Wright’s Bar-B-Q in Vidor does barbecue right

Wright’s Bar-B-Q in Vidor does barbecue right
Wright’s Bar-B-Q in Vidor does barbecue right

The Wright family in Vidor has been grilling meat the right way for generations, slow-smoking their brisket and ribs for hours to infuse the maximum flavor from the family’s special recipe sauce and seasonings into the delicious smoked chicken, ribs, boudain, sausage links, and chopped and sliced beef brisket.

Wright’s Bar-B-Q located at 1096 North Main Street in Vidor has been serving customers at that location for 38 years, since 1977, and the family has been in the barbecue business for even longer. Whether Southeast Texans are searching for some lunch or trying to feed the masses at a family reunion or some other event, Wright’s Bar-B-Q is the right choice for flavor and affordability.

Owner-operator Jackie Wright says the secret to the family business’ success is their special-recipe barbecue sauce and spice rub developed to perfection by his father, Cooper Wright, who created a distinct and enticing combination of seasonings to please the pickiest of palates.

“My dad was an old Army cook, and he just loved to experiment,” recalled Wright. “He developed our sauce, spices, everything – even the jambalaya. We try to keep it consistent and keep it the way he had it.”

The jambalaya Wright mentioned is a specialty item, a savory side with which regular customers are quite familiar. Wright’s Bar-B-Q offers a wide variety of sides and dessert items in addition to several types of meat. And now they are serving smoked sausage and chicken gumbo.

Wright’s son Cory, one of his 11 children, has been working with the business for five years, learning the family recipes and grilling alongside his father and friendly staff.

“He’s the stuffed pepper man,” the elder Wright said of his son.

The restaurant recently started serving jalapeno peppers stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon or sausage, and grilled to perfection.

Wright said the business is blessed with repeat customers, clients who can’t quit coming back for more of their mouth-watering, down-home cuisine.

“We get a lot of repeat business,” Wright said. “And when people stop by service stations and places in town and ask where to get good food, they point them our way. It’s a good location.”

Walking into Wright’s Bar-B-Q in Vidor, is a little like walking into a very casual museum. The walls are adorned with photos, images and models of classic cars, amusing adages, items of antiquity like an old pitchfork, a washboard and a scythe, and a plethora of family photos. Each table of the relaxed dining room is donned with red-and-white-checkered tablecloth, reminiscent of a family picnic.

Wright’s Bar-B-Q is open from 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday serving lunch and dinner. Catering services are available for any occasion. Call (409) 769-3812 for more information or to place your order.

What we ate

Wright’s offers sandwiches, sides, appetizers and one- or two-meat plates for diners to enjoy. The one- and two-meat plates feature two sides to go along with your meal, and they will give you bread, pickles and onions to go with your plates. We ended up with samples of several of Wright’s specialties.

We started off with a couple of Cory Wright’s signature stuffed jalapenos. We got the bacon-wrapped peppers, but they also offer them wrapped in sausage, if that’s more to your taste. The flame-grilled smokiness shines in these daring and delightful appetizers. They are stuffed full of hot cream cheese, and are mildly spicy but totally delicious.

For the main course, the sliced beef brisket was tender and melted in your mouth, which is no surprise considering it is smoked for approximately 20 hours, according to Jackie Wright. Then, the sliced brisket is smothered in Wright’s special recipe barbecue sauce, which is perfectly balanced and not overly sweet.

The links were succulent (my favorite), and the boudain was plump and delicious.

Wright’s offers so many sides that it can be difficult to choose. They have the traditional potato salad and baked beans, but they also offer so many more! The carrots we tried were buttery and smooth, and the steamed broccoli was a light, tasty side. I enjoyed the mashed potatoes and brown gravy, but the highlight of the sides is absolutely the jambalaya, a Wright family recipe. It is meaty and the seasonings make this “dirty rice” incomparable.

For dessert, Wright’s staff recommends the banana pudding, their most popular dessert. It is smooth and sweet with chunks of vanilla wafers and fresh banana slices topped with a thick layer of silky whipped cream. Yum!

In Greek mythology, ambrosia was the food of the gods, and Wright’s ambrosia fruit salad definitely earns its name. The fluffy marshmallows and cream combined with sweet and juicy pineapple, mango and more is a light and lovely end to a hearty meal.

“We come because it’s good,” said Wright’s customer Doug Porter, who works with Buna Electric. “If they serve barbecue to a customer, it’s done right.”