Thanks for the detailed explanation and the welcome. The best BBQ I've found by far is Salt Lick when I visited Austin. Haven't found a great place in Houston yet.
As far as boots in Houston - In the summer time I was hating wearing socks that went past my ankles because I could feel it making me sweat so I'd probably stay away from anything other than unlined chukkas when it's that warm here. How many months out of the year that is? It's too early for me to tell since I haven't been here long enough.
Gatlin's is THE best BBQ in Houston, hands down! I'll even eat their brisket from time to time (but prefer their pork BBQ). I have not had the pleasure of visiting Salt Lick yet.