12675 Fondren (2 blocks north of S. Main)
My family's route into the big city when I was growing up in Brazoria Co. was right up the old 288 which became Almeda Rd. and would take you right downtown. We must have passed the original Pyburn's in Almeda hundreds if not thousands of times. I seem to remember it was usually busy but we never had any reason to stop. So it was news to me when I read in the Press a year ago that they were noted for their boudin and dirty rice and I made a note to stop in sometime. Perhaps I'd make a nostalgia trip down the old highway some day (now known as FM 521 which actually was the original designation going back to the 1930s, I think).
Now I don't have to. The grocery store has come to me, or, at least, my part of town. This new location of Pyburn's has only been open a short time. I seldom go down that far on Fondren but had seen some work underway recently on the building which previously was a short lived independent meat market. It's not close enough to me to be my regular neighborhood grocery but it's a heckuva lot closer than Almeda Rd.
It has quickly become popular and has been doing a good business when I've been by or stopped in, partly due to the lack of any viable competition for quite some distance no doubt, but it's a nice, clean and well lit facility, more like a small grocery store of decades ago or the Pantry stores that HEB built when it first came to town - there are somewhat narrower aisles and taller shelving. The staff I have encountered is very friendly and helpful. The meat department is a standout section with butchers at the ready and it has a complete line-up of the home store's noteworthy boudin, dirty rice and other sausages. The boudin is predominantly rice but also includes chicken liver and gizzards, yellow and green onion, pork, bell pepper, parsley, garlic and black and red pepper. The natural casing crisps up and has a nice snap to it when roasted or smoked. It's a firm boudin, not one that dissolves into a soup when cooked. I'll be tossing several links of the mild on the smoker in a while; I'm headed to a potluck get-together this evening and I'll be fishing for copious compliments.
There's an in-store hot-foods deli due to be operational in a few weeks. I don't know what kind of foods they'll be offering but I'm looking forward to finding out what else comes out of Pyburn's kitchen.
UPDATE: See an update on Pyburn's as part of this post.