You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but this tiny, hand-built, barn-like structure off a desolate stretch of highway in one of Houston’s far-west suburbs produces some of the most exacting and creative barbecue in all of Texas. Every aspect of Harlem Road Texas BBQ, from the horse statue at the entrance to the custom-made picnic tables, is a reflection of Malekian’s never-ending curiosity and perfectionism.
Like most contemporary craft barbecue joints, the exemplary smoked meats are accompanied by outstanding side dishes like mac-n-cheese and barbecue beans. And perhaps the greatest accompaniment is Malekian himself, clad in all-black and well-worn cowboy hat, visiting with guests and turning one-time visitors into life-long customers.
Photo by Robert J. Lerma