Nick's Picks: Texas Bar-B-Q Joint

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Photo by Nicholas Abreu

I smelled like smoke for hours after eating at Texas Bar-B-Q Joint. And it was worth it.

Owner-operator Richard Mogab brings old-school, Texas-style barbecue to diners at his flagship restaurant in Spencerport, a second location at Park Point, and a drive through restaurant in Greece.

While he was born in Rochester, Mogab moved to Houston, Texas, with his family at three months old. Growing up in Houston, he developed a passion for barbecue with the help of his father, who built meat smokers as a hobby. Mogab also got a firsthand look at what makes barbecue from the Lone Star State unique. Cooking techniques, preferred cuts, and condiments differ between southern states. In Texas, brisket and ribs are king. Cooked for long periods of time over low heat, these slabs of meat are tender, juicy, and flavorful, and benefit from a subtle dry rub rather than a thick sauce.

Mogab, after moving to Rochester post-college, eventually brought this style of barbecue back with him, first as a catering business in 2004. In 2007, after a sustained success in catering, he opened his first sit-down restaurant at 122 South Union Street.

Here, Mogab adheres to the “low and slow” method of barbecue. His brisket is dry rubbed and smoked at 200 degrees for twelve hours overnight. Ribs, which come as a third, half, or full rack, are soaked in Dr. Pepper overnight, then dry rubbed, smoked for three hours, and held hot until tender. Texas Bar-B-Q Joint’s most popular meat, which Mogab admits is not a Texan preferred cut, is pulled pork that is smoked for fourteen hours and hand pulled. The distinct smokiness of the restaurant's meats are a product of the mesquite wood that Mogab uses in his smoking process.

The smoked staple items are flanked by dozens of other options on Texas Bar-B-Q Joint’s menu. Customers will also find mains like chicken fried steak, grilled chicken, and sausage; sides like cornbread, hush puppies, and coleslaw; and the outlaw potatoa football-sized baked potato topped with butter, cheese, sour cream, bacon, chives, and a choice of pulled pork, brisket, or chicken.

Like Mogab’s favorite restaurants from his time in Houston, Texas Bar-B-Q Joint is straightforward with no frills. Aside from some Texan-inspired decorations on the wall, the restaurant is simple: plain wooden booths and stools, no waiters or waitresses, and a walk-up ordering counter.

At Texas Bar-B-Q Joint, it’s all about the meat.  

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