Texas Barbecue is legendary, but also varied in its offers. For the trio that opened Blood Bros BBQ In Houston, it was important to showcase the city’s diverse international influences. And as the name suggests, family also plays an important role in the company.
“[Brothers] Robin and Terry [Wong] was [my] Childhood friends and they owned a bar for about 10 years. We lost touch a bit after high school but we met here and there,” says Pitmaster Quy Hoang, who was born in Vietnam but with the two grew up in Houston’s Alief neighborhood.
Hoang met them years later, in 2014, when the Wong brothers owned a karaoke bar. The three started hanging out more and more. At the bar’s customer party, Hoang offered to cook. It was well received, so the bar started hosting a weekly steak night. Until then, he had avoided grilling due to the time and effort required, but soon began experimenting with his Weber grill.
“I started bringing food to the bar during our steak nights, just for the staff,” he says. “Customers started saying, ‘Hey, I smell barbecue.’ So we start giving out samples and a lot of customers are like, ‘Man, you all have a good product – have you ever thought about doing something with barbecue?’”
Hoang had his hands full with his job, but a friend of Robin’s sold a smoker. The three friends pitched in to buy it and formed what would become Blood Bros. as a pop-up.
“We did this for a while and got invited to a barbecue here in town – it just kept getting popular,” Hoang recalls.
Not long after, they signed a lease at a mall in Bellaire, beginning with the “Texas trinity” of brisket, ribs, and sausage. But it didn’t take long for the flavors of her upbringing to be incorporated.
“I think maybe a year or so [in], I felt comfortable enough with our product and thought, ‘Hey, let’s try something crazy,'” says Hoang. “And we made this gochujang beef with burnt ends — I think that was the dish that invited us to the first barbecue.”
The best time to experience what makes Blood Bros. special is Thursdays, when the team gets creative and menus often follow a specific theme. You never know what you might find, like Brisket Burned End Steam Buns and Banh Mi with Smoked Turkey.
“It’s almost like our research night,” says Hoang. “Originally, our Thursday nights were supposed to be sandwich-heavy, like a lot of made-to-order sandwiches and things like that.” Now those nights are reservation-only, too, and are often filled by friends and family of the owners. As Hoang notes, “The community support has been great.”
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