1221 ½ W. 19th Street
Now and again the stars align and an eating spot erupts that is special. A rare combination unfolds that creates an eatery that accomplishes its goal of providing the customer not mere sustenance but rather a true culinary experience. Gatlins BBQ is an excellent example of this belief. Perhaps there are more educated reviewers of Texas BBQ but I’ll hold my own based primarily on the school of hard knocks and the fact I’ve eaten it, and tried to cook it, everywhere, during whatever season, day, night, monsoon or draught. I’ve eaten it from multi-million dollar pits to the cleaned out motor compartment of a Chevy Corvair. The guru’s will tell the tales of ribs that delight and ribs that disappoint. They will extol the fact that a rib guy can’t cook brisket and vice versa. Gatlin does it all well. Hands down, hold the phones, we may have a winner, THE BEST BRISKET IN TOWN….? Yes….! My contender for this lofty purchase.
Each visit to Gatlin’s is a treat. The place is spotless. The family operated restaurant actually treats its clientele like family, with regard, manners, politeness and grace abounding at every turn. The entire menu is scrumptious. The sides are well done and flavorful with a customary pop from deep roots east of the Sabine. The ribs, pork and links are terrific but frankly, in my, opine, back burner to the brisket. They will provide the cut you wish or as I prefer a mix of fatty and lean. The sauce is fine but the brisket needs no embellishment. (I add the sauce to the dirty rice)
I listen to those that say they truly enjoy good BBQ during the cooler months when a heavy plate is more appropriate. Well, the food at Gatlin’s is perfect for whatever time or season befalls. Contrary to some reviews Gatlin didn’t learn how to cook his beef from a textbook. If such were the case than we’d all be doing it his way? There is something preternatural about the brisket. A gift / talent from heaven….? At least to me….!
Oops….? Part Deux!
The dry rubbed ribs are a must…. Nothing compares….!
This is a spot where they will run out of Q…Be forewarned and get there early to enjoy this special place.