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Corky's Comes to Houston

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    Corky's Comes to Houston

    Well I got kind of excited. An old Outback Steakhouse that had been on the I-10 feeder road in Katy, Texas (my suburb in Houston) had finally bit the dust. Worst steak in town, place finally imploded, which is good because is was about ready to be firebombed anyway.

    In its place it was announced that a new concept out of Memphis with true Memphis style ribs name Corky's chose this location to be the first in Houston. Great, can't wait. Well she finally opened, I let the new wear off and decided to take my daughter to dinner. Of course I order the Corky's original rib rack with sauce. Wanted to try the real deal. Now put this into perspective, we here at AR pride ourselves in making great ribs, no check that Amazing Ribs !!! I also live in one of the Big 3 bbq meccas on the planet. Texas and bbq are totally synonymous with one another.

    So having that in my mind, I'm setting the bar pretty high. Well out comes my plate, decent size rack of ribs with beans and coleslaw. I'm ready boy, I got my steak knife and I want to cut me off some ribs. Now I'm not a big sauce guy, so I did have to scrape off about 1/2" of sticky sweet stuff and to begin to cut. Well the pellicle that formed on top of the ribs was like shoe leather. The serrated steak knife wouldn't even cut it, it simply tore into pieces. It's like they cooked them and put them under a hot lamp and let the crust harden.

    So I just ripped it off, yea that's right all 8" of crust pulled off like taking the sole off a shoe. What was left you might ask? Bones and mush, that's right overcooked mush with loose bones. I picked up a fork and ate about 1/3 of the mush and my mouth and stomach refused to eat anymore. And the beans, they tasted like good old Campbell's pork and beans from a can.

    You know I've been to Memphis and had some killer bbq. If this is the best this place can offer and have the unmitigated nerve to show up in Texas and in my town no less, I'm not only totally insulted, it's time to git a rope. The absolute worst excuse for bbq I've ever had in my life. I'd even take the baby back ribs at Chili's over this mush.

    Sorry guys, if you're from Memphis this is no disrespect to you. But someone needs to make this place go the way of Outback Steakhouse. Maybe the building is snake bit?

    #2
    Sorry to hear that you got stuck with a bad meal, and sorry to hear someone is tryin' to pass what you got off as bbq.

    Comment


      #3
      So often this is the case unfortunately. On the bright side you may be able to pick up on the cheap some slightly used BBQ equipment when they go belly up.

      Comment


        #4
        I've always liked Corky's a lot. Not sure what is going on down there at that location. And even if you just caught them on a bad day, it's weird that a Memphis bbq joint would set up shop in the Houston area. That is setting yourself up for failure.

        Comment


          #5
          It's Amazingribs fault. You have been enlighted here and can make great BBQ now. Everything else doesn't compare. I checked their Facebook page and some of the rib pics look terrible.

          Comment


            #6
            I will add that while living in Memphis, albeit a short time, Corky's was my favorite, then Payne's, Central then Rendevous. My favorite style of ribs is Memphis style dry ribs, I feel like sauce covers up all that work. Corky's was always consistent, but things change when you open a store that far from "home".

            Recently there is a new BBQ shop here in Birmingham, Rodney Scott's is the place in SC. But his new store in Bham is not good. I've been there twice, both times the BBQ was dry and as if it was reheated. I appreciate the whole hog concept, but expect my pork to be warm and flavorful.

            I say all that to say, a new store is hard to establish, especially if it's a different style than the location is used to. Sucks you had a bad meal, maybe give them another shot before throwing in the towel.

            Comment


              #7
              The reviews on Yelp are mixed - many 5 stars, and too many 1 and 2 stars. With mixed reviews like this, i would continue to look for something better; probably would go here if it were the only nearby BBQ option and I wanted BBQ. I did notice the management responded to many of the negative reviews and asked for a second chance.

              Comment


                #8
                I appreciate the warning brother. I need to get over to Houston to see some family. I'll make sure we pass on Corky's. You mentioned something about a rope. I can tie a hangman's noose if needed. I could also help with the gallows.

                Comment


                • gcdmd
                  gcdmd commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Maybe get a bunch of guys with pickups and do what Mel Gibson did to that house in Lethal Weapon (2, I think). We'll know the signal when we see it.

                #9
                It never fails. It's been my experience over the years to be more disappointed than not with chains; not just barbecue, but food in general.

