HOUSTON – Tommy “T” Dendy is glad to tell you how to cook barbecue, just don’t ask what’s in his special sauce.
“I worked on that recipe for years until I got it just right,” said Dendy. “I was looking for flavor where people said ‘That’s good!’ when they first tasted it, but I also wanted a flavor that lingers in your mouth.”
And making people enjoy his barbecue just a little longer than most has been a key ingredient in the success of T’s BBQ in the white and sky-blue building at the junction of First Avenue, Pontotoc, Malcomb, Lowery and North Jackson Street.
“We do pulled pork, ribs and chicken,” said Dendy. “We also serve french fries.”
T’s is all carry-out or catering. The lunch-time crowd lines up at the window with most phoning ahead so they can quickly pickup their order.
“We are not fast food, but we do cook good food fast,” said Dendy. “We are only open three days a week but I spend the other three getting ready.”
Dendy cooks about 350-pounds of meat each week. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are spent smoking meat, pulling pork, cutting up chicken and stirring up “T’s Secret Sauce.”
“I do most of it myself,” said Dendy. “I buy quality meat, I’ve got a special way I do just about everything and I know it’s all done right.”
And Dendy’s high standards are reflected in a clean kitchen and customer space and window out front.
“It’s the little bitty things in this business that make you successful,” said Dendy. “I also think you need to enjoy cooking for folks. It’s really a lot of hard work and if you don’t enjoy it you won’t do it long.”
T’s also caters and can handle everything from weddings and corporate functions to church events and family reunions.
And back to how to cook barbecue, Dendy offered these tips.
Cook with hickory and add a few branches of pecan. Apple wood is best, but hard to find.
Freeze meat for at least 24-hours if you are going to pull it to break it down.
Experiment with making your own sauce.
Smile when you serve it.
“I’ve been cooking barbecue for 25 years and been here since 1995,” said Dendy. “I’ve made good friends serving good food. I hope that never changes.”
Owner: Tommy and Janie Dendy
Location: 693 North Jackson
Phone: (662) 456-0045.
Hours: Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. “or until we run out!”
Local Focus is a regular business feature of the Chickasaw Journal. Locally owned businesses wanting to be included in Local Focus should call the Chickasaw Journal at 456-3771.