We caught the store’s cattle-themed sign poking out from around a corner at IAH and were immediately intrigued. Having never heard of Texas Trail Boss Jerky before the notion of an airport store focused solely on jerky was quite a draw. The store is small but focused. While they sell bottled water and a small assortment of bagged nuts their primary wares are all about the meat. Texas Trail Boss Jerky sells an assortment of beef and turkey jerky in various flavors by weight. They are happy to offer up tastes to temp you into buying more, which we happily indulged in. The jerky is displayed in a butcher’s display case in neatly labeled bins – original, turkey, teriyaki, etc. – and the woman behind the counter explained that their inventory varies day-to-day. So, having been tempted by the taste-tease we picked up a few samples and continued on our journey. Is this jerky worth a return trip? Let’s see what you get with this one:
Taste (B+): You start with a really pleasant mesquite smoked flavor, enhanced by a subtle sweetness, that combines to really bring out the savory goodness of the beef. The overall result is a notably tasty flavor that’s well-balanced and very enjoyable.
Texture (A-): This jerky is natural-style and cut against the grain. It tears readily, is comparatively easy to chew, and feels great to eat. The meat is dry and only slightly tender but gives way easily once you start eating it.
Smell (B): The sweet and mesquite smoke smell isn’t particularly pronounced, but it’s still enjoyable. The jerky is sufficiently dry that the scent doesn’t travel far, but when you get up close it’s goodness.
Appearance (B+): This jerky looks really nice. It’s a natural-style jerky, cut across the grain, with a dark brown color sporting the occasional red highlight. The pieces range in size from your typical multi-bite chunk to the tiniest bits of jerky dust. This was a bit fun, but also a bit messy. A little more attention to delivering actual bite-sized or bigger pieces would enhance this jerky.
Consistency (A-): The flavor and texture of this original flavored jerky is very well done and uniform throughout. Even the bits of jerky dust, when gathered into a morsel or two, delivered a full measure of sweet and smoky goodness. The pieces, while irregularly shaped and cut, had a consistent thickness and moisture and showed attention to quality.
Overall Impression (B+): This is a really tasty treat, particularly for an airport treat, and if you find yourself in IAH terminal A, swing on by and see what the Texas Trail Boss Jerky folks have in stock for the day. With a delicious taste and good quality you’re bound to enjoy the meaty goodness. If you’re on the fence about picking up a few ounces for the flight ahead just give in to a sample bite or two and the choice will be clear enough for you. Eat well!