                A few years ago in the Orlando area, a guy started a BBQ location in a small building that had been a few other places before he took it over. It was out of the way and not subject to herds of trend lemmings with smartphones and social media apps. The owner was a nice person, learned to make pretty good brisket, and did a lot of catering to raise money for charity Alas, he didn't stick to what he knew. I knew something wasn't right the first time I ate in his original location when the pulled pork came pre-sauced. That's pretty much a give away. But social media proclaimed him to be the new top dog, and the crowds grew. Now he has a large chain of 13 locations in Florida and one in Atlanta. He's on TV. The lines are long. He sells his rubs and sauces in what is arguably the top chain of grocery stores in the country. Everything he touches turns to gold.

                But you know something, his 'que is mediocre.

                Why the dichotomy? Because popularity and Yelp ratings are meaningless when the people handing out stars know nothing about BBQ. The average reviewer gets tied up in all the little distractions (salad bar, desserts, Wi-Fi, and OMG they have Coke Freestyle machines, etc.).

                So now, when on the road, I look for little joints in converted gas stations. I believe you can find the best meat at the dumpiest looking places. No more chains.



                Comment


                • hubmacfan
                  hubmacfan commented
                  Editing a comment
                  "I believe you can find the best meat at the dumpiest looking places."

                  There's a saying: "You can't make good barbecue and comply with a health code."

                  (Like most such sayings, you should pay attention to the spirit of it instead of take it literally.)

                • Oak Smoke
                  Oak Smoke commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I agree with all you've said. We do go to a place in Granbury Tx that does have a distraction I like. They have a jack and coke slushy machine. Best slushy I've ever had!

                • Mosca
                  Mosca commented
                  Editing a comment
                  But Coke Freestyle machines are awesome. You gotta admit that.

                #10
                Don't matter what the sign on the building says, it's the humans making the food. Sounds like they need corporate to pay them a visit.

                Comment


                  #11
                  Generally speaking I agree with you all 100% on chains. It gets away from you if you don't properly manage your organization. Having said that there are exceptions to every rule. In a town of just a few hundred people called Leon Springs, Texas, a guy started a gas station and grocery store at the cross roads in the town. It was successful and he began offering bbq sandwiches which also grew in popularity. The place was/is called Rudy's and they have branched out all over the state with that same gas station/corner store/bbq restaurant theme. And the barbecue is top notch. Go figure. It can be done, just gotta work at it and keep tight tabs on your franchises.

                  Comment


                  • gcdmd
                    gcdmd commented
                    Editing a comment
                    hubmacfan If you ever find yourself in Grand Saline, TX, check out the fried chicken at Brookshire's super market.

                  • Michael_in_TX
                    Michael_in_TX commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hmm... I pass a Rudy's every day driving into work (it's just five miles from my house). I've never been there. (They did remove the gas station part about a year ago.) We do have a Spring Creek across the street, but I just don't enjoy their brisket...dry...kinda flavorless to me. (Now their fried okra is to die for.)

                  • Troutman
                    Troutman commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That's funny because here in Katy Michael_in_TX we have the same setup, Rudy's on one side of I-10 and Spring Creek on the other. I gotta disagree on the SC brisket however, ours has very good to great brisket imo. Just had a fatty brisket sandwich the other night from them that was delicious. Plus the free, gooey rolls and ice cream. Its a hidden gem in my area. Go figure.

                  #12
                  The original Corky's was pretty good. Then they decided to franchise, and I've never seen one of the franchises that was as good as the original.

                  Comment


                    #13
                    Sticky Finger's, best franchised ribs i have had. charleston and greenville sc

                    Comment


                    • Troutman
                      Troutman commented
                      Editing a comment
                      LOL, at first I thought that was your comment on why franchises fail, Sticky Fingers

                    #14
                    Yeah, Corky's around here is not for me. I have been to the one in Marietta, GA, and to one in Pigeon Forge, TN and I was not impressed. And that was before I started hanging out here.

                    Comment


                    • Steve R.
                      Steve R. commented
                      Editing a comment
                      The one in Brentwood, TN was good when I went there several years ago. That was before I started hanging out here, as well. I knew good bbq back then, I just didn't know how to make it myself.

                    #15
                    Update: I wrote a similar review of my Corky's experience in the Google and Yelp reviews and the manager is beside himself with apologies. Wants me to come by and talk to him and get a complimentary meal. Hmmm, shall I risk food poisoning or just send of a bunch of pictures from the Pit members on how ribs are supposed to look when correctly cooked ????

                    Comment


                    • Ahumadora
                      Ahumadora commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Do both !!

                    • klflowers
                      klflowers commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Better yet, take him some.

                    • Donw
                      Donw commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Go, with an open mind. Giving someone a second chance many times works in both your favors. Heck, I wouldn’t have many friends if people didn’t give me a second, or even a third chance sometimes.🙂

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