The brisket I sampled from Corkscrew BBQ at the Houston Barbecue Festival last spring was succulent. So I wasn't surprised when the trailer in Spring showed up on J.C. Reid's Top Ten BBQ List in the first issue of Houstonia. But Spring is not exactly on my way home, so I hadn't actually visited the place until last Friday.
24930 Budde Rd., Spring
I was blown away by the Corkscrew experience. I knew about the two-hour line at Franklin's BBQ in Austin, and I'd heard there was a similar wait at Pecan Lodge in Dallas, but nobody told me that we'd entered the wait-in line-for-spectacular-barbecue era here in Houstonia. Luckily, we only have to wait in line for an hour at Corkscrew BBQ. But I am here to testify: this brisket is worth the wait—it's right up there with the big boys.
The fat cap is trimmed and the exterior of the brisket is well seasoned, so you get a crusty bark on the outside. The meat is super-tender and cut thick, just like Aaron Franklin slices it. And just like Franklin's BBQ, Corkscrew is doing things the old-fashioned way. The pitmasters are slicing their briskets when they are ready to eat and then closing for the day—no steam-table barbecue here. As Dr. Savell at the Texas A&M Meat Science Center has observed: it's tough enough to cook a brisket, holding it is nearly impossible.
I skipped the chicken and the sausage and got two pounds of brisket from the fatty end and a whole rack of ribs to go. The ribs were good, but the brisket was stunning. I had beans and slaw at home, but I couldn't miss the chance to grab a quart of Corkscrew's terrific macaroni and cheese. My wife speculates that they make the stuff with pimento cheese spread.
The seating in front of the Corkscrew BBQ trailer is outdoors under an awning. It's not very appealing at noon when the thermometer is over 100, so most of the customers were getting food to go when I stopped by on Friday.
There was an FAQ poster on the front window apologizing for what has become a daily phenomenon—the Sold Out sign. word is Corkscrew sells out of brisket before 2 p.m. everyday.