I went to Phil's first. Having read many opinions on Phil's, I was super excited to try it out. Looooooove me some good Texas barbecue! The new construction building is very nice, clean, light, bright, high ceilings, and big windows. Although the servers behind the counter were very slow, they were extremely helpful and friendly (although not super knowledgeable about their dishes).
I did like that they offered kids plates -- $5.99 for one slider (choice of hamburger, chopped beef, or sausage) and a side. Kinda pricey, but, hey, it comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, too. We sampled the 3 Cheese Macaroni, which seemed to actually lack 3 full cheeses and was a tad too sweet.
We also tried the 2 Meat Combo Platter with 2 Sides ($11.99). The Ribs were tender, but too much brown sugar. The brisket was dry. Very dry. It might have had savory flavor, but it was too dry to really get a good enjoyable taste. The Beans had a nice kick to them, with onions and green peppers. A little sweet. Noticing a trend....the BBQ at Phil's reminded us more of Southeastern U.S. BBQ, heavy on the brown sugar. Traditional Texas BBQ should not be sweet.
But, dessert should be sweet!!! And it was....Phil's seems to already be famous for their Bananas Foster Bread Pudding ($2.99)....and, I can see why. It was delish. Very dense, very banana-y. The sauce was full of delectable butt-ah and brown sugar (this time, the brown sugar was a good thing!). For a casual BBQ place, this dessert was very gratifying....I. could. not. stop. eating. it. at. all.
Okay, so now on to Good Co. Barbecue. This trip was to the location on the Katy Freeway. I love the feeling that I'm walking into an old saloon with a gigantic old saloon-like chandelier, old wooden floors and shotguns and rifles hanging on the walls. The staff behind the serving counter moves the customers quickly, they
We tried the 2 Meat Combo Dinner with 2 sides ($11.95). The Ribs, moist and tender, embraced the smokey flavor. The succulent smokiness really came through. The brisket embraced the balanced smokey flavor. Lean meat, but not dry at all. Very tender and delectable.
Their Potato Salad is exemplary. Creamy. Crunchy from the pickle relish. Perfect balance of mustard and mayo. I mean, this is how potato salad should be made. There is no comparison. The Austin Baked Beans are stellar, too. A smokey flavor comes through, subtly, in the beans. Bits of sausage and chunks of apples give these beans substance and zip. (I'm not in love with their Jalapeno Pinto Beans, not spicy, not exciting. Stick with the Austin ones...)
I'm a big fan of the Jalapeno Cheese Bread. But it is not for the faint of heart. Who knew a cheese bread could pack such a wallop of spicyness! The combo plates come with a thick, happy piece of this scrumptious, yet not timid, bread.
Finally, one must always end with dessert. And, Good Co. has mighty fine Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie. This is the way Pecan Pie should be prepared. This corn syrup and brown sugar filling is the perfect amount of sweetness to hold the weight (literally) of perfectly overlapped pecans on top. And...the crust was light and flaky.
So who won? Well, while I am ordinarily a big proponent of giving an eating establishment a second chance if the first try wasn't all that fantastic, I'm not sure there is any point in returning to Phil's when true Texas BBQ awaits at 3 other locations around town.
Phil's Texas Barbecue Goode Co. Texas Barbecue
110 S. Heights Boulevard 8911 Katy Freeway
Houston, Texas 77007 Houston, Texas 77024
Also, locations on Kirby
and Highway 290