"We take pride in the way it`s prepared," said Rayford Busch as he slices through his homemade smoked sausage.
Busch has more than two decades of barbecue experience.
"For 22 years I've been doing barbecue. This is our first restaurant. We started with just a barbecue pit behind a truck," Busch said.
That truck was parked a few feet from where he opened his first restaurant, in Houston's third ward, Ray`s Real Pit BBQ Shack.
They just celebrated the first anniversary of the business on Jan. 12. The 25th customer got his meal on the house.
Though Busch got his start in the pit, it was when business partner Maxine Davis came along that the menu expanded.
"Two people can walk in here for lunch and one could want barbecue and the other can want grilled fish and shrimp with lemon butter sauce," said Davis.
While you`re in turmoil over what to order, these born-and-raised Houstonians are conflicted with choosing a team.
Taylor hails from the Houston area, a graduate of Hightower High School in Missouri City. And Davis proudly boasts that her son Herb Taylor plays for the Green Bay Packers. He's been in the NFL since 2007, formerly with the Denver Broncos.
Don`t be surprised if you walk into Ray's and find the 310 pound offensive tackle here in the off season. No, he`s not just "packing" on the pounds from these ribs.
"Herb will come in and he`ll help every now and then," his mother said. "He`s not going to do it that often, but maybe a couple of days a week he`ll come in and help for a few hours and help behind the register."
When Herb`s away, the cravings for Ray`s ribs take over, so mom ships him some.
"We have done that several times before where we`ve packaged barbecue and sent it to him and his teammates, and it`s always a big hit," she said.
Our only question was, Who are you going for in the playoffs?
To which Davis responds, "Of course we`re pulling for the Texans, but if the Texans don`t make it, we`re pulling for Green Bay.
Okay that`s fair. At least we know your allegiance is in the right place.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times