Sunday, May 31, 2015

Gerard's Barbecue Diner - Beaumont

Beaumont is home to some unique and long- enduring barbecue traditions, making it an interesting destination for barbecue seekers.  Gerard’s Barbecue Diner is one of the big names in the city with a history spanning back to 1970.

THE MEATS

I swung through the drive thru at Gerard’s thinking about the juicy beef links the region is known for.  I added a second unique item to my order: pork neck bones.  This is a meat that you do not frequently see in Texas barbecue but also has a presence here in Jefferson County.  Unfortunately the ribs were not ready for my 11AM visit, so my plate was boxed up with two meats along with Gerard’s standard fixings.

Pork Bones and the Beef Link at Gerard's Barbecue Diner
 
Pork Bones have long been a staple on Gerard’s menu.  It is not just Gerard’s strong tradition that keeps this uncommon item on the menu, it is also due to their commitment to the customers that consistently order this piece of meat.  Pork Bones, which are more prevalent in the Deep South, are made from trimmed pork necks and hold less meat than the more popular rib bones.  A further contrast from ribs is that the neck bones are not as readymade for eating by hand and require effort to find all of the meat on the bone. This soft, flaky meat pulled cleanly from the bone.  It had a spicy flavor and did not reveal much smoke.  There was not any bark on the delicate exterior of the meat. It reminded me somewhat of pork roast in texture and flavor.  The Pork Bones did not quite satisfy my desire for good smoked barbecue and served more as a novelty on my tray.

The filling of the all beef link at Gerard's Barbecue Diner

The housemade link is typical of this region.  It is an all-beef link with a tough skin that is generally eaten by squeezing the meat from the casing.  Forcing the meat out of the skin dripped more grease into a growing puddle in the bottom of my Styrofoam tray.  The recipe is a longstanding family tradition.  It is a simple link that showcases the beef itself.  There is clearly garlic in the recipe but not an overwhelming amount.  Gerard’s link also comes with a bit of spice and is a terrific option in this genre.  The dedication to tradition is as commendable as the execution of this specific beef link.

THE REST

Like everything else Gerard’s serves, the sides are homemade.  The rice dressing was my favorite side item with its peppery flavor and flecks of meat.  The potato salad was strong with its mustard base and the beans carried a slight spice.

The barbecue sauce is a watery mixture that does little more than simply deliver chili powder to the meat.  

There's nothing pretentious about Gerard's Barbecue Diner

In everything, Gerard’s is simple and unpretentious.  This idea is further evident in their humble building.  It’s a small space mimics the appearance of the modest homes that surround it in the mixed zoned neighborhood.  I opted for the covered drive thru as I was not certain if they were open for my early visit, though the brightly lit “OPEN” sign at the window clearly signaled they were.

THE VERDICT

It’s refreshing that in an industry as hip as Texas barbecue has become, Gerard’s is rooted firmly in years of tradition.  It is simple barbecue without a hint of pretense that has made Gerard’s a staple in the Beaumont community.

Gerard’s Barbecue Diner is worth checking out when in the area specifically to enjoy the notable beef link and to appreciate the tradition Gerard’s adheres to.



Address: 3730 Fannett Rd, Beaumont, TX 77705
Phone: 409-842-5069
Hours: Monday - Saturday: 10AM - 11PM

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*All Grades Are Based Solely on the Quality of Texas BBQ Offered at the Joint. We Aren't Looking for Burgers or Catfish!

My Grading Scale:


A = This is some of the finest BBQ you'll find anywhere. It is worth a roadtrip in itself along with any required wait.
B = This is very good BBQ, even if it is over an hour away, consider making the drive.
C = This is just average BBQ but it's worth a stop in a pinch.
D = This is a poor example of Texas BBQ. Even if it's the only place around, skip it. Apologize to any non-Texans that have eaten here.
F = This is not only a bad Texas BBQ, it is probably not suitable for human consumption.

 
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