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    Post #1 - December 8th, 2004, 9:47 am
    Post #1 - December 8th, 2004, 9:47 am Post #1 - December 8th, 2004, 9:47 am
    I have a few more days in Austin and need some help for chow for the rest of the time. We are staying in NW Austin, near Research Park, so anything that way is especially helpful.

    We are not gonna drive to Lockhart this time, so I am interested in what people think, Q wise IN Austin. I've heard good things about John Muellers, anyone agree?

    Thanks in advance.

    Rob
  • Post #2 - December 8th, 2004, 10:07 am
    Post #2 - December 8th, 2004, 10:07 am Post #2 - December 8th, 2004, 10:07 am
    Rob,

    Cooper's in Llano 65 mile drive from Austin to the best Brisket in the known universe.

    Cooper's not withstanding, Salt Lick is quite good and, though I have not been, I've heard good things about John Mueller's. John Muller is the grandson of Louie Mueller of Taylor Texas fame.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Last edited by G Wiv on December 8th, 2004, 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - December 8th, 2004, 10:23 am
    Post #3 - December 8th, 2004, 10:23 am Post #3 - December 8th, 2004, 10:23 am
    How far is Salt Lick from Austin, especially NW Austin?
  • Post #4 - December 8th, 2004, 10:42 am
    Post #4 - December 8th, 2004, 10:42 am Post #4 - December 8th, 2004, 10:42 am
    A good friend of mine has always recommended an Indian restaurant in Austin called Swad, according to Citysearch, a veggie restaurant specializing in Gujarat cuisine. I've never been, but I think it's worth a shot. I believe Austin has a pretty good-sized Indian population.
  • Post #5 - December 8th, 2004, 10:43 am
    Post #5 - December 8th, 2004, 10:43 am Post #5 - December 8th, 2004, 10:43 am
    Vital Information wrote:How far is Salt Lick from Austin, especially NW Austin?


    Mapquest shows 21.7 miles from Austin to the Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #6 - December 8th, 2004, 10:53 am
    Post #6 - December 8th, 2004, 10:53 am Post #6 - December 8th, 2004, 10:53 am
    Vital Information wrote:How far is Salt Lick from Austin, especially NW Austin?

    Rob,

    The Salt Lick web site, which I linked to, has directions.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - December 8th, 2004, 12:37 pm
    Post #7 - December 8th, 2004, 12:37 pm Post #7 - December 8th, 2004, 12:37 pm
    Sam's in east Austin has terrific fatty brisket and hot links. You can get your mutton on there too. It doesn't seem to get mentioned as much as many of the Hill Country spots, maybe because it's in an untouristed part of town. But its very easy to get to and open late. Robb Walsh writes of it favorably in Legends of Texas Barbecue

    Sam's
    2000 E. 12th St, Austin
    512-478-0378
  • Post #8 - December 9th, 2004, 12:48 am
    Post #8 - December 9th, 2004, 12:48 am Post #8 - December 9th, 2004, 12:48 am
    If you get a chance, check out Amy's Ice Cream. She has some wonderful flavors (mexican vanilla bean, etc.) Hopefully, it isn't too cold for ice cream.

    Also, if you want some decent BBQ, try Rudy's. It is a strange fast food place/gas station and there is al location in Round Rock (one of many.) If you get brisket, get extra moist.
    best,
    veeral
  • Post #9 - December 13th, 2004, 11:10 am
    Post #9 - December 13th, 2004, 11:10 am Post #9 - December 13th, 2004, 11:10 am
    m'th'su wrote:Sam's in east Austin has terrific fatty brisket and hot links. You can get your mutton on there too. It doesn't seem to get mentioned as much as many of the Hill Country spots, maybe because it's in an untouristed part of town. But its very easy to get to and open late. Robb Walsh writes of it favorably in Legends of Texas Barbecue

    Sam's
    2000 E. 12th St, Austin
    512-478-0378


    I'll report more when I am a bit more caught up, but this is the place we ended up at. Very soulful (you can say untourist part of town again).

    After much research on this board and TX/Chowhound as well as quizzing of folks at the client, we reduced our Q quest to two: Sam's and Ben's Longbranch. My gut told me Ben's (for collegue protection reasons). Turns out my gut was right in some ways, but Ben's, alas, and contrary to what they said on their web site, was closed at 6 PM. We ventured East to Sam's. It would be an insult to shack's everywhere to call Sam's a shack. Still, it also fit an image of a certain kind of BBQ place. Massive piles of oak logs all over the place helped too. The brisket was overly soft from excess steaming, the sausage was likewise too greasy from steaming, but the mutton, off the grill was nigh perfect, tar black on the outside, really too fatty on the inside, just excessively intense in the best way. The sauce featured a bit too much tomato, almost like spaghetti sauce. Interesting place, but no Lockhart...

