the gray lady love the bros.

Popular Bellaire BBQ joint heats up New York Times list of 50 exciting restaurants

New York Times names Bellaire BBQ joint to list of 50 top restaurants

Blood Bros BBQ Terry Wong, Quy Hoang, Robin Wong
Blood Bros. BBQ owners Terry Wong, Quy Hoang, and Robin Wong. Photo by Will Blunt/StarChefs

Houston's Blood Bros. BBQ is once again basking in the national spotlight. The New York Times selected the Bellaire barbecue joint as one of the 50 American restaurants its "most excited about right now." 

Published Monday, October 11, the list spotlights "the 50 most vibrant and delicious restaurants in 2021 . . . They’re not ranked, but together they reflect the rich mosaic of American dining," the article states. Four other Texas restaurants also made the list: Birdie's, a natural wine bar and cafe in Austin; Fish Lonja, Mexican seafood restaurant in San Antonio; Roots Southern Table, a Southern restaurant near Dallas from Top Chef alum Tiffany Derry; and Sylvia's, a taqueria in Brownsville. 

Blood Bros. certainly qualifies when comes to being "vibrant and delicious." Founded my pitmaster Quy Hoang and brothers Robin and Terry Wong, the restaurant's menu blends traditional Texas barbecue with a diverse set of influences that include Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican, and more. 

"The daily changing menu at this strip mall barbecue restaurant in a Houston suburb is a product of the seemingly endless ideas for cooking Texas barbecue whirling through the brains of the owners and staff," Brett Anderson writes in the short profile of Blood Bros. "One day, brisket burnt-end steam buns and smoked chicken karaage. The next, char siu pork banh mi and Thai green curry boudin balls." 

Anderson also praises Birdie's chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel’s "bright, graceful food" that includes steak tartare, roasted eggplant, and vanilla soft serve, describing the wine bar as "the leading edge of what makes eating great in this booming town.".

Times food reporter Priya Krishna hails the Louisiana-influenced Southern food chef Derry is serving at Roots Southern Table, writing "If eating [Derry's] cornbread with smoked butter is like a warm embrace, the duck-fat fried chicken — which should certainly be ordered with a side of duck-fat-fried potatoes — is the equivalent of a bear hug." 

Krishna also praises San Antonio chef Alejandro Paredes for his creative approach to Mexican seafood at Fish Lonja. Citing dishes such as shrimp aguachile and a shrimp-and-chorizo quesadilla, Krishna writes that the restaurant's food "tastes so fresh, you might wonder if San Antonio is a coastal town."

In an Instagram post, Blood Bros. thanked Anderson for his words. "When Robin spoke with Brett, he wanted to make sure Brett understood that it was a team effort," the post states, thanking the restaurant's executive sous chef and assistant pitmaster for their contributions to the menu. "At the center of it all, we just hope people leave feeling better than when they came in, whether that be from a smile from a crew member, a bite from their meal, or maybe a song they heard from our playlist. Thanks again for all your support!

Since it opened in 2018, Blood Bros. has received wide acclaim, including winning best new restaurant in the 2019 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, being named one of Bon Appétit's best new restaurants of 2019, and making Texas Monthly’s 2019 list of the state’s 25 best new barbecue joints. The Times previously featured it in an article titled "A Day in Houston: 3 Meals, 3 Cultures, One City.”