Monday, June 30, 2008

Guy's Meat Market

3106 O.S.T.

Guy’s serves one of my favorite burgers in Houston. They’ve been in business since the 1930s and once, several decades ago, somewhat on a dare as I understand it, participated in the BBQ cookoff associated with the Rodeo and won second place. They were already well established as a meat market purveying choice Northern beef (my Mother bought beef from them in the 1950s) but they’ve added to the legerdemain with barbecue and their smoked burgers. They also make some of the city’s finest chili, available only frozen in bricks, not served in the store, and they make some very credible sausages. In fact, their all pork with garlic sausage is one of my favorites. And they also have their own seasoning blend which is used on the burgers and barbecue and is quite good, available in shakers and pint jars.

Guy’s is open only Tuesday thru Saturday and serves the burgers only Tuesday thru Friday, starting at 11am. Only 200 are smoked each day and when they're gone, usually by around 12:30 or so, that’s all she wrote. You’ll likely encounter a line when you go but it moves surprisingly fast; it seems the whole crew of butchers is dedicated to moving the lunch line and there’s an assembly line just behind the barbecue display case. My favorite way to get the burger is with just barbecue sauce, onions and jalapenos but you can get it dressed with lettuce, tomato, cheese, etc., if you like. A drawback is that it's not hot and fresh off a grill which just makes it more important to get there earlier to get one.

The barbecue is just okay; I don’t think they use enough of their own seasoning blend as a rub and it develops only a minimal smoke ring. I get a plate sometimes with chicken and sausage (they serve their all beef sausage with the barbecue) or sandwiches.

The chili - or chilley as they spell it - is all beef chuck, cubed, and with nothing but beef and spices, the way chili should be. It’s one of my favorite chilis in the city, second only to the venison chili at Armadillo Palace. It’s in the freezer cases to your right as you enter, frozen in one pound bricks, hot or mild (neither one of them really hot). I’ve nearly always got some in my freezer for emergencies.

They also carry the Boutte brand of boudin, which is made in Lumberton near Beaumont. It's available in regular or crawfish varieties in the fresh meat cases.

Guy's Meat Market, with more on their barbecue, seasoning and history.

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