    Big Daddy's BBQ and Breakfast Taco's
    When I was up at well before the crack of dawn to work, I had incentive to leave the hotel for breakfast. I found very nearby, the anti-chain, Big Daddy's. I'm no breakfast taco expert, but my friend from Houston found them get back in from the parking lot and order another good. Big Daddy uses an electric smoker, but the brisket was still very tasty, and with oily eggs and an excellent hot sauce, well it was a nice way to have brisket. Still, what I really liked best at Big Daddy's was his Elgin sausage, pan fried. The homemade pinto beans were nothing special.

    Rob
  • Post #10 - April 25th, 2006, 11:22 pm
    Post #10 - April 25th, 2006, 11:22 pm Post #10 - April 25th, 2006, 11:22 pm
    I just enjoyed last weekend in Austin. Hope my dining and other experiences will help others on their visits. Based on my visit there this weekend, Austin is definitely an interesting, strange, fun place, but seems very small relative to Chicago and the larger cities. As I planned my travels and finally arrived, the small size of Austin became increasingly apparent.

    I arrived in Austin on Friday. We checked into the Embassy Suites downtown on Congress and grabbed lunch across the street at Zax's Pints & Plates based on the hotel's recommendation and its inclusion in the Rachel Ray magazine. I enjoyed a special salad with fresh crab and a new-fangled flavored iced tea on the outside patio. Not memorable, but fit the bill.
    http://www.zaxaustin.com/

    Friday afternoon, we stop at Guero's Taco Bar on Congress for a shopping break and got some chips and salsa. This is a good watering hole with interesting atmosphere, and I'd be interested to try their other food. This is a big place and happens to be another place included in Rachel Ray's magazine.
    http://www.guerostacobar.com/

    We definitely wanted to try the BBQ, but we didn't want to have to travel far. We settled on dinner at Iron Works BBQ. I went for the Pork Loin plate, accompanied by white bread, corn, and beans. The corn was overcooked, and the beans were pretty plain, so I added some BBQ sauce to them. I made a sandwich with the pork, sauce, and other goodies. The pork and BBQ made up for the lackluster sides. This is a casual place, where you order, get your food, and pay at the counter.
    http://www.ironworksbbq.com/

    Saturday night, we went to South Congress Cafe. We selected this from passing by it on Friday while shopping. This is a swank place. They have a call-ahead system, no reservations. We called about 30 minutes before arriving Saturday night. We still waited in the bar about 1 hour before our table was ready. Fortunately, it was well worth it. All 3 of us really enjoyed our meals, and the prices were very reasonable. I had crab enchiladas that were super delicious and only $12. While we wanted to try one of the many tempting desserts, we settled on finishing our meal with hot drinks. The coffee was good. This is a cool place for dinner, and the prices for something similar in Chicago would be significantly higher.
    http://www.southcongresscafe.com/

    Sunday morning, we headed out to Las Manitas for brunch. I worried that people would be lined up out the door and around the block given its popularity. We were seated right away. It was hard to pick among all the Mexican brunch options. I ordered the mole enchildadas, which came with rice and beans. They seemed a bit less sweet than other mole, but great for brunch. Coffee was good. This is a very efficient restaurant, so it's a great pick for quick, tasty and filling fare. Prices are moderate. The restaurant is very casual.

    Before heading to the airport, we made a 2nd visit to Amy's Ice Cream. They have a few regular flavors and others that change. I ordered the same delicious Mexican vanilla that my friend got on the last visit, served alongside a dark chocolate selection. Well worth the calories. Kind of a cross between a Ben & Jerry's and HagenDaz.
    http://www.amysicecreams.com/

    Back at the airport, I picked up a smoked turkey sandwich at the Salt Lake BBQ station. Everything served up there looked good. This traveled fine for my airplane dinner. Large, tasty sandwich, and don't forget napkins.
    http://www.saltlickbbq.com/

    By the way, there is also an Amy's ice cream at the airport. I was tempted to indulge again, but didn't.

    As far as going out, we passed by many of the bars on our nights out. We enjoyed Cedar Street Courtyard a lot. It's a large, open-air venue with various bands, depending on the specific time you're there. We saw some cover bands there. Reasonable cover, $5.
    http://www.cedarstreetaustin.com/

    All in all, Austin was enjoyable. Nice combination of activities to be found and experienced. All the food was good. Nothing was expensive. Some very tasty chow.
  • Post #11 - April 26th, 2006, 12:03 am
    Post #11 - April 26th, 2006, 12:03 am Post #11 - April 26th, 2006, 12:03 am
    Barely related, but Amy's Ice Creams has been getting slammed over at Consumerist for what is, in my opinion, a pretty-damned-stupid reason: They had a sign declaring a $10 minimum on credit card purchases.

    I understand the economics behind -- but am generally opposed to -- these minimums. Dragging the company through the streets, though, is pretty absurd. It's like they couldn't find anything else to write about.

