Texas BBQ

by

pit

I was in Austin, TX last week for some work training and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to taste a little bit of Texas BBQ.  I’ve been there once before a few years back and tried some really mediocre chili from the Texas Chili Parlor (beans wtf) but I didn’t get to try any BBQ.  So this time I decided to do it up right by researching the area and taking recommendations from friends familiar with the scene.

Iron Works
We started off at Iron Works downtown.  It wasn’t recommended by anyone but fuck it was only blocks from the hotel, they served Saint Arnold’s beers and we were hungry.  What a waste.  The brisket tasted like it was smoked and then boiled to eliminate all the good shit I was looking for (flavor, aroma and texture).  I mean I didn’t even waste my time taking a picture of the plate.  The smoke ring could have been sued for false advertising.

After visiting that shithole we knew there had to be better eats to be found so the next evening we headed south about 45 minutes to Lockhart, TX to sample 3 or 4 BBQ joints.

Kreuz Market
First we pulled up to Kreuz Market and the parking lot was empty.  No wait, there was one car that had it’s dome light on so we pulled in and sure enough they were open.  We ordered a 1/4 lb. of everything they sold and an old lady piled it on a sheet of paper (no tray) and gathered it up like a pouch for us to take to the dining room.

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kreuz

I mean look at that shit.  Bang city.  I probably could have done without the pork chop but whatever.  The brisket was so on point as was the original sausage.  The jalepeno cheese sausage wasn’t bad but for real when you got one of the originals sitting on your plate that jalepeno shit is gonna have to wait.  German potato salad and baked beans on the side with a couple slices of white bread, pickled jalepenos and a few Shiner Bocks.

Chisolm Trail
After finish up our sheets of food we decided to hit up Smitty’s but they were closed so we stopped in at Chisolm Trail.  This place was bangin’ as well nd we didn’t quite do the 1/4 lb. of everything deal again.  It just wasn’t on par with Kreuz.  Their pork ribs were really, really good as was their brisket (just a little too moist for my liking).  They had ham and chicken which wasn’t available at Kreuz and it wasn’t anything special.

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Blacks
20 more minutes later we decided to hit up Black’s.  We were so full by then that we only ordered one slice of brisket, one pork rib (I should’ve asked how much it cost) and a sausage and I’m really glad that was it.  I took a bite of the brisket and immediately spit out a big ole chunk of smokey grissle.  I was done.  Who am I kidding, I took another bite and ended wishing I didn’t because it tasted fucking horrible.  I figured they would trim the brisket like I saw most places do but they din’t so I was pulling cow fat out of my teeth the whole drive back to the hotel.  I do have to say that they did an amazing job decorating the place.

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Ruby’s
A few days later we had the chance to stop in at Ruby’s near the UT campus.  Fucking awesome.  Everything was on point except their BBQ sauce which we kinda avoided everywhere else since good BBQ shouldn’t need it.  The turkey was a little dry but whatever right, it’s fucking turkey.  Another Saint Arnold’s Elissa IPA and we had to leave for the airport.

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23 Responses to “Texas BBQ”

  1. jjok Says:

    spot on with Rudy’s. Very solid with the BBQ.

  2. chankomp Says:

    NNNOOOOOOOOO. Ruby’s is the fucking CHAIN joint in this! overcooked, tough and just plain wrong. i don’t blame you though. takes years of living here to be a bastard about TX BBQ.
    srsly- next time go out of town to Lockhart. it’s not far, google maps that shit. it’s the TX BBQ capital of the world. you owe it to yourself. DAMN.

    -adb
    denton, tx

  3. Lefty McChew Says:

    I’m 95% vegetarian but I’ll punch somebody’s fucking moms to get Rudy’s in my grill.

  4. el jefe MS Says:

    chankomp, They did go to Lockhart (honestly, I’ve never understood what the fuss was about. There’s one or two good places and a bunch of mediocre ones), and you’re thinking of Rudy’s not Ruby’s. Ruby’s in an independent. They are o.k. I’m not a fan of their sauce either. They do use free range and organic raised when they can. (Only in Austin….) Their brisket is a little dry for my tastes. It’s fucking BBQ, it should fall apart on the (paper) plate. Rudy’s is a regional chain, but some of them are actually quite good. It depends on the pit boss. The one at 183 (Research Blvd.) in Austin is definitely on point. I’ve been to a couple of the others, and they are decent, but not the toe curling good of the Research location. Their sause (yes that’s how they spell it) is the bomb. Lots of pepper, not sickeningly sweet.

    MF,next time you are in the area, you’ve got to check out Sam’s. It’s on the east side of Austin on 12th, in a falling down little house in the “bad” part of town. It’s been run by the same family for ages. Musicians and Presidents go there. They’ve got a house mom who is one of the friendliest people you will ever meet, and they keep condoms behind the newspaper stand for the locals who are doing business with ladies.

    The Green Mesquite is pretty good too. (at Riverside and Lamar). After you’ve spent the day looking at the topless girls sun themselves at Barton Springs, go get your BBQ on…

    The Salt Lick is worth the drive to Driftwood. (There’s four of them that I know of, but they are a Hill Country institution.) I’m a fan of their sausage. Best. Stuff. Ever. Their brisket is good. Very different sauce than most other places in the area. A little sweeter and lighter. Don’t forget to bring your own beer, as they haven’t bothered to get a license since the county went damp…

  5. Kyle Says:

    Kreuz is way up on my road-trip-for-eats list.

