The Houston Barbecue Festival held Sunday, April 9, at NRG Park, topped out at about 2,300 smoked meat aficionados who came hungry for the unlimited samples from 26 barbecue joints and businesses. Local favorites such as Pappa Charlies Barbecue, Gatlin’s Barbecue, Killen’s Barbecue, Pinkerton’s BBQ and Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue made nice with out-of-towners Southside Market & BBQ & Louie Mueller Barbecue (both longtime friends of the festival).
Co-founders Michael Fulmer and J.C. “Chris” Reid began the festival in 2013 to showcase the city’s unique barbecue traditions. The Houston Barbecue Festival, now among the state’s top smoked meat events, proves that Houston is, justifiably, a true capital of Texas barbecue.
Their clothes smelled like smoke and maybe sported some stains and greasy splotches. Their fingers glistened from many stabs into meat plumped with rendered fat. And their stomachs may have cried uncle.
But those who attended the fifth annual Houston Barbecue Festival enjoyed the city’s premier showcase for the glories of H-town barbecue.