    Anyway, Amy's should just raise prices by 5% and then offer the difference as a discount to people paying with cash. Solves that problem.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #12 - October 30th, 2006, 10:49 am
    Post #12 - October 30th, 2006, 10:49 am Post #12 - October 30th, 2006, 10:49 am
    G Wiv wrote:Rob,

    Cooper's in Llano 65 mile drive from Austin to the best Brisket in the known universe.

    Cooper's not withstanding, Salt Lick is quite good and, though I have not been, I've heard good things about John Mueller's. John Muller is the grandson of Louie Mueller of Taylor Texas fame.

    Enjoy,
    Gary


    Well, I recently had the chance to try both of these places: Salt Lick and Coopers. I know Texas BBQ, like all real BBQ (see Honey1 threads), can be variable, so take some of what I say below with a grain a salt. Just a few data points, nothing definative. Also, I would offer that even average Texas BBQ, say the Hooter's of Austin, Bone Daddy, is miles better than the average BBQ around here. That said, here's what I found.

    One had the atmoshpere, one was about as real as these things get, in the picturesque county seat of Llano. The other was as slightly hokey as you would expect from a place in a town named Driftwood (although, truth be told, I believe there was a Texas town named Driftwood before the Salt Lick opened). Now, the Salt Lick is not fake by any manner. Still, with all the tee shirts and sauces and rubs for sale and logos and, well it was no Coopers.

    Yet, foodwise, I have to admit, I liked Salt Lick a lot better. Some of it was ordering. Faced with this full array at Coopers, I had to try nearly everything. Unfortunately, with the big chop and jalepeno sausage, I got a couple of duds that the brisket and cabrito could not fully balance out. Moreover, I thought Cooper's meat were just not as fully smoked as I like. So, even though their sauce is fantastic, I found the stuff not as flavorful.

    Salt Lick has a smaller menu: pork ribs, brisket and sausage being the standard plate (chicken or turkey can be ordered as well). What I did not like at Salt Lick was the sauce. It's sweet and orange, and I was stumped trying to figure out what accounted for that orange hue, and maybe, because of the color, it's just a lot of honey. I'm just not sure. The meats, however, were excellent. The brisket was not as rawly ideal as Blacks or Clarkes near Dallas, but this was the real deal, tender yet with some substance and fully smoked. I liked Salt Lick's cole slaw, but not quite as much as MsWiv. What I really liked at Salt Lick was the desserts. Do save room.

    The Salt Lick is about 20 minutes from downtown Austin IF traffic cooperates, but traffic in Austin is an iffy thing. Salt Lick does have the advantage of being open late.

    I would surely return to either. In fact just because Cooper's is so damn cool, I'd return there first. I'd order a bit better at Cooper's. At Salt Lick, I'd ask for no sauce. Does not mean there are plenty more places to try.

    I'm glad I have the yearly opportunity to visit Central Texas!
  • Post #13 - October 31st, 2006, 12:19 pm
    Post #13 - October 31st, 2006, 12:19 pm Post #13 - October 31st, 2006, 12:19 pm
    Having done an Austin trip in mid September, I too was very pleased with my experiences at Salt Lick. I must admit that seeing outposts in the airport made me wary (I don't know why-is Manny's any less memorable for being in Midway?) and seeing the buildings themselves made me thick of Epcot, but the atmosphere and food were both wonderful. Temperatures were in the 100's,but somehow the outside porch area sheltered by grape arbors and iced tea was very pleasant. My wife had pulled pork and thought it was the best BBQ that we had in Texas-more on our cultural bias later. I had the brisket and sausage, sauce on the side, both were very good. With the setting and building the more cynical might find it too showy, but to our mind it was overall our best BBQ experience in Texas.
    Time was limited so rather than Llano, we went to Lockhart. Black's was actually our first stop hatching the plan to only try brisket and sausage. Ordering seemed a little confusing with lots of sides and platter options, but smoothed out once we got to the meat. I ordered 1/2 pound of brisket, some sausage, hunkered down in the kitschy without trying to be dining room, and was impressed. Later we tried Kreuz Market, a megamart compared to Black's. The giant cooking area and ordering stations were impressive and the brisket was the best we found, even though that might have been influenced by the offering of fatty brisket which I chose. Some might be put off by the scale of Kreuz, it was just different from the intimacy of Black's and the theater of Salt Lick. Smitty's looked closed the day we were there.
    I enjoyed the BBQ in Texas, and appreciated how well the brisket was done at each location. But the month before we had been in North Carolina and as I've said before to my mind pork is just a better meat to Q. It is not by coincidence that my wife's favorite was the only time she had pork and the only place that had sauce (I neither liked nor had the sauce at Salt Lick).
    Nonetheless I am hoping to continue the pilgrimage in the future including Llano and Luling next time.
  • Post #14 - November 20th, 2006, 9:37 pm
    Post #14 - November 20th, 2006, 9:37 pm Post #14 - November 20th, 2006, 9:37 pm
    Well having to clear away memory for my forthcoming roadtrip, I finally "developed" my pics of Cooper's. Enjoy.

