Waller County Line BBQ – Waller

I can’t count how many times I’ve driven between Houston and Austin on US290. Every time without fail I’ve gone by Waller County Line BBQ off 290 at FM362. Anyone who has made the trip between northwest Houston and Austin or College Station has gone by and likely seen it on the south side of the highway (unless they were distracted by the ginormous Buc-ee’s on the north side).

I finally decided I just needed to try Waller County Line BBQ, even without a trip to Austin. So me and my barbecue buddy, Craig, set out for a quick roadtrip. Technically this place could be considered “gas station barbecue”, since it is primarily a gas station. When we got there it was reasonably busy in the barbecue line, which I hoped was a good sign. I ordered their brisket and the jalapeno sausage. I did not specify lean vs moist – I wanted to see what they would give me. Happily I got some of both. It was all well-cooked, and maybe even overcooked, like it had been steaming in the warmer for quite awhile. We got there right around noon so that should not have been the case. The moist had well-rendered fat. And the lean was maybe too soft. Neither had a clear smoke ring, and thus both lacked any real smoke flavor – they tasted more like a pot roast than smoked brisket, even though there was a pit fired up and running out back. There was no visible bark, and sadly most of the fat had been trimmed away. Needless to say I was disappointed. The sausage was definitely the highlight. It had a great grind and a snappy casing, with excellent flavor. I didn’t order any sides this particular day, so cannot comment on those this time.

Sadly, Waller County Line BBQ did not live up to my expectations. I might stop there if I was really desperate for some smoked meat. But I’d have to use a good amount of their house-brand barbecue sauce to improve the flavor. I hope that was just an off-day for them. Next time I am on my way back from Austin or College Station and need a BBQ fix before I get home, maybe I’ll stop there and give them a second chance.

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