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BBQ-THE REAL DEAL?

Hi all:

I'll be traveling to Austin for the Austin City Limits festival in September with my 11 year old son....we are staying downtown(6th St vicinity) and would like y'all's recommendation on the best down home, finger lickin', lip smackin' BBQ in the area.......

Thanks!!!!!!!!!

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  1. My favorite is County Line BBQ, though some will tell you Salt Lick or various other places. I haven't been to any bad ones, that I can recall. Even Rudy's, which is a local chain and more fast-foodish, is still quite good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: qgroff

      I like County Line best, too, even better than Kruez (BLASPHEMY!). I get the Big Daddy (beef ribs), have them wrap half of it to go before it even gets to the table (two meals for $17), ask for a big bag of dog bones from the kitchen (for my dogs--really), and leave a generous tip for all the extra work. My husband likes pork ribs, but pork cannot take the all-day cooking. They are never as good at a restaurant as they are from my backyard grill. Beef ribs. The Big Daddy. That's the ticket.

    2. Oh man, here comes 10 pages of replies and recommendations...not that it's a bad thing. There are so many good ones, but I would recommend Artz rib house, Po-ke Joe's, The County Line, Salt Lick and Bert's B Que. Everyone has there favorites.

      Where are you from and what are you looking to try? Brisket, Ribs (pork or beef), sausage, chicken or all of the above? Some of these places have better items than others, but I really don't think that you could go wrong with any of these.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Centexraider

        from S Fla....I definitely like brisket and ribs the best....looking for a "non-chain" experience right in downtown....both of you as previous posters recommend County Line or Salt Lick?....is this the place to go?.....where is it located with reference to 6th St? thanks!!!

        1. re: alex613

          Neither County Line or Salt Lick are close.

          House Park BBQ is close to downtown, but is only open on weekdays for lunch. Iron works is downtown also. They are good, but they are pretty expensive. Ruby's BBQ, just north of campus, has very good brisket, but I can't expound on other options.

          There are some East Austin options that I will let other posters expand on.

          1. re: alex613

            I'll throw in Ben's Longbranch and Sam's on the east side, though, if you have time, no place in Austin beats the cue thirty minutes down the road in Lockhart (http://www.texasbbqtrail.com/ ).

            -----
            Ben's Long Branch Barbecue
            900 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702

            Sam's Bar-B-Cue
            2000 E 12th St, Austin, TX 78702

            1. re: Twill

              Agreed, Lockhart is the place to go. Downtown Austin 'cue is surprisingly mediocre considering the reputation of Texas. If Kruez's in Lockhart will be too far to go, I'd recommend Ben's. They have a family style atmosphere in a extremely small crude setting. There is also a new joint in town located on Barton Springs Road, .5 miles from the festival entrance, called Uncle Billy's Brew and Que. It definitely has more of a commercial feel, but I've been there once and was very surprised to find a place with such nice finish out to serve good barbecue. Good luck and welcome to Texas!

              1. re: foodme

                Check out uncle Billy's on Monday for happy hour for free BBQ, chicken and brisket...the beer sampler is good for two folks...CHEAP

                1. re: foodme

                  Brought the family to Austin for the first time yesterday afternoon. Had some average pizza at Frank & Angies (perfect for the kids) and then watched the bats. Today we're going to Lockhart for Kruez's and Smitty's. Going to eat more BBQ than a human should.... Can't wait!

                  1. re: Chicago Wine Geek

                    If you're wanting to be in that area, Joe's is just a block away (toward the river) and they've got very good food and bocci ball.

              2. re: alex613

                Brisket ??? Ya gotta go to House Park BBQ. 900 W. 12th Street @ Lamar, m-f lunch/cash only 11-2:30...Pork Ribs ??? 2 styles available @ the quintessential SoAustin Artz Rib House. Will be MOBBED during ACL. Try off hours. Live music nightly.For a great Eastside Austin rib experience, don't miss Sam's (Mutton ribs to DIE for) or a recent find of mine (care of "The Fearless Critic").Seek out Lewis BBQ, Waaaay East MLK, super tender/smoky pork ribs, ask'em for sauce-on-the-side.Happy Q Huntin' !