    This is what I call a menu
    Image

    This man stabs your meat, saws off chunks and dips in sauce.
    Image

    You take your meats inside, where they are more finely sliced, weighed and wrapped
    Image

    Then you eat ( :!: )
    Image
  • Post #15 - November 21st, 2006, 12:58 am
    Post #15 - November 21st, 2006, 12:58 am Post #15 - November 21st, 2006, 12:58 am
    I was in Llano back in March or so and did many of the usual suspects - Central Market in Luling, Kreutz's in Lockhart, Cooper's in Llanos, and the Southside Market in Elgin. Unfortunately, I erased most of my notes.

    Personally, four BBQ meals in a week was completely overwhelming to my system. It took me a couple of weeks to really get my ststems back to normal.

    IMO, not being a great afficienado of BBQ, the quality of the BBQ is largely dependent on when you arrive at the pit. get there early and you can really get some phenomenal meat. Get there at the end of the day, and at least some of the meat is pretty dried out.

    I was really disappointed with Coopers. It seemed more expensive than the other and most of the meat other than the brisket had sat around for a while. The brisket was pretty good. However, the cabrito was pretty bad. I do not know what part of the beast that I received but it produced little meat and it was tough and stringy.

    OTOH, the sausage in Elgin was really good. Rich, fatty with great seasoning.

    As for the rest of Austin, we did the central Market for a coupel of breakfasts. It is nothing fancy but quite good. AOatmeal after a steady diet of BBQ seems to calm the stomach a bit.

    Noodle-Ism is a noodle house located in Central Austin. The food is pretty competant but fairly pricy for what you get. Personally, I probably would pass as it was really not very special.

    The BEST meal I had in Austin was at the Texas Chili Parlor. The place is basically a bar that serves a great bowl of chili. There are a few other things on the menu but people go there for the chili. The XX chili, which is medium heat, is quite spicy. They will let you sample the XXX before you order. And the waitresses really enjoy serving you and go out of there way to make you feel comfortable. Great place.

    http://www.cactushill.com/TCP/menu/default.htm

    Another good meal was at Polvo's. I cannot remember what exactly I had six months ago but there were several things that stuck out. First, they have a salsa bar where you can choose from several homemade salsas. Second, the sauce that my enchiladas were covered with was very complex and was something that I had not seen before. Third, the outside dining was pretty good.

    Polvo's Restaurant and Bar
    2004 S. First, 441-5446
    Daily, 7am-10pm


    Brick Oven Pizza serves a pretty decent wood fired pizza and a good variety of salads.

    http://www.brickovenrestaurant.com/pizzas.html

    And finally, I really like the southern cafeteria chains a lot. While I ate at Furr's all through graduate school in Columbia, MO, the real gem in Texas is Luby's. Luby's are smart operators. They stay open ONLY during the hours where they will generate sufficient traffic. Their cafeteria line ALWAYS looks very fresh. they use large bulk presentations for the cold food and keep is on ice. For the hot foods, they generally use very shallow steamtable plans that hold less than 10 servings which forces the kitchen to batch cooking. The food is consistently fresh and good. And unlike most of the other places I visited in Texasm they serve plenty of fresh prepared vegetables and some phenomenal turnip greens.

    Hope that helps.
  • Post #16 - November 27th, 2006, 3:58 pm
    Post #16 - November 27th, 2006, 3:58 pm Post #16 - November 27th, 2006, 3:58 pm
    Rob,

    If you're looking for good Q in the city of Austin, I've always been partial to Iron Works Barbeque, mainly because you can get beef ribs there. They also have a nice spicy sauce and pleasant outdoor seating.

    Another popular place is Hoover's in East Austin, near UT. While most barbeque places in Texas have a pretty limited menu (meat options accompanied by beans, coleslaw, potato salad, and white bread), Hoover's has a complete menu featuring Texas favorites like catfish and chicken fried steak. Hoover's is something of a neighborhood institution in East Austin; if you're looking for barbeque in town, I think its a can't miss.

    Kevin

    Iron Works Barbeque
    100 Red River St
    Austin, TX 78701
    (512) 478-4855
    ironworksbbq.com

    Hoover's
    2002 Manor Rd
    Austin, TX 78722
    (512) 479-5006
    hooverscooking.com
  • Post #17 - November 27th, 2006, 5:46 pm
    Post #17 - November 27th, 2006, 5:46 pm Post #17 - November 27th, 2006, 5:46 pm
    ksbeck wrote:Rob,

    If you're looking for good Q in the city of Austin, I've always been partial to Iron Works Barbeque, mainly because you can get beef ribs there. They also have a nice spicy sauce and pleasant outdoor seating.

