Harlem Road Texas BBQ

Harlem Road Texas BBQ
Speaking seven different languages and having trained at Swiss culinary academies, Chef Ara Malekian is Houston's global pitmaster combining the best of classic cooking with Texas barbecue.

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




Building: The airy, barn-like dining room was built by owner/pitmaster Malekian himself, with his food trailer nestled alongside that is used for the pit room and ordering counter. There's a patio with picnic tables if you walk around the back.
Parking: There's a gravel lot in front as well as a larger gravel lot in back, accessed from the side street on the south side of the property.
Ordering: There's a video screen with the menu - place your order with the counter person and it is cut to order and your name is called when ready.
Catering: Malekian is currently only offering pickup catering service.
Pit(s): Two Pitmaker vault-style pits attached to the adjoining truck/trailer.



Owner(s): Ara Malekian
Pitmaster(s): Ara Malekian
Established: 2018
Address: 9823 Harlem Rd, Richmond, TX 77407
Hours: Wed-Fri 11AM-8PM, Sat-Sun 11AM-6PM, Closed Mon-Tue.
Phone: (832) 278-2101
Known for: Creative proteins like addictive, mouthwatering smoked lamb chops (Fridays only) and the occasional smoked fish dish and even the occasional octopus special. Malekian sources his prime-grade beef from Double R Ranch which butchers the beef to Malekian's specifications.
Pro-tip: If you become a regular customer, you may be invited to the chef's table in the nearby pit room where Chef Ara will ply you with fanciful smoked meats and maybe a bit of bourbon.
Brisket price/lb: $20.00
Price Date: 2021-05-21



Meet Ara Malekian, Houston's global pitmaster
Houston Chronicle
Harlem Road Texas BBQ is Worth the Journey
Texas Monthly
Texas BBQ Stories: Harlem Road Texas Barbecue
Spectrum News
Harlem Road Texas BBQ in Richmond is a High-End BBQ Shack We All Crave
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