All I can say is "Count me Inn!"
Honestly, with all of the press and accolades that The Barbecue Inn has received over the years, I couldn't add anything new. A quick Google search will bring dozens upon dozens of hits - but no website - all singing the praises of The Barbecue Inn. Saying something that hasn't been said about this landmark Houston eatery might be impossible, but I'll definitely chime in.
Located at Crosstimbers and Yale, The Barbecue Inn has been serving The Heights since 1946. The decor, it seems, has changed little in those 50-plus years, but that simply adds to the charm. Floor-mounted bar stools line the counter just like the diners of old. A small window peeks into the kitchen where waitresses (no waiters) hand-write orders and then mount them on a spinning swivel. No computerized ordering systems is used here.
The menu consists of classic American fare ranging from delicious slow-smoked barbecue and fried gulf shrimp to country-fried chicken and even filet mignon. The barbecue is served either as dinner or a la carte with moist warm white bread slices. Just like a picnic or backyard cook-out. Entrees are served with a generous salad and home-cut fries. Everything is cooked fresh and served fresh, right down to the pies at dessert.
We sampled the sliced pork barbecue which was excellent with a rich smoky flavor. The house barbecue sauce was delicious, but the pork was tender and flavorful enough to stand on it's own. The chicken-fried steak, topped with homemade country gravy, was tender enough to cut with a fork and the fried shrimp were big and juicy beneath a crisp, crunchy breading.
Our waitress, Beth, was cheerful and helpful, letting us in on menu highlights like which salad dressings were house-made and offering to make the sliced pork an appetizer since we intended to share it. A relative newcomer when compared to the other ladies on staff, Beth could not have been a better ambassador for the restaurant. "I've been working here for a year and a half and I've never had a bad meal," she declared. An endorsement far greater than the one I am writing here.
I have lived in Houston for nearly 30 years and had not heard of the Barbecue Inn until my mother-in-law suggested it a few weeks ago.
To her I say, "Thanks, Mom."
To the rest of you, I say, "Try The Barbecue Inn." If you haven't been there yet, you'll be thanking me, too.
Note: The Barbecue Inn is closed Sundays and Mondays, so plan your visit accordingly. Happy Eating!