  6. Red Icculus Says:

    Shiner Bock puts Mich Amber Bock to shame.

  7. el jefe MS Says:

    Shiner Bock= hangover in a bottle. By the time I’m done with one I’ve got the hangover…

    As I recall, Kreuz is actually the newer one. What is now Smitty’s, is the original Kreuz. They were owned by the same family. Upon death of the patriarch, one part got the name and one got the business. Those with the name split off and started their own. (or some family feud/split like that…)

  8. Lefty McChew Says:

    You ever get to KC, check out Oklahoma fucking Joes. This mug is up in a fucking gas station.

    Oh yeah, Michelob aint shit.

    You cannot fuck with Joes: http://www.roadfooddigest.com/?tag=/oklahoma+joe%27s

  9. SergDun Says:

    dude you should have asked me about ironworks, I would have told you to pass on that shit. went there last year with Bastid and a crew of canadians. Bastid wanted to eat bbq by the shitty creek and drink beers. The beers from the corner store were the best part of it, shit was mad dry.

    oh and as for michelob, yeah piss puts that shit to shame too.

    Also someone mentioned Sam’s, I’ve heard good things about that spot. I’ve been meaning to hit it everytime I go to sxsw but never manage to make it. maybe this year I’ll make it.

  10. el jefe MS Says:

    Sam’s is as much about the experience and history of BBQ in Texas, as it is about the food. Most of the other places that have been mentioned make BBQ accessible to to the more affluent (and generally white). Sam’s is the black history of BBQ in Austin. Sam’s is a community center as much as it is a BBQ joint. Up until 5-10 years ago it might be the only reason that a gringo was in that part of town. Bring your own beer. Sit on the porch. Talk to the locals. Fill your maw with meat…

  11. Sweet Baby Says:

    So full I puked the next day…
    Kruez was worth the trip almost on it’s own just for the experience. The old lady ringin things up, the smoke room. And yeah, the food was yummy. I thought the brisket at Chisolm (careful with that name) Trail was better / more moist — thanks to Dude in the smoke room for the tip. All in the Texas BBQ was new experience for the guy from Michigan. Ridiculous smoke flavor!
    I was a little surprised there weren’t baby back ribs – fall off the bone type, that’s a staple around here for BBQ. Get ’em wet or dry.
    Now I’m just waiting for the Don Juan post…

  12. el jefe MS Says:

    Texas isn’t about the pig. Good ribs are heaven, but it’s rare to find really good pork ribs here.

    The Don Juan is the best hangover breakfast in existence. I dare you to finish two of them.

  13. Dracula766 Says:

    SALT LICK fo sho!

    If there is one place you must try then that is is.

    The drive is a bitch but well worth it.

  14. Sarah from Austin Says:

    Dude, it is RUDY’s!!!! Best BBQ in Austin.

  15. Matt Says:

    God, Ruby’s is so fuckin’ ill!!! Their pulled pork was great when I ate their last year. I was actually pretty shocked to find pork in Austin. Ribs and sausage were great too.

  16. JT Says:

    “The smoke ring could have been sued for false advertising.”

    I just wanna give props on the descriptive wordplay above. Barbecue will be eternally debated as to who’s the best be it region, style, cut, etc. But, I don’t think anyone is gonna debate that the above is fucking hilarious and lets you know EXACTLY whats up. Keep it up.

  17. Joe Schmo Says:

    How the heck did you not go or ask around about The Salt Lick…….or Rudy’s for that matter. Ruby’s is a joke its for the non-Texas kids who go to UT and think it is real Texas BBQ.

    As for Salt Lick:
    1) best BBQ hands down near the Austin area (not quite in Austin, but still worth the drive)

    2) BYOB……they dun give a shit boy!

    3) ALL YOU CAN EAT family style dinner

    Period. You wasted your time on all the bastard children of RUDY’s and Salt Lick if they were to have sex and produce parentless offspring…..they got the parents characteristics but none of the love…..none. Nor the proper lessons in good BBQ……ughhh with a side of uggghh.

  18. MisterM Says:

    It’s true – the best BBQ in Austin is usually 30-45 minutes out of town.

    Kreuz is good when they’re on, but they’re not as consistent as they used to be. Smitty’s is the same way – ribs are still out of this world, but brisket has been a little off lately. If you make it to central texas again, check out Mueller’s BBQ up in Taylor and City Market down in Luling for some of the best brisket and ribs around.

  19. MF Grocery Says:

    Next time I hit Austin I’m def. going north. We didn’t really have the time to drive all over the place so this is what we did, 3 spots in one evening.

  20. mortalonline Says:

    go go go go go get these boots!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Andrea Says:

    Texans love to eat meat, that’s for sure.

  22. pawsinsd Says:

    NE of Austin, about 45 minutes from downtown, is Louis Mueller’s. We’re no longer in TX but my husband worked in town and ate there most workdays. Just pay attention to the multiple speed signs (sometimes every 1,000 feet from Round Rock to Taylor) because there’s a “revenue agent” around every corner. btw thanks for checking out my blog! Cheers, Dee cookingwithdee.net

  23. Offord Says:

    I really like your blog and i really appreciate the excellent quality content you are posting here for free for your online readers. Can you tell us which blog platform you are using?

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