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WORTH THE DRIVE??

Monday arrived….and I was chomping at the bit to get to stop #4 on the Fat Joe Summer BBQ Tour….

I had intended to make the trip out 290 west last week and got sidetracked in Tomball…it was a good side tracking….Old Tomball BBQ was a nice little surprise….

But today I was determined to make the trip out to Junior’s Smokehouse in Hempstead…going back and forth to Round Rock and Austin I’ve passed this place many times….and it was one of those spots that I always said (and I’m sure The Wife got tired of hearing it), “Someday I wanna stop there and try that….”

Junior's Smokehouse...Hempstead

Well today was the day….

I made my way down 2920….the road, cooked by the mid-day Texas sun was smoking and I almost imagined that it was hot enough to cook what I was traveling to get a taste of…I was hungry and with each passing mile I could smell (be it in my mind) the smoked sausage and brisket waiting for me….

Now Junior’s is known for their smoked sausages and jerky (they boast 19 different flavors)…and from the research I did it seems they’ve been smokin’ things since 1985…and it has been just recently that they have opened a restaurant and bakery for dining…

I made my way down 290 (@ 11 miles west from 2920) to Hempstead and pulled into Junior’s parking lot….getting out I caught a whiff of the smokin’ going on somewhere close by…it’s a nice set up….there is outdoor seating….and a little fountain as you walk into the resturant….it’s clean and there is a meat market and general type store inside….lots of condiments and preserve jars filled with all sorts of home-made things….the menu is up on a board above the order counter and you wanna guess what I ordered??  Yup….two meat combo….brisket and sausage….comes with two sides and I went with buttered potatoes and cole slaw…with a drink it was about $12.00…

Two Meat Combo Plate...$9.99

I made my way into the dinning area….a nice spacious room with lots of tables….decorated as are most other places that serve bbq in Texas….very cowboy…..it’s all new and is very inviting….

While I waited I moved back into the store area….the meat case holds many cuts of delicious looking meats…. lots of sausage and a wall full of jerky….what’s cool is there is a little jerky sampler so you can taste and decide which one you like best….Junior is proud of his jerky….prices range from $6-$13…I tasted two or three of them and really like the buffalo jerky….nice and spicy….

About that time my food showed up and I moved back to my seat and was shown where the sauce and fixins’ were…I went and got some sauce and butter for my bread and sat and began to dig in…I started with the sausage and for a place known for it’s sausage….I found it good but it didn’t knock my socks off…it was tender and juicy but just not tons of flavor…I moved to the brisket and as disappointed as I was with the sausage….the brisket was very good….thinly sliced and tender…nice smoke and bark….the brisket more than made up for the sausage…the sauce tasted like a Texas based sauce (tomato based)…it was mild but when added to the meat it was very good….now the brisket I could eat with or without the sauce….but the sausage I was constantly dipping it into the sauce cup…I also found the casing  on the sausage hard to cut through at times with the plastic knife….

The buttered potatoes didn’t set me off either…..but the more I ate the more I liked….there are small slices of ham mixed in and I ended up really liking them….

The slaw was ok….kinda vinagry and dry….

The bread was a nice big slice and you could tell it had been freshly baked…I really liked dipping it into the sauce…

Lots To Pick From...

So was Junior’s worth the drive??  I don’t think I would make a special trip out there again…..now I would stop for the brisket and maybe try the ribs or pulled pork next time….and since Round Rock and Austin are down 290…I guess there will be a next time…

I’m giving Junior’s Smokehouse 3.5 Piggies.

I passed Waller County Line BBQ on my way back and think I found another stop on the tour….

http://www.jrstexasbest.com/

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