I was happy to see an announcement in my local community Facebook page a week or so ago about an upcoming soft opening for a brand new barbecue joint really close to home. They call it “2 Guys 1 Pit BBQ”, and the two guys are Richard and his son-in-law, Chris. And even though the name says two guys, make no mistake – this is a family affair, as Richard’s wife and their daughter, Ashley (Chris’ wife), are deeply involved as well. They have been working hard for a long time now to get to the point where they could open their brick-n-mortar restaurant just west of SH249 on Spring Cypress in the Spring/Klein area. They’ve been doing barbecue catering for four+ years now. And when I saw that they were planning a soft opening, I arranged my work schedule to be able to give them a try. The extra good news for me is that this place is the closest “craft barbecue” restaurant to both my home and office. And what I mean by craft barbecue is that these guys are doing it old-school. They use an Ole Hickory Pits rotisserie pit using only hickory wood to imbue the meat with a light smoke flavor. Their brisket is prime grade black Angus that gets a pepper-heavy (2-to-1 ratio) rub of salt and pepper only. Maybe most importantly, when they run out, they close up shop for the day rather than sacrifice quality for quantity like too many joints do. Richard has had some excellent training, having attended Camp Brisket at Texas A&M and spending time with barbecue rockstars like Aaron Franklin, of Austin’s Franklin Barbecue fame, and has learned the pitmaster trade well. They’re also still very much focused on their BBQ catering business. So once they open officially (Monday, July 29) it will be for lunches only Monday through Friday so that they can cater on the weekends.
I wanted to sample as much of their food as I could, so I ordered the very-affordable 3-meat plate. I was bummed that pork ribs are not yet available, though Richard assured me that they’re coming. They’ll be a St. Louis cut spare. So I got some fatty brisket, pulled pork and sausage. For my sides I tried the baked potato salad and the green beans.
Brisket – the brisket had a great smoke ring, and the fat was perfectly rendered. The flavor was outstanding. And the bark was nice and dark with some really excellent crunchy bits. These “2 Guys” really know how to smoke a brisket.
Pulled pork – the pulled pork was delicious. It was plenty moist with lots of tasty bark mixed in. After they pull it, they mix in a very thin tomato-based sauce to make sure there is good flavor all the way through.
Sausage – I didn’t get a chance to ask Richard about the sausage, but it seems to be a commercially-made sausage. It was certainly serviceable with good basic flavor, but was the least compelling meat of the three.
Sides & sauce – As awesome as the brisket is, the baked potato salad stole the show from my perspective. It had a great mixture of flavors to pull off the baked potato feel, with a very nice mouth feel. I’d go back just to eat that. The green beans were a fine side. But next time I’ll have to try the mac-n-cheese (it was already sold out when I got there) or the coleslaw. Their house-made barbecue sauce was a very balanced complement to the smoked meat. The pickles, onions and jalapeños were a very standard version. I was very happy to see the standard white bread was replaced with a Texas-sized version.
I am really happy to have 2 Guys 1 Pit BBQ opening so close by. The high quality of their Texas barbecue is matched by their Texas hospitality – both are outstanding. It’s just how I would hope. And I hope they’ll be here for a long time to come. They are totally worth a visit if you’re anywhere near the Compaq area in northwest Houston. And I’ll back again and again and again…