Friday, July 25, 2008
Pierson & Co. Bar B Que
5110 West T.C. Jester
SO FAR AS I KNOW, THIS PLACE IS CLOSED FOR GOOD.
Barbecue afficionados in Houston are still mourning the loss of Williams Smokehouse which burned in December but there’s light on the horizon and, as it turns out, the horizon is only a couple of miles away.
Pierson & Co. Bar B Que has opened on TC Jester at Mansfield, just north of Tidwell. Mansfield is the same street that Williams was located on at the intersection of Wheatley.
Pierson’s has only been open a few months but Clarence Pierson learned barbecue from a man in New Iberia as a teen and has been at it ever since. He briefly operated a place on Houston’s southwest side up until a couple of years ago.
It’s a family operation and the Pierson’s are very nice folks. They’re being very generous with the free samples these days and portions are very generous.
This is East Texas style barbecue which means the meats are very tender and there’s a little brown sugar in everything, beans, potato salad, sauce, even the rub. Mesquite wood is used exclusively.
I haven’t cared for the potato salad – too sweet for me – but the beans, kind of like Boston baked beans but with some meat, are awesome. They could be served as chili, in fact and a large order could be a meal in itself. I understand they’ve added cole slaw to the list of sides but I haven’t sampled it.
These meats were photographed at home about an hour and a half after they were sliced so they look a little dry. That’s sliced beef on the left, pork butt in the center,
and all beef sausage on the right (with a good crispy natural casing). Note the depth of the smoke rings. The brisket and sausage are excellent. I persuaded Mr. Pierson to cut me some pork even though he said it wasn’t ready yet and my guess is it’s going to be some of the best in town. He does plan to offer pulled pork sandwiches as well as sliced pork.
Home-made desserts include peach cobbler (excellent) made from a recipe by Clarence Pierson’s 90 year old mother in Crockett and bread pudding, which I haven’t tried.
The times I’ve been there’s been limited accommodations for dining, a narrow counter along one wall and a few stools (see the picture, above), but I believe they have added some tables. Plans are to enclose the drive thru areas and add more tables and pave a parking lot out back. There’s also a nice park along TC Jester about a mile south with picnic tables for those driving from far away.
I’ve never been quite as fond of East Texas style barbecue as opposed to Central Texas (smoked meats) style but Pierson’s is the best of this style I’ve ever had and it could change my mind. This is a very welcome addition to the Houston BBQ scene. The brisket is better than William’s was in my judgement, and the ribs, while not the equal of Williams’ (few places in the world were), are very good, and the sausage is much better than Williams’ and you can get it all without a heaping dose of attitude as sometimes encountered at another famous Houston Q joint.
CORRECTION TO THE ABOVE: Pierson's now has a website and Clarence Pierson says he learned barbecue from a man from New Iberia here in Houston. He's a native of Houston himself.
Pierson & Co.