I was so hoping it would be over with. This summer, as you may know, I was stuck in the hospital for a month recuperating from a nasty foot infection.
Twice-daily IV doses of Vancomycin would surely erase everything. Perhaps it did, but another toe became infected recently. As I write this, I go back to Methodist tomorrow for an outpatient procedure to have the tip of that toe clipped off. Oh, the joy.
Anyway, I drove to Methodist’s Pearland clinic last week for the diagnosis. In my funk over having another infection, yet in my joy that I would not have a lengthy inpatient stay, I remembered that Killen’s Barbecue was just a few blocks up, Broadway.
I pulled right up and grabbed my mask. Not even a face-covering could “mask” the wonderful smell of wood-smoked meats coming from the pit. There was a short, socially distanced line to get in, but that took mere minutes in pleasant sunshine.
Walking up to where the sign told me to, I ordered a two-meat plate. Pork ribs and sausage, it would be, along with sides of potato salad and baked beans. At Killen’s they assemble your plate as you walk along the counter. They don’t skimp on portions. Suddenly my tab of $27.92, including drink, didn’t seem so bad. After all, Killen’s has been the pride of Pearland ever since it opened in 2013. Accolades have come from all over the world.
Food Network calls it one of the best restaurants in America. Writers from the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times have bowed to the chef (a two-time James Beard Foundation nominee). Killen’s Barbecue has made so many Top-5 lists in Texas alone it’s impossible to count them all.
Well, add my praise to the heap. As I sat at my precisely distanced table, I went directly to the carbs. The potato salad, a mustard variety, was much like the kind you can get at H-E-B, except all the seasonings (celery seed, maybe a little smoked paprika) were bolder and the potatoes cooked just so.
Next, I bit into my tender, meaty, somewhat fatty pork ribs. Oh, my Lord, these were barbecue, Heaven! So big, too. I took exulted joy in each bite. They needed no sauce to taste perfectly smoked. I cannot say enough good about these ribs.
Speaking of sauce, Killen’s offers two at each table — a vinegar-forward Tangy which I thought was exceptionally good, and a coffee-infused one called Coffee. This sauce was a revelation to me. Imagine adding some of your grandmother’s percolated coffee into a barbecue sauce. The combination is magnificent.
The baked beans were the best I’d ever had. Sweet yet smoky from, well, smoke, these are the type of homemade beans you’d expect in someone’s backyard on the Fourth of July.
An A for effort goes to the sausage. It tasted good but was very dense and too hard to handle with plastic ware.
I recommend a trip to Pearland for what Killen’s describes as “The Best BBQ. Period.”
3613 E. Broadway
Pearland, TX 77581