National attention may be focused on Central Texas-style barbecue, but food writer J.C. Reid says it’s time to put Houston barbecue back on the map. Logical first step in his Houston Barbecue Project, then: this interactive map of urban BBQ joints within Beltway 8. The project’s mission: “to revisit, document and recognize the East Texas-style of barbecue as it is embodied in the urban barbecue joints of Houston, Texas.” Reid drew the Beltway boundary just to limit the project’s first phase — he’s writes that he’s interested in expanding exploration to Houston’s outskirts and beyond once he — and any fellow BBQ adventurers — are able to document more of this city’s smoky inner sanctum.
What about the argument that city of Houston health and environmental codes are incompatible with good barbecue?
Code requirements mean it’s a little more difficult to make good barbecue inside city limits, Reid says — but not impossible. And he says hasn’t noticed any “appreciable difference in quality” after his own border crossings: “To confirm I recently made a trip out to the Katy area to sample the barbecue there. It wasn’t any better, and was possibly worse, than barbecue inside the Houston city limits.”
- Houston Barbecue Project Beta [Houston Barbecue Project]
- Houston Barbecue Project [J.C. Reid]
- What’s wrong with Houston barbecue? [J.C. Reid]
Map: J.C. Reid