Local eats: Brooks Family BBQ
Brooks Family BBQ, located at the corner of Scott Street and Alabama Avenue, opened in December but has BBQ roots decades old.
The owner’s father, Harlon Brooks, owned Harlon’s BBQ, a BBQ joint that started in Nacogdoches in 1977 and by the early 2000s when it closed had locations across Texas — even in our own Galleria.
Now, the son, Marlon Brooks, has launched his own BBQ joint for the first time in Houston. He said he grew up with a love for family and BBQ, hence Brooks Family BBQ’s motto, “Family first, BBQ second.”
The family feel is evident at Brooks Family BBQ. In the past when the building belonged to Bobbie’s Q, the building was dressed in red in and out but now under Brooks’ ownership sports warm hues of orange, giving the small building more light.
But, also, Brooks brings more warmth with his friendliness and big smile.
The menu offers the usual lineup of meats: chicken, brisket, sausage and ribs. All the meat is tender; even the brisket was juicy and tender, though it wasn’t fatty.
Also the sides too are apparently cleansed of grease though has that home-cooked Texas BBQ taste, especially the beans which were individually tiny unlike beans at other BBQ places.
With all BBQ bread is a something of a must, so at Brooks Family BBQ the slice of bread is Texas jalapeno toast with bits of jalapeno snuggled into the buttery surface.
The star of the menu however is not the BBQ. The salmon salad with its sweetness and meatiness is made to order and topped with berries and a sweet, fruity salad dressing.
In fact, it’s the sauces at Brooks Family BBQ that are uniquely theirs. Brooks has been in the sauce and rubs business since he returned to Houston after closing a BBQ restaurant he owned in Maryland. He sold his handmade sauces initially at HEB, and now his meat rub, Big and Bold Rub, is sold at Kroger.
Brooks’ BBQ sauce is a must try. The sauce can be drizzled, poured, dumped on everything (possibly the salmon too, if one dares). The sauce has glittering bits of seasoning like black pepper. It tastes as though Brooks put it on the pit and barbequed it.
The sauce is uniquely Brooks Family BBQ.
To experience the sauce, salmon salad and family BBQ, Brooks Family BBQ is located at 3602 Scott Street and is opened from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.