Killen’s | True Texas BBQ | South of Houston

Review by: Jess Dawson

True Texas BBQ

In search of true Texas BBQ, we find Killen’s in Strip Mall Land about 20 miles south of Houston. We walk in and confront an electronic menu above. A chalkboard easel lists specials. We narrow it down and step up to the cafeteria line. Behind the counter, a friendly gentleman takes our order. (Just meats here; order side dishes and dessert farther down the line.)

We visit the accoutrements area. Here we find bright pink pickled onions, slightly sweet and tangy pickle chips, and pickled jalapeños. We add a few cold beers, then find a spot next to the windows to consume our feast.

Three sauces in huge medicine jars grace the table: coffee, tangy, and sweet. I’m drawn to the coffee, which has a deep earthy flavor, and the tangy, which is slightly spicy. The meats are so juicy and flavorful that they really don’t need sauce.

The Meats

Meaty strands of sweet, tender pulled pork hang from flavor-packed edges. Sweet-spicy rub on ribs tastes of brown sugar and pepper. It forms a drool-inducing crust that covers a layer of melt-in-your-mouth fat. Meat falls right from the bone. Again, no sauce needed for this true Texas BBQ

Casing on a jalapeño-cheddar sausage is so tight that it’s almost hard to bite into. But it gives a satisfying snap and delivers plenty of cheesy flavor. Not heavy on the jalapeño, but good nonetheless.

On The Side

Creamy mac ‘n’ cheese looks like just another side. But its texture is chewy and creamy and comforting. Bits of salty bacon flavor collard greens.

Green salsa accompanies smoky brisket tacos. We add a few pickled onions and touch of coffee barbecue sauce. Yep. Flavorful on its own, the brisket gets even better nestled in tacos.

Oh, and of course: peach cobbler. We see it brought out of the back, piping hot, when we order it in the line. Sticky sweet brown sugar defines its crust. Later, we eat some cold and find it’s actually gotten better.

Killen’s glows with a very friendly, no-nonsense vibe. Rolls of paper towels and plenty of sauce adorn each table. Neon chicken, pigs, and cows line the walls. Also, the apt Killen’s tagline: “It’s the best BBQ, period!”

What To Eat

Peach Cobbler

Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Pickles and Pickled Onions

Pulled Pork


Brisket Tacos

3-Meat Plate with Sausage, Ribs, Pork, Braised Greens, and Mac


Killen’s | True Texas BBQ | South of Houston Recipes


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