Gabby’s BBQ

Gabby’s BBQ on National Pecan Day
When a reviewer talks about barbeque, or chili (Those two categories draw out the “experts” and “Know-it-alls”) and uses the words “best” or “worst”, I stop reading.  Barbeque is a category that definitely falls in that area of criticism. I prefer to say that an establishment is, or is not, one of my favorites.  So goes it with Gabby’s BBQ.  It’s one of my favorites.

Two friends and I met at Gabby’s BBQ on Shepherd at the North Loop on National Pecan Day for a mess of familiar good barbeque. I never ate at the original that opened in 1978, but have frequented the one on Shepherd since the middle 80’s.

Pulled Pork Nachos

Everyone with me has a favorite barbeque dish, which he/she ordered. However, since my last visit there (several years ago), owners Frank Roche and John Mariner have added some North Carolina ‘que with a Texas slant. So, we started with Pulled Pork Nachos. Crispy corn chips were the Texas twist on this one and the North Carolina-style pulled pork on nachos is a tip of the hat to two worlds, in my opinion. You are unlikely to top Pulled Pork with Pico de Gallo and sour cream in the Carolinas.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

The second touch from the southeast coast is the Pulled Pork Sandwich. Again, it is with a Texas touch, as although it is topped with a righteous Cole slaw, it still has the Texas-style tomato-based Texas barbeque sauce available to top it.

Combo Plate

We tried a Combo Plate with brisket (a little thin-sliced for my taste… but after slow smoking for over 20 hours, it was falling apart and VERY tender), chicken quarter (again VERY tender and moist) and smoked pork sausage.  We topped that all with their excellent traditional (yet unique recipe) “dipping” barbeque sauce and it was all delicious. I don’t usually order chicken as an entrée (or meat choice) in a barbeque restaurant, but this was good enough to be a destination dish.

Baby Back Ribs

We ordered a half rack of Baby Back Ribs to pass around and found that after smoking for 3 1/2  hours, they were still attached to the bone, yet took absolutely no effort to liberate the tender smoky meat from the bone.

Loaded Baked Potato

Sides include a Loaded Baked Potato, but at this size, I would consider it lunch rather than a side. I don’t know, what can you say about a baked potato? Well, it was huge… it was properly cooked and flaky… it was loaded with grated cheddar cheese, butter and sour cream. I could imagine that there are a lot of ladies who come in for their salads and a loaded baked potato for lunch.

Red Beans and Rice

Now, Red Beans and Rice. I almost didn’t order it, as I make it at home so often. Rice… red beans… smoked pork sausage. I think that the photo above says all you need to know.

Pecan Pie

It was, as I said, National Pecan Day, so we all finished up with a slice of Pecan Pie. Gooey, sweet, covered with Texas pecans and topped with whipped cream. Not a one of us complained and we relaxed after a feeding frenzy with a slice of pie and a cup of coffee. 

3101 N. Shepherd Drive, Houston, TX 77018

4659 Telephone Road, Houston, TX 77087

4010 Spencer Highway, Pasadena, TX 77504


2 Comments on “Gabby’s BBQ

  1. There must be something wrong with me, or at least with my introduction some three dozen years ago to the Texas institution that is Pecan Pie.

    It was from that very good (BBQ) co. on Kirby Dr. and it was pecans all the way down to the bottom, with just enough of the sweet treacly goo added to fill in all the air gaps between pecans. I thought this was very nearly the finest pie ever invented, and I've been disappointed in every other slice I've ever gotten.

  2. That said, however, I've eaten at Gabby's, all too long ago now, and remember liking it a lot. I should give it another try.

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