll share more about this uncommon cut of meat shortly in another post that is dedicated just to that – it is worthy of its own post because of its uniqueness.
I asked Trent how he would label his style of barbecue. His response was “mine”. He isn’t trying to produce any particular style; instead he is doing what makes his customers happy. And I would agree – his barbecue cannot be categorized as Central Texas or East Texas or South, or even Hill Country. He does use indirect heat, with an offset cabinet rig burning oak (but not post oak, like Central Texas) and some pecan. His brisket rub is his own creation and has a bunch of very tasty ingredients. His barbecue is not covered in sauce like East Texas chopped beef and pork. He has definitely achieved his goal of being unique. It is working for him. And his friendliness and openness to strangers surely has helped him build quite a following of loyal barbecue addicts, beyond the amazing ‘cue he serves up. Ya gotta go visit him.