Going back to BBQ joints I have only been to and reviewed once before is something I really enjoy. It is always interesting to see how things have changed or if they have stayed the same. And generally the return experience has been good. I recently went back to a joint I reviewed over 18 months ago called “It’s Ribs”, a little place on Jones Road just north of FM1960 in northwest Houston. And I was glad I did.
As their name indicates, they are all about the ribs. And they are pretty darned good at it. They offer three different kinds of ribs: 1) pork spare ribs, 2) St. Louis-style pork ribs, and 3) beef ribs. If you’re interested in learning more about the different kinds of pork rib cuts, there is a pretty good tutorial here. They do also offer other meats as well – brisket, chicken, pulled pork, etc. But the place is called “It’s Ribs” after all. So ya gotta hope they do those best. The last time I went I didn’t event try the pork ribs (I got starry-eyed when I saw beef ribs on the menu). So I had to try their pork ribs this time around. And call me old school, but I love spareribs. I know that babybacks are trendy and look sleek and svelt and all that. But I just love spareribs – all that connective tissue, and cartilage, the meaty flaps, etc. They’re all so good. If I have my choice, I always prefer spareribs – both when I smoke them myself as well as when I get them from a restaurant. So of course I had to get the spareribs. For their ribs they offer a pineapple or jalapeño glaze – not dissimilar, albeit not quite identical to the way Grant Pinkerton does the Candy Paint Ribs at Pinkerton’s Barbecue near downtown Houston.
I ordered a half-rack of the spareribs (they were so large that I turned them into two meals), and they were well-smoked with a good smoky flavor. The fat had been rendered well, and they had a good smoke ring. The meat was tender and cooked very nicely, but not just falling off the bone. With a good bite the meat would just pull away from the bone. They were straight-up tasty, and the jalapeño glaze was tasty too.
For my side dish I could not resist trying their sausage & chicken gumbo. And it was pretty good as well. The gumbo had a very good amount of meat and was not too heavy on the okra. I’m NOT a big fan of okra, but I’m definitely willing to eat it in a good gumbo.
If you’re up on the northwest side of Houston and have a hankerin’ for ribs, It’s Ribs should not disappoint.