I’ve been looking forward to trying Fainmous BBQ since its move from the Meyerland area to Sawyer Yards.
With Texas-style barbecue reigning in the area, the Tennessee-style smoked meat Fainmous specializes in should have been able to stand out on its own. And it did.
I knew I had to try the pulled pork, which is usually the star of the show in Tennessee barbecue rather than brisket, the main focus in Texas. I ordered the sliders with pulled pork. It came with two mini buns packed with pulled pork.
I also grabbed a two-meat plate with ribs and pulled chicken with baked beans and potato salad on the side. There was a good amount of both meats on the plate. I was able to share it with another person.
To round out the meal, I got the pineapple tea and a portion of the apple cobbler.
Everything was packaged in Styrofoam to-go containers. It must have been the norm, since I wasn’t asked whether I was dining in or out.
It took a few more minutes than expected for the food to be plated. Even though it was just after noon, none of the meat was prepped. Most of it was still wrapped and waiting in a warmer behind the counter.
I settled on a picnic bench outside the restaurant to enjoy the meal. I first sipped on the pineapple tea and instantly fell in love with it. The sweet tangy flavors of the pineapple were subdued by the team making it not overly sweet.
The buns covering the pulled pork were soft. The meat inside was tender, a common theme with all of the meat I tried during this lunch. The smoky and savory pork had a melt-in-your-mouth texture. After my first few bites I decided to try it with the barbecue sauce.
The barbecue sauces at Fainmous are vinegar-based, which I thought gave the sauce more savory undertones. It made a good addition to the pulled pork.
The meat of the ribs pulled easily off the bone. The crust of the meat was full of seasoning and had a really nice smoked hickory flavor. These were the kind of ribs I would be happy eating all the time.
While there was nothing different about the pulled chicken compared to other barbecue places, it was still a solid selection. The chicken was tender and had a more subtle smokiness. It would have done well in a sandwich.
My lunch partner took over the potato salad, but said it was just OK. I ate the baked beans, and instead on being met with beans that held a slight sweetness, I found these to have an earthy, almost nutty, palate.
The cobbler was full of apples and cinnamon with just the right amount of crust.
The barbecue at Fainmous definitely impressed me. I just wish the atmosphere and service had as well. It felt like the person working behind the counter wasn’t ready for any customers when I walked in, so the atmosphere of the space didn’t seem inviting.
But Fainmous does a lot of catering and takeout, so I can forgive some of that, especially since the food held up to a high standard.
Address: 1201 Oliver St.
Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Healthy options: No
Star of the show: Pulled pork sliders