                1. re: alex613

                  Neither are anywhere close to downtown. The Salt Lick is in Driftwood Tx. and the County Line has a couple of restaurants, one on the hill and one on the lake. Try Stubb's BBQ on Red River near 8th or The Green Mesquite on Barton Springs. Both are also live music venues so you might catch a local act at the latter or national acts at Stubb's. Both are reasonably priced & have indoor and outdoor seating. They aren't the best BBQ joints in the area but neither one is at all bad and they aren't the ordeal of driving to Cooper's in Llano, Opie's in Spicewood or any of the many great spots like Kruez's (pronounced Krites), Black's & others in Lockhart (the undisputed BBQ Capital of Texas).

                2. re: Centexraider

                  ugh, pokejo had a place up where mopac used to end. my mom lived there and she liked it...I was ALWAYS disappointed
                  ...put me down for the Baby back ribs at ARTZ...for the last ten years or so...THE BEST...
                  I went to uncle billy's on Barton springs expecting to be disappointed...but the brisket was great...happy hour on Mondays...and the beer is great too

                3. Twill speaks the truth. You must go to Lockhart, specifically Kreuz Market. No sauce, no plates, no forks but great brisket, sausage, spare ribs, chops and more. Minimal sides. In town, if you want ribs I'd recommend Iron Works on Cesar Chavez a few blocks south of Sixth St. County Line also quite good but definitely less rustic than Kreuz/IW. Enjoy.

                  1. Just a quick note about County LIne. We went there (the one on 2222) Saturday at around 6:00. It was PACKED with kids. Moms and dads too.........but it was like eating at a daycare.

                    Please don't blast me and call me a kid hater. We just prefer to eat in a semi kidless environment. See what happens when you eat too early!!!

                    Neither of these are close to downtown sooooo.....this post was absolutely no help to alex613.

                    :-)

                    The best bbq I've ever had was the pulled pork kind. Southern style BBQ? I think texas is known for bbq beef.

                    1. We did a family tasting of Austin BBQ last Labor Day and the winner, by far, was Sam's. No ambience, very divy. But the brisket was smoky, tasty, tender and moist, with crusty edges. Amazing. Not far from downtown -- you probably want to take it back to your hotel or picnic somewhere nearby.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: nosh

                        And Sam's is open very late (2 or 3 am) which may be helpful during ACL. Love the ladies that work behind the counter! So much fun.

                        1. re: Honey Bee

                          For many hints about places to eat around ACL, and also how to navigate the festival, see this thread:

                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/422138

                      2. Alex: If you're looking for cue close to downtown, I agree with previous posters: Ben's Longbranch and Sam's, both are in east Austin and very close to downtown, and any cabbie knows where. Iron Works is for the deep-wallet crowd but a lot of people like it. Art's Ribhouse is on S. Lamar and has some great ribs and brisket (and bluegrass/roots music). Stubb's is known more for music than their BBQ, but depending on from where you come, you might like it. My money would be on the ribs, brisket, and mutton at Ben's or Sam's.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chowmick

                          I think Ben's Longbranch is going to be our place to try.....

                        2. Just a note, in the past there has always been BBQ at the festival in the food court (usually Stubbs and Salt Lick....skip Stubbs and try Salt Lick). This is by no means comparable to these restaurants in house fare (it's hot, they're preparing in bulk, etc.) but could sate a Q-fix until you could make it to Bens.

                          The fest tends to have a decent selection of food available at non-astronomical prices. Although, in the past with the heat, food has sadly become only a matter of sustaining, and I usually just choose the shortest line when I want some nibbles. Nothing makes you hungry like 100 deg. plus weather :)

                          1. I'll second the recommends for Iron Works. BTW, how expensive can BBQ be anyway? I've eaten here a ton of times and it's never seemed out of line. If you want to be CHEAP about your Q, go to Bill Miller (YECH). I'm not a huge fan of Kruez as I'm a sauce kind of guy. Buster's out by the lake has the best pulled pork I've ever had in town. Went to Ben's Longbranch once, thought it was poor and haven't been back. Salt Lick is one of my fav's and I do love Rudy's too.
                            Woof.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: woofdog

                              The Iron Works has very good and sometimes great beef ribs. That is definitely the thing to get if you go there. If for some reason you don't want beef ribs, the chicken is the next best item. Their brisket and sausage are average at best. I'll also admit to enjoying the beef ribs at County Line when I've gone there, though I don't think I've ever been there by my own choice. I haven't yet sampled the beef ribs at Artz, so I can't compare those.

