In the late 1800s, thousands of Texans struck it rich when they tapped into veins of thick, dark, tangy barbecue sauce. Today's Groupon gives you the chance to taste this natural bounty while it's still hot from the earth. For $9, you get $18 worth of smoky ribs, beef brisket, chicken, and more from Pizzitola's Bar-B-Cue, the Houston Press Best Barbecue Restaurant of 2007. This deal is good for both dine-in rib-ticklers and to-go sauceathons. Pizzitola's dispenses the liquid love from its kitsch-and-fish décor home Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.–8 p.m. right off the Katy Freeway (closed Sundays).
You can tell a good barbecue joint when one of its menu sections is simply titled "Meats." These meats slay the bland and defend the savory. Smoked for hours in a solid brick pit (originally built in 1934), Pizzitola's spareribs leap off the bone and onto your plate ($9 a half pound) or into your car with a Grab a Slab takeout special ($17.85), while the chicken turns buttery soft beneath skin cracked and crisped ($8 by the half pound, on the bone). The rough-textured sausage, made as it has been for years by two Czech brothers in Cistern, sidles up well against pinto beans and mustardy potato salad ($12.45), while the chopped beef-brisket-stuffed baked potato with sour cream, butter, melted cheese, and green onions ($9) demolishes even a large to extra-large linebacker. Hydrate with an Arnold Palmer ($2) or a couple bottles of domestic suds ($3).
If the meat sweats haven't claimed you, end it all with a slice of chocolate fudge cake with pecan icing or a bowl of banana pudding (both $3.75). Pizzitola's has pinned men, women, children, and 30-armed deities to their chairs with the toothsome weight of its barbecue for more than 70 years. Measured in meat, that's more than 10,000,000 pound-years of service.
- The sausage comes from a Czech sausage maker in the Hill Country; the barbecue sauce is thin and spicy; and the ribs and brisket are among the best in the city. – Houston Press
- From this venerable pit issues some of the finest barbecue in Houston. In fact, taken as a whole, with its delightful from-scratch sides and its consistently excellent meats — not to mention the insidious sauce — Pizzitola's may very well average out to be the best barbecue joint in town. – Alison Cook, Houston Chronicle
Zagat gives Pizzitola's an impressive 24 for food and 21 for service (very good to excellent). Seventy-six percent of Urbanspooners like it, Citysearchers give it 4.5 stars, and seven Yelpers give it 3.5 stars.
- The food’s the thing at this no-frills lower Heights bastion of BBQ where one of the oldest working pits around smokes what some call the best ’cue in town, including inexpensive old-style ribs cooked the way they should be… – Zagat
Washington Ave./ Memorial Park
1703 Shepherd Dr.
Houston, Texas 77007Get Directions