3rd Coast BBQ – The Woodlands

I was very happy to get a note from a great barbecue friend yesterday. Chris, one of the owners of 2 Guys 1 Pit BBQ, gave me a heads-up that there was a new BBQ joint having a soft opening today over on the east side of I-45 at Rayford Road in The Woodlands. I absolutely love the barbecue brotherhood, and how well the barbecue community supports each other, cheers for each other, helps each other, etc. It is such a refreshing thing for a guy like me who lives in a cutthroat business world.

So, having appreciated Chris’ heads-up, my BBQ buddy, Craig and I headed to 3rd Coast today at lunchtime to give them a try. I did not expect to see Chris there, since he has his own very busy BBQ joint to run pretty much days a week. But there he was with another friend that is a well-known food competition judge and Food Network scout. They had already ordered a massive amount of food so told us to just come join them and enjoy what they already had. I’m sure glad we went. The food was excellent, especially for the first day of service. We got to try pretty much everything: brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, turkey, jalapeño cheese sausage and brisket boudin. We also got to try all of their sides: elote, mac-n-cheese, pit-smoked beans, potato salad and a chipotle coleslaw. And of course we had a good helping of housemade pickles and pickled red onions, along with their housemade sauces: a tomato barbecue sauce and a mayo-based Alabama style white sauce that seemed to have a Cajun twist. For a soft opening it was all excellent. There are some things that they’ll tune up over time and improve on. But they have all the basics down very solidly.

3rd Coast BBQ is run by Troy Mulligan and his wife, DeeDee. They’ve been doing catering for some time now, specializing in both Texas barbecue and cajun and other foods that we find on the third coast – gumbo, crawfish, oysters, shrimp, etc… They have been working on this brick-and-mortar location for months now. They’re not the easiest to find – it does actually feel like you’re driving into a neighborhood – but when you do find them, it’s totally worth it. They’ve done a great job with the space, building out a large covered patio area. And the pit room in the back is outstanding. Of course, the centerpiece of the pit room is a custom massive trailer rig from Houston’s own Klose (BBQ Pits by Klose). This behemoth can handle a whole bunch of low-n-slow smoked meat. Using this stick-burning Klose pit, Troy is all old-school using mostly post oak with some live oak when he can get it. At the front of this pit sit two flat tops and a Santa Maria grill. But given that the pit is now completely enclosed in its new pit room home, it’s not likely that Troy will find much opportunity to use either the flattops or the Santa Maria grill much anymore. But no worries. The main horizontal cooking chamber and vertical space have tons of room for cooking pretty much everything that Troy and his team can throw at it.

I really hope all goes well for Troy and DeeDee as they get ready for their grand opening in a few weeks. They’ve got all the basics down very solidly. And they’ve got some really good friends with plenty of experience in the barbecue business to help them out along the way. Once they’ve been up and running for some time, I’ll definitely get back over there and do a full write-up.

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