                              And how expensive can BBQ be? I went to the new Hill Country BBQ in Manhattan earlier this week and they were charging $18.50/lb for brisket and $4 (!) for cole slaw.

                              -----
                              Iron Works Barbecue
                              100 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701

                              County Line On the Lake
                              5204 Ranch Road 2222, Austin, TX 78731

                              1. re: Brian Lindauer

                                Since Ben's does the mutton really well I've read, I'm looking forward to trying that....never had mutton at a BBQ joint...That, as well as where Ben's is located, will be why we go there....I think we'll just get "a whole mess" of things for the table and dig in....hows the brisket and beef ribs at Bens?...those are my favorites

                                1. re: alex613

                                  Good brisket, but I've never had the beef ribs. My picks are the mutton, pork ribs and pork loin. You absolutely must have the peach cobbler and/or banana pudding if you go.

                                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/378062

                                  1. re: alex613

                                    I don't think Ben's does beef ribs, just pork ribs. However, it's been a while since i was last there. Maybe someone else can confirm.
                                    PS. They are closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, so be sure to schedule around that.

                                    1. re: Alan Sudo

                                      Agree with Nosh; Sam's in East Austin brisket is awesome and a unique "experience". Need to drive not walking distance really from downtown even though only a mile or two away. ACL is a blast with a child, just prepare for hot hot weather. Bring folding chairs as it beats sitting on the ground for 10 hours. As long as you have no need to be in the first 500' from the main large stages, its relatively relaxed to park your chairs (find shade if possible) and sit back and enjoy. Also, the 3 smaller stages are wonderful - don't miss them.

                                      Other Chow ideas particularly for an 11 yr old assuming you have a car; Amy's Ice Cream either at 35th & Guadalupe just north of the U.T. campus or their location on 6th & Lamar. Hut's Hamburgers on 6th St. a few blocks east of Lamar; Whole Foods Mkt main store at 6th & Lamar to stock up on sunscreen, water bottles, snack items, etc; Torchy's Taco's is a taco trailer on South 1st Street about a mile or so south of Riverside and great breakfast taco's or lunch or dinner and a very great Austin casual vibe. Close to downtown and inside with a/c, Sweetish Hill Bakery on 6th St. just a few blocks west of Lamar is great breakfast sweets and coffee and lunch sandwiches; Z Tejas also on 6th near Sweetish Hill is a very good choice for brunch weekends or lunch or dinner; Jo's Coffee on 2nd Street in the Warehouse district is in my opinion one of the best burgers in town and a small but rounded menu for 3 meals a day and fun for people watching and in the heart of downtown. The food at ACL is almost exclusively Austin based restaurants and they do a good job of keeping the pricing way within reason and far below most typical sporting or concert events - pricing is very fair. You should have no problem eating well and local at ACL and not taken advantage of either. Have fun. Don't forget to take your son at some point across from ACL over to Barton Springs pool for a cool dip into 68 degree water.

                                      1. re: Alan Sudo

                                        Please forgive me but I feed Beef Ribs to my dog,Pork is the ONLY rib.

                                        1. re: bassmangotdbluz

                                          I like lamb ribs. And bbq cabrito ribs. There's a meat hotbox at La Victoria, while not BBQ, it's a wonderful roasted meat. When I was in college, the old Whole Foods (Cheapo Disks) had one of those roasted meat boxes with lamb ribs. My dog and I had a tasty treat for $1. So, there are other ribs.

                                2. Take note that only 1 person said something positive about Iron Works. They are definitely downtown and they definitely get lots of hype but for the money, you're better off finding something else.

                                  Eastside options are great - an adventure for sure.

                                  Solid bet is Salt Lick in Dripping (not on 360). Safest bet in town - Iron Works.

                                  22 Replies
                                  1. re: chispa_c

                                    nosh...

                                    thanks for the heads up, but since we'll be in town 2 days, we'll be taking one very small rolling carry on and a backpack..I try not to check luggage at all costs, especially since we have a connecting flight.....my pals at TSA will most certainly confiscate anything taken aboard that resembles a cylinder....they confiscated my 5 oz can of spray sunscreen on my last trip....anyway, we're resigned to standing during The White Stripes set, as we're hoping to be fortunate enough to get real close to the stage....BTW, I read that theyve alleviated the dust problem at Zilker Park by installing an effective irrigation system.....

