Eat at Home

What We're Ordering Out: BBQ and Houston's Best Cheesesteak?

We travel way out west to sink our teeth into some pecan-smoked 'cue. Heck yes.

By Timothy Malcolm October 28, 2020

Since Covid-19 isn’t going away any time soon and restaurants continue to stress alternative options to dining in, we’ll bring you each week a roundup of takeout dinners recently enjoyed by dining editor Timothy Malcolm. 

A plate with three meats and a couple sides at Dozier's BBQ.

Dozier's BBQ

While this is more a "sit outside for lunch" than a "takeout dinner" suggestion, you should head west to Fulshear to this longtime smokehouse where Jim Buchanan, who closed Buck's BBQ in Galveston last year, is causing quite a stir.

Dozier's does Central Texas 'cue, and my highest recommendation goes to the pork ribs, super tender with a bold, smoky bark. Also, the brisket was well above average—juicy with a pretty perfect smoke ring—and the hot link snapped with some lingering heat. The smokehouse offers two kinds of potato salad (regular and sweet), and the regular stuff is diabolically rich with lots of egg and mayo. Other sides include a satisfying macaroni and cheese and cabbage slaw. End the meal with the banana pudding.

The smokehouse offers tables inside and outside, plus there's a whole market for pantry goods and more meats, so plan on a weekend afternoon trip ... and on bringing home leftovers. 

Jake's Sports Bar

One of my many missions in Houston is to find the city's best version of a Philly cheesesteak. (In case you don't know, I grew up with them.) So, when a recent Twitter thread about this matter pointed the question-asker to Jake's on Chimney Rock Road, I took it as a sign that this might be the place.

The menu claims Jake's steaks have Amorosos' rolls, which is the Pennsylvania-based company that just about everyone uses in Philly, but the bread here came off a little too sharp and flaky, not as sturdy and soft on the inside. The meat? Shaved sirloin, and good. The cheese? I asked for Whiz (the best way to get it) and I got a little too much of it. I know I've had dozens of better cheesesteaks in Philly, but for Houston standards, Jake's is quite good. I still think there's a better one in H-Town, though. It's out there.

Red-braised pork and braised tofu get the Malcolm family placemat treatment.

Gangnam Style

Recently, I highlighted some of my favorite Chinese restaurants in town, although it's by no means definitive as it's impossible to get to every spot in the area. But I'm glad I got to Gangnam Style recently, a place that specializes in, among other styles, Jiangnan (or Shanghai-style) cuisine. When I was picking up my order, the restaurant was completely empty, sans the host, maybe a cook or two, and me. Hopefully it's getting more business, especially because the food I had was quite good. The Jiangan red-braised pork, a Shanghai specialty, featured perfectly tender pork belly in a deeply savory sauce, while the braised tofu with crab roe hit the salty spot.   

Dandelion Café

Not since visiting a Wawa near my mom's house have I experienced eating a pretzel for breakfast, but that's what happened at Dandelion Café when I ordered a breakfast sandwich in a pretzel. It's the right choice if you want a stouter, malty bread to go with your eggs and cheese (and, in my case, avocado). Also, it goes well with a coffee, though I forgot to bring my "I VOTED" sticker for a free cup. Oh well, there's always next time.

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