    Another popular place is Hoover's in East Austin, near UT. While most barbeque places in Texas have a pretty limited menu (meat options accompanied by beans, coleslaw, potato salad, and white bread), Hoover's has a complete menu featuring Texas favorites like catfish and chicken fried steak. Hoover's is something of a neighborhood institution in East Austin; if you're looking for barbeque in town, I think its a can't miss.

    Kevin

    Iron Works Barbeque
    100 Red River St
    Austin, TX 78701
    (512) 478-4855
    ironworksbbq.com

    Hoover's
    2002 Manor Rd
    Austin, TX 78722
    (512) 479-5006
    hooverscooking.com


    I have been to Hoovers. I like it, especially the sides and desserts. It's a place I'd glad return.
  • Post #18 - November 27th, 2006, 7:15 pm
    Post #18 - November 27th, 2006, 7:15 pm Post #18 - November 27th, 2006, 7:15 pm
    jlawrence01 wrote:I was in Llano back in March or so and did many of the usual suspects - Central Market in Luling, Kreutz's in Lockhart, Cooper's in Llanos, and the Southside Market in Elgin. Unfortunately, I erased most of my notes.

    Personally, four BBQ meals in a week was completely overwhelming to my system. It took me a couple of weeks to really get my ststems back to normal.

    IMO, not being a great afficienado of BBQ, the quality of the BBQ is largely dependent on when you arrive at the pit. get there early and you can really get some phenomenal meat. Get there at the end of the day, and at least some of the meat is pretty dried out.

    I was really disappointed with Coopers. It seemed more expensive than the other and most of the meat other than the brisket had sat around for a while. The brisket was pretty good. However, the cabrito was pretty bad. I do not know what part of the beast that I received but it produced little meat and it was tough and stringy.

    OTOH, the sausage in Elgin was really good. Rich, fatty with great seasoning.

    As for the rest of Austin, we did the central Market for a coupel of breakfasts. It is nothing fancy but quite good. AOatmeal after a steady diet of BBQ seems to calm the stomach a bit.

    Noodle-Ism is a noodle house located in Central Austin. The food is pretty competant but fairly pricy for what you get. Personally, I probably would pass as it was really not very special.

    The BEST meal I had in Austin was at the Texas Chili Parlor. The place is basically a bar that serves a great bowl of chili. There are a few other things on the menu but people go there for the chili. The XX chili, which is medium heat, is quite spicy. They will let you sample the XXX before you order. And the waitresses really enjoy serving you and go out of there way to make you feel comfortable. Great place.

    http://www.cactushill.com/TCP/menu/default.htm

    Another good meal was at Polvo's. I cannot remember what exactly I had six months ago but there were several things that stuck out. First, they have a salsa bar where you can choose from several homemade salsas. Second, the sauce that my enchiladas were covered with was very complex and was something that I had not seen before. Third, the outside dining was pretty good.

    Polvo's Restaurant and Bar
    2004 S. First, 441-5446
    Daily, 7am-10pm


    Brick Oven Pizza serves a pretty decent wood fired pizza and a good variety of salads.

    http://www.brickovenrestaurant.com/pizzas.html

    And finally, I really like the southern cafeteria chains a lot. While I ate at Furr's all through graduate school in Columbia, MO, the real gem in Texas is Luby's. Luby's are smart operators. They stay open ONLY during the hours where they will generate sufficient traffic. Their cafeteria line ALWAYS looks very fresh. they use large bulk presentations for the cold food and keep is on ice. For the hot foods, they generally use very shallow steamtable plans that hold less than 10 servings which forces the kitchen to batch cooking. The food is consistently fresh and good. And unlike most of the other places I visited in Texasm they serve plenty of fresh prepared vegetables and some phenomenal turnip greens.

    Hope that helps.


    I grew up going to Luby's at least once a month...best dinner rolls ever.
    "Johnny thought when all purpose had been forgotten the world would end this way, with a dance. He slumped back in a corner, drew his knees up to his chin, and watched."-Derek Jarman
  • Post #19 - November 28th, 2006, 9:57 am
    Post #19 - November 28th, 2006, 9:57 am Post #19 - November 28th, 2006, 9:57 am
    Growing up in Houston, Luby's was my "hangover helper" place. A Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed 'taters, Green Beans, Roll and Ice Tea w/Lime and I was ready to drink again!
  • Post #20 - February 26th, 2013, 5:43 pm
    Post #20 - February 26th, 2013, 5:43 pm Post #20 - February 26th, 2013, 5:43 pm
    Saturday night, we went to South Congress Cafe. We selected this from passing by it on Friday while shopping. This is a swank place. They have a call-ahead system, no reservations. We called about 30 minutes before arriving Saturday night. We still waited in the bar about 1 hour before our table was ready. Fortunately, it was well worth it. All 3 of us really enjoyed our meals, and the prices were very reasonable. I had crab enchiladas that were super delicious and only $12. While we wanted to try one of the many tempting desserts, we settled on finishing our meal with hot drinks. The coffee was good. This is a cool place for dinner, and the prices for something similar in Chicago would be significantly higher.
    http://www.southcongresscafe.com/


