Brown and Rushing said they have been perfecting their homemade barbecue recipes since they were children. Growing up in Detroit, Brown said family cookouts turned into competitions, and that he even sold barbecue on a small scale as a child.
“In Texas, there was a void in the barbecue scene as far as being like a backyard barbecue,” Rushing said. “If you taste a lot of this barbecue out here, they’re very similar to each other. We use a different formula in our barbecue so it tastes like home.”
While OMG’s competitors typically use wood-centric barbecuing techniques, Brown and Rushing use a combination of logs and charcoal to reduce the taste of wood in their meats and enhance the taste of OMG’s seasonings and sauces. And with barbecue influences from Detroit and Chicago—where Brown and Rushing grew up, respectively—the duo is able to offer Midwestern-style barbecue in Texas.
After the two met in California and moved to Texas in the early 2010s, Brown convinced Rushing to start OMG Famous Barbque in 2019. OMG’s signature rib tips—cuts of meat that contain cartilage but no bone—are synonymous with Midwestern barbecue, but uncommon in Texas. Additionally, the restaurant serves chicken wings, burgers and desserts, ranging from Strawberry Bomb Pudding to Wyman’s Carmel Cake.
Rushing said OMG’s Midwestern-style barbecue has turned some customers into daily fans and others into newfound barbecue sauce lovers.
“A lady came in here and said, ‘I don’t want sauce on my barbecue,’” Rushing said. “I said, ‘OK, well, I’ll give you a sample. I want you to just try it.’ So she goes with a rib and little cup of sauce ... and the next thing she said was, ‘Put it on there. This is awesome.’”
While Rushing and Brown said OMG faced difficulties during the pandemic due to supply shortages, the business owners said they are looking to continue growing their customer base by expanding the restaurant’s hours and getting OMG’s bottled barbecue sauce onto retail shelves.
“It’s been a lifelong dream to own a barbecue business,” Brown said.
OMG Famous Barbque
14715 TC Jester Blvd., Ste. 900, Houston
Hours: Tue.-Sat. noon-7 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon.