Baker’s Ribs, part of a small Dallas-based chain that re-opened locally after shuttering a few years ago, is not a barbecue temple, but a unique, generally proficient part of the local smoked meats landscape. There is hickory-smoked pork, beef, turkey, sausage, chicken and ribs here. Ribs are in the name for a reason, and these are suitably meaty, moist and flavorful.
Unusual for local barbecue restaurants, Baker’s also serves non-rib pork. This, and each of the meats, is pretty good, if not as succulent or as smoky as is found at the top places. The meats are almost necessarily complemented with a number of squirts from the plastic squeeze bottle containing their warmed vinegar-y barbecue sauce. That addition makes for a nearly always enjoyable combination.
The sandwiches, with the sauce, of course, might be a better way to enjoy the meats, as these nicely feature an airy, tasty, toasted bun. The sides set in the steam table as you order can include an interesting array, such as black beans, zesty stewed tomatoes, cole slaw, pasta salad, marinated cucumbers and a sugar-laden peach cobbler. The cool, juicy tomatoes can be especially tasty, and a nice contrast to the warm barbecue.
Though conveniently located near some nice neighborhoods, Baker’s is sufficiently scruffy: there is lots of rough-hewn woods, concrete floors, low lighting, lame decorations, televisions tuned to an uninteresting program, and tables are that are often un-bussed for a while, which is probably more easily overlooked at a barbecue joint. Conversely, Baker’s is convenient for take-away as it has easy-to-order family meals for various sized groups.
2223 S. Voss (between Westheimer and San Felipe)
Houston, Texas 77057
Copyright Mike Riccetti. Adapted from Houston Dining on the Cheap, and used with permission.
Get your copy of Mike Riccetti’s new Kindle edition of Houston Dining 2011 – A Guide for Visitors (and Most Locals, Too)