    We usually stop at South Congress Cafe for brunch which we did yesterday. Amazing Migas as usual. My friend had the Duck Confit Baguette, a little too sweet for me. My wife loved the Beet salad. This is our go to brunch place when in Austin. I strongly recommend it. Good southwestern cuisine.
    When they kick out your front door
    How you gonna come?
    With your hands on your head
    Or on the trigger of your gun
  • Post #21 - March 5th, 2013, 2:16 pm
    Post #21 - March 5th, 2013, 2:16 pm Post #21 - March 5th, 2013, 2:16 pm
    I thought the food at Lamberts was amazing and recommend the Salt Lick for BBQ.

    www.seeliveeat.com
    Chris Sarcletti
    www.seeliveeat.com
  • Post #22 - March 6th, 2013, 7:48 pm
    Post #22 - March 6th, 2013, 7:48 pm Post #22 - March 6th, 2013, 7:48 pm
    If anyone finds themselves in Austin you must visit a relatively new food truck in the north loop area. I think duval and 53rd. Called Melvin's. I had the best Reuben of my life there and I don't really like sauerkraut. They have very limited hours, m-f, 11am-2pm, and a limited supply. My son lives right down the street and has never been there because of their hours but this place is worth taking a day off for. I am still thinking about that sandwich two weeks later.
  • Post #23 - March 30th, 2013, 3:53 pm
    Post #23 - March 30th, 2013, 3:53 pm Post #23 - March 30th, 2013, 3:53 pm
    The Rainey area is worth checking out if you're in Austin. The refurbed houses look great, and the rotating food trucks at the bars are an awesome concept.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainey_Str ... tin,_Texas)

    http://austin.eater.com/tags/rainey-street

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/trave ... .html?_r=0
  • Post #24 - April 8th, 2013, 3:31 am
    Post #24 - April 8th, 2013, 3:31 am Post #24 - April 8th, 2013, 3:31 am
    I went to Austin in early March with my brother and will provide this brief beef summary of our BBQ-eatin' adventure.

    Day One:

    Image

    Smitty's - Overall favorite. Barebones front room where you order, then cafeteria-style dining hall. BBQ sauce, though fine, was not a focal point - you had to go up and request it. Let's hold up a sec because this is important. You see, in Austin, the focus is pretty much solely on the meat. In other cities, it's on the sauce AND the meat. Anywho, Smitty's had moist and flavorful brisket, GREASY and snappy links, and tender, smokey ribs.

    Image

    Black's - Dinosaur beef rib that ejaculated richness to the point of nausea. Jalapeno cheddar links that assaulted and insulted my palate. Brisket that was pret-ty, pret-ty good. Moist, melt-in-your-mouth texture while still maintaining some chew and structure. The brisket was Black's saving grace (to me). The decor seemed less Austin-y to me (as cheesy as those damn links!), which I realize is a ridiculous argument considering how it's an institution and all. Well, big whoop; it still reminded me of Famous Dave's.

    Image

    City Market - Most interesting sauce. It looked like a dull orange paint and had a beautiful tanginess to it. This place came highly recommended by PIGMON, which is like receiving a cocktail recommendation from a high school freshman, but I listened anyway. Brisket was dry as the Atacama desert. Luckily, their wild sauce saved it. Links and ribs needed no saving, though I'd be lying if I said I didn't dunk a rib once or twice :wink: . Also, I have to say that City Market felt like the most authentic gathering of Texans. It's far enough off the beaten path that I think tourists stay away for the most part. But, then again, whuhddo I know? I'll defer to Robert Quincy Lopata about this...

    Day Two:

    Franklin BBQ - Did this take 3 hours of my time? Yes. Did I have to wake up early to make this happen? Yes. Did I line up before 10a? Yes. Were there already tons of people ahead of me in line? Yes. And that, compadres, is the problem with Franklin BBQ. Lots of hype = lots of people trying to get through that door even on a random Tuesday morn. What I can say though is that it was worth it. It was probably, item for item, the best barbecue I had in Austin. You'll notice though that it holds the number 2 slot in my ranking below, NOT the number 1. Why is this? Well, because at the end of the day, you can drive to Lockhart, eat excellent barbecue and make it back to Austin in the time that it takes you to visit Franklin BBQ.

    Image

    Aaron Franklin is like Doug Sohn to me. When you finally make it up to the counter to order, he smiles and chats with you and paces everything just right. He's got the table timing down pat. You read a lot about him being this badass brisket boss, but he's just as deft at hospitality. As my brother and I ordered, he managed to strike up a conversation about string theory, kiss his wife Stacy, fix his glasses, dance the Charleston, assemble our meats, and throw in some bbq turkey on the house. We had literally zero interest in the turkey, but I'll be damned if it wasn't one of the most succulent, flavorful pieces of turkey I've ever had. Without me going into detail describing each item that we ordered, just know this: you're safe ordering anything. I'd skip the sandwiches solely based on the fact that they take up lots of valuable tummy real estate.

    Lastly, Franklin BBQ is filled with rubes. So, be prepared.

    Overall Ranking:

    1. Smitty's
    2. Franklin BBQ
    3. City Market
    4. Black's

    Lastly, if you want to do Austin right:

    GO TO UCHI FOR A NICE MEAL.
    GO TO GOURDOUGH'S FOR A DOUGHNUT.
    GO TO WEATHER UP FOR A COCKTAIL.
    Last edited by backorforth on April 9th, 2013, 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity."
  • Post #25 - April 8th, 2013, 8:40 am
    Post #25 - April 8th, 2013, 8:40 am Post #25 - April 8th, 2013, 8:40 am
    backorforth wrote:
    Black's - Dinosaur beef rib that ejaculated richness to the point of nausea. Jalapeno cheddar links that assaulted and insulted my palate. Brisket that was pret-ty, pret-ty good.


    I was developing a strong craving for BBQ reading this thread, and was even planning on jetting downtown for a brisket sandwich at one of the hipster joints...until I read this. I think I'll have a salad today, side of condoms.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #26 - April 12th, 2013, 4:16 pm
    Post #26 - April 12th, 2013, 4:16 pm Post #26 - April 12th, 2013, 4:16 pm
    Re: Franklin BBQ
    If have a big group and can eat elsewhere, you can call in a catering order and skip the line. This is what an Austin friend does with her boyfriend and her two teenage sons.

    I loved Uchi when I went, found Gordough's to be really fun (but portions are too big/sweet/heavy).

    Weather Up is actually a Brooklyn import to Austin.
  • Post #27 - October 12th, 2013, 9:41 am
    Post #27 - October 12th, 2013, 9:41 am Post #27 - October 12th, 2013, 9:41 am
    Just in Austin for a work conference and had limited time/energy to explore or head back to some old Austin favorites but loved Ironworks BBQ which is right outside the conference center, knows how to serve a ton of people fast and insanely cheap. One of the days I had time to sit on the porch and enjoy the view - and it was a pretty perfect lunch time.

    A coworker wanted TexMex so my Austin based son suggested Maudies which we all enjoyed a lot - good solid tex mex - and superb "Bee Cave" Ice cream for desert (a Mexican vanilla with honey and praline).

    And for me the best truly Austin experience was dining with my son a friend at G'raj Mahal - a classic outdoor dinner spot with a good selection of Indian dishes - BYOB - next to the Austin Bike Zoo and just wonderfully relaxed and happy.

    Maudie's
    10205 N Lamar Blvd
    Austin, TX 78753
    http://www.maudies.com/

    G'raj Mahal
    91 Red River St
    Austin, TX 78701
    http://www.grajmahalaustin.com/

    Austin Bike Zoo - no food but look for these folks:
    http://austinbikezoo.org/blog/
  • Post #28 - November 4th, 2013, 12:34 pm
    Post #28 - November 4th, 2013, 12:34 pm Post #28 - November 4th, 2013, 12:34 pm
    Y'all know how much I love Madison. Saddens me to say but I can no longer call it the "best college town" in America after my inaugural trip to ATX. I had no idea they're pushing close to a million as there's over 150 people a day moving here so it's also a metropolis. You could see/feel that as there was building after building going up. Both condos and hotels. In fact I lost track of how many Chicagoans I met. I thought Austin was about as good as you can get as far as a college town goes. As far as the food goes I ate some great tacos and BBQ and hit up as many of their famous food trailers as time allowed. I've got a few other posts I'm working on so you can get the full run-down HERE but I wanted to share a few of my favorite trailer park bites. Nope not tater tots with neon cheese and bacon bits. Trailer parks in Austin are empty lots where food stands set up shop.

    Image
    Love Balls Bus

    Trailers are found throughout town. Whether it's a strip mall parking lot or right outside of popular bars along 6th street or over on campus which is where the Love Balls Bus sits. They do the popular Japanese street side snack of Takoyaki (balls of batter cooked with chopped octopus) and it's served in a few different styles. I passed on the traditional toppings of savory brown sauce, kewpie mayo, powered seaweed and bonito flakes and tried the "Ponzu" offering My only regret was not ordering another batch. The ponzu marinated bean sprouts gave extra crunch to the balls which came with an explosion of flavor inside the mouth with each bite. Some shichimi red pepper kicked up the heat. Sensational snack.

