I finally got some time this week to a make a late lunch visit to Lonestar Sausage & BBQ in north Houston. And I’m sure glad I finally got here. Kevin Mason started this business many years ago. Smoking meats and making sausages was something he enjoyed doing with his father. Like many, it started out more as a hobby while working a full-time job as a Houston police officer. But the word got out on how good his smoked sausages were – so their popularity grew over time. Once he retired from the force last year, he decided it was time to open up a restaurant. And I’m sure glad he did. You can now find him on Walters Road about a mile and half south of FM1960.
When I got to the restaurant, an unassuming storefront in a quiet little strip center on the east side of Walters Road, I got to visit with Kevin for a bit before I ordered. And I’m sure glad I did. He shared that they had just introduced a new pepper jack cheese sausage. Given how much I love cheese, I knew I would have to give that one a try. And of course I needed to try some of his central Texas-style beef and pork sausage as well. I really wanted to try one of his east Texas hotlinks too – but they are so big that they make a meal all by themselves (they weigh in at ~1 pound each). I’ve already decided that next time that’s what I’m gonna order. For this round I really wanted to try the pork spareribs as well. I figured two different sausages and some pork ribs would be plenty of food. And boy I was right. That would have been plenty good – but because he is just a really good guy, Kevin brought me a couple rib tips and slice of smoked turkey to sample as well. That amount of food was totally crazy – it will likely be two or three meals’ worth – an incredible value for the money!
Lemme tell you – just looking at the incredible pile of smoked sausage and ribs, I could tell immediately that Kevin is an expert, both in making these sausages and in smoking them. They were flat out incredible, slow smoked over post oak. Here are my thoughts on the smoked meats:
- Pepper jack sausage – the pepperjack cheese sausage had a great grind, excellent flavor, a very nice snap to the casing, and just the right amount of moisture with the mixture of meat and fat. Seriously, this is a winning link.
- Beef and pork sausage – the beef and pork sausage had very nice flavor. It definitely started as a traditional central Texas link, but then Kevin has added his own touches, with the grind being a little more fine than I typically see in a central Texas style sausage, and with maybe two or three unique spices mixed in. It was very good for certain.
- Pork spare ribs – the pork ribs were excellent. The rub didn’t have too much salt or too much pepper. It did its job while letting the flavor of the pork shine through as the primary flavor. I’d go back again and again for those ribs.
- Rib tips – The rib tips were flat out delicious. I’m a huge fan of full spare ribs anyway. So what a treat to try some of these expertly-smoked rib tips.
- Turkey – The turkey slice was so moist and flavorful. I’ve read that there is some sort of butter basting that goes on with that bird. Whatever it is that Kevin does, it is totally worth the visit just for the turkey.
- Sides – I got baked beans and the potato salad. Both were very very serviceable, but pretty standard fare. But you’re not there for the sides anyway.
- Barbecue sauce – The barbecue sauce is homemade; and it is outstanding. It’s a more thin sauce than you see in many central Texas style meat market joints. But not so thin that it won’t stick to the meat. And it complements all the meat that I tried very well. Apparently, Kevin’s father, King, is the keeper of the recipe and will not share it with anyone, including Kevin, at least not yet.
I was so happy that as I was finishing up, I got the great pleasure and honor of meeting Kevin’s father. What a treat it was to meet him. Truly a kind and honorable man. End of the day, I am very impressed with Lonestar Sausage & BBQ. Kevin served this city of Houston faithfully for nearly thirty years. Now he is serving in a very admirable way as well providing the north side of Houston with some outstanding barbecue. Go see him. You will not be disappointed. Oh, and for what’s worth, on Thursdays Lonestar Sausage offers rib tips, and Fridays they do fried catfish. Yum!