True Texas BBQ – Magnolia

I had heard about a BBQ joint called True Texas BBQ a year or so ago. And I was interested to try them out – but it seemed that that it wasn’t located anywhere near me. Then I learned that they’re actually a chain inside HEB (the best supermarket in the world), but only in smaller cities around Texas, in places like Huntsville, Seguin, Odessa and Killeen. That is, until recently. They are now moving into larger markets, like Kingwood, San Antonio, Austin, The Woodlands, etc. And just recently Daniel Vaughn, BBQ editor for Texas Monthly Magazine, did a write-up on them and proclaimed them “best barbecue chain in Texas.” So I knew I had to give them a try. The nearest one was way up on FM1488 at the north end of The Woodlands/Magnolia. So it took some planning and preparations to go. I am glad I did.

They really do have pretty darn good barbecue. Their prices are good. And both the meat and sides were better than a some of the non-chain BBQ joints that I’ve eaten at over the years.

Brisket – I was able to ask for fatty – and I actually got fatty. It had a good bark and smoke ring. The flavor was good – with good smokiness, but not overwhelmingly so. The fat was pretty well-rendered. Overall I was very impressed with the brisket.

Ribs – They had a really nice rub with a good chewy bark. And they were flavorful. The only downside was that they were just slightly undercooked. The meat would not come off the bone and some fat had not render out. Had they kept it on the pit for another 30-60 minutes, I believe those would have been outstanding St. Louis-cut spareribs.

Sausage – The sausage was basic. The grind was ok and the casing was fine. There was nothing exciting to really write home about. But it was very serviceable as a basic smoked sausage.

Creamed corn – Their creamed corn was excellent. It was roasted on the cob, and had a good consistency and great flavor. I almost always add extra black pepper – which is just my taste. But all-in-all it was very good.

Brisket beans – I enjoyed the beans. They had good chunks of brisket and an excellent flavor.

My biggest sadness was that there were not enough pickles served on my platter. And there were too many onions. I know it is hard for a food server to judge. So I would have preferred that they make the pickles & onions self-serve. If that’s all I had to complain about a a grocery store BBQ chain, then I think that’s pretty darn good. If you get a hankerin’ for some BBQ out in small-town Texas and you come across an HEB with a True Texas BBQ, it’s highly likely to be worth a stop.

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