    Image
    Ponzu Takoyaki

    You cant go to Austin and not get a breakfast taco. While their BBQ scene has really taken off (LTH report HERE) they've always been known for their breakfast tacos. I tried one from Torchy's that was pretty good and we also went to Tacodeli which was pretty great. But the taco that won best overall was this beauty below from the locally loved Mellizoz Tacos trailer. They take individual pieces of avocado and batter them in tempura before frying. Then a refreshing set of toppings goes on. Arugula, tomato, chipotle sherry vinaigrette and cotija cheese. Talk about the perfect taco for a 96 degree day.

    Image
    Fried Avocado Taco from Mellizoz Tacos

    I had heard or read that Austin didn't have real Mexican food and that's a myth. Check the link for the full report. We had as good of modern Mexican as anywhere at La Condesa and I spied tons of real deal taco trucks away from the more popular neighborhoods in town. Unfortunately I only had three days and did more than most would as was but still just touched the surface. Seeing as she's from Dallas a return trip wont be too long away. The trailers are special because each one brings something new to the scene as far as food goes. Whether it's African, Turkish, Peruvian, BBQ, Mexican, Vietnamese or a trailer creating a fusion of a couple of those cuisines there's pretty much a cart for someone everywhere. Even those imported from Detroit.

    Image
    What up Detroit!?!?!?

    Had to stop here after seeing it named as one of the best pizzas in the country. Not that I take those lists serious but it really did sound good and it's a style of pie I like. A little more investigation and it was on my list so we rolled up around 1a after the bars one night and were greeted with some Eminem on the speakers and a wonderful aroma in the air. For those that haven't had Detroit Style Pie it has similarities to Sicilian style pizza (Bakery Squares) and comes double baked in a well oiled square pan. At Via 313 their pans use to hold parts in auto factories back home, talk about authentic! and they must load up the butter in those pans because man is their pie hearty. Buddie would approve. The most common toppings in Michigan are pepperoni and olives which are also loved on burgers around the state. I went with the "Detroiter" which comes with two types of pepperoni both natural casing and smoked. The layers of chewy dough in the crust were met with a crunchy exterior. Money in the bank. F a Jet's, we need a Via 313 in Chicago pronto!

    Image
    ♫Now this looks like a pie for me, so everybody just follow me, because we need a lil more pepperoni♫

    Love Balls Bus
    2908 Fruth St
    Austin, TX 78705
    (512) 765-6286

    Mellizoz Tacos
    1503 S 1st St
    Austin, TX 78704
    (512) 916-4996

    Via 313 Pizza
    1111 E 6th St
    Austin, TX 78702
    (512) 939-1927
  • Post #29 - November 4th, 2013, 5:00 pm
    Post #29 - November 4th, 2013, 5:00 pm Post #29 - November 4th, 2013, 5:00 pm
    I just got back from Austin. In the past, I always headed all around to try all of the outlying locations mentioned above. However, as the traffic in Austin this past trip was about as bad as any I have encountered on the Kennedy, we decided to stay close.

    My new favorite is Rudy's Country Store and BBQ which has four locations, most located in a Shell station. It was a place that was strongly recommended by the locals and a few guests at the Holiday Inn.

    We ordered the fatty brisket which was very moist and had a great smoke flavor. The sauce, which was served in bottles that resembled liquor bottles, were a good mixture of tomato and vinegar with little sugar.

    The sausage was alright. It had a a great flavor but the texture was similar to a hot dog than the courser grind sausages that you will find at a Southside in Elgin.

    Unlike most, this place has great sides. The potato salad and cole slaw were above average. However, the creamed corn was the best. It reminded me of a loose version of the traditional Southern recipe for corn pudding.
  • Post #30 - November 9th, 2013, 8:48 pm
    Post #30 - November 9th, 2013, 8:48 pm Post #30 - November 9th, 2013, 8:48 pm
    jlawrence01 wrote:I just got back from Austin. In the past, I always headed all around to try all of the outlying locations mentioned above. However, as the traffic in Austin this past trip was about as bad as any I have encountered on the Kennedy, we decided to stay close.

    My new favorite is Rudy's Country Store and BBQ which has four locations, most located in a Shell station. It was a place that was strongly recommended by the locals and a few guests at the Holiday Inn.

    We ordered the fatty brisket which was very moist and had a great smoke flavor. The sauce, which was served in bottles that resembled liquor bottles, were a good mixture of tomato and vinegar with little sugar.

    The sausage was alright. It had a a great flavor but the texture was similar to a hot dog than the courser grind sausages that you will find at a Southside in Elgin.

    Unlike most, this place has great sides. The potato salad and cole slaw were above average. However, the creamed corn was the best. It reminded me of a loose version of the traditional Southern recipe for corn pudding.
    Wait a second - Rudy's Country Store? I had that in Manitou Springs, Colorado. I figured it was a chain, but I'm surprised you mentioned it in an Austin thread when I'd be hitting places like Smitty's or Franklin BBQ (or driving to Hill Country). Then again, you also mentioned the traffic, so I hear you on that. Rudy's was good, but I'd have to go back again because I don't remember being really impressed.

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