                                    Just one more Q about Ben's BBQ - Do they have waitstaff, or is it "order at the counter and take your food to the benches" kind of place?....if so, I would rather opt for a place that has excellent BBQ in a downtown locale, BUT has waitstaff and is comfortable....we want to have a nice enjoyable dine and great food.....if someone can please advise...thanks all

                                    1. re: alex613

                                      Ben's, Sam's, and the Iron Works are all counter ordering (and I'll put in a word for the beef ribs at Iron Works, whatever anyone else says). To be honest, it's BBQ, not fine dining. The folks at all of those places are quite friendly, and the ordering process is usually really quick - pick a meat or two, sides if you want, get a drink, and carry your tray to your table.

                                      Artz Rib House does have waitstaff. If you want something fancier, but maybe less traditional, there's Lambert's. Search the Austin board for discussion (and be prepared to make a reservation).

                                      1. re: mkwng

                                        Is Ben's not open for dinner???.....I just looked at his website...it says 11-4????If so, I'll have to change strategy...we're looking to do dinner at like 5 or 6 pm, then hang out on 6th St (then again, I dont know how much damage I can do with my 11 yr old)

                                        1. re: alex613

                                          I confirmed that Ben's closes at 4 - that stated, I think my son and I are going to try Stubbs BBQ.....how bad can they be, the White Stripes are playing there 9/16.....at least their taste in music is great....besides, we want wait service, a kitschy Tshirt, and a comfortable place to hang .....

                                          1. re: alex613

                                            If food is a mere byproduct of your Austin experience you may be on the wrong website.
                                            Chowhound is about the FOOD.
                                            We're not overly concerned with table service or the plentitude of the restaurants gift shop.We're seeking intense deliciousness in every bite of food that enters our system.
                                            Look on Austin360 and/or Citysearch where you can locate all sorts of restaurants where the relevance of the deliciousness of the food often falls below the establishments ability to deliver a kitschy,keep Austin weird style experience.You ask "how bad can they[Stubbs]be?I would describe their food as bordering on edible,depending on how finely honed your taste buds are.The sides are mediocre but the meat itself often approaches serviceable in quality.
                                            In Texas we take our meat consumption extremely seriously and no one I would care to consort with would be caught dead in Stubbs.Personally,I hurry my stride when walking nearby the restaurant so as to keep the bad barbecue juju the place is notorious for at a minimum.All that aside,welcome to Austin,there's good eating hereabouts.

                                            1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                              yes scrumptiouschef, I am aware that you are a "gourmand", and I don't mean that in a negative way....unfortunately, I am in a situation to which I am at a distinct disadvantage 1) Austin is a new city to me, never been there, or to Texas for that matter 2) I had to rent a car to get to downtown b/c due to ACL all downtown hotels booked, and I suspect restaurants will be crowded and parking non existent... 3) I have my 11 yr old in tow 4) I am in town 2 days, 1 of which will be spent entirely at ACL 5) I am a tourist, so why not get a tshirt?.....I was recommended BBQ joints that seem great, but are a little too far from downtown to risk getting lost in a town I'm not familiar with ....So, duly noted about Stubbs, because yes I do like good BBQ......Considering that Bens closes at 4pm (???), would you or anyone else recommend Sam's as the alternative?

                                              1. re: alex613

                                                As I suggested two weeks ago near the top of the thread, I would definitely send you and your son to Sam's. Order and pick up from the women at the counter inside the small converted house on a corner. Easy street parking for a quick pick-up and take to your hotel or somewhere to picnic. Get more brisket than you think you'll want -- sold by the pound. Add some ribs or, if you must, some chicken.

                                                If you absolutely require a place to sit down and eat there, I'd suggest Ruby's. I've liked it better than Iron Works. It is also order at a counter, but they bring the food to your table and you can comfortably eat in. [note: there is also a texas chain which i believe is called rudy's, and i may have them confused or reversed... the one i've liked i believe is independent and not far from downtown. but as much as i liked the proprietor and his brisket, i'd head to sam's.]

                                                1. re: nosh

                                                  Ruby's is just off the corner of Guadalupe and 29th next to a little Italian/Greek place called Milto's. The brisket there is an excellent rendition of Hill country oak and mesquite smoked beef. It is on the other side (North) of UT Campus from ACL fest.

                                                  Rudy's is a chain and not conveniently located for your trip.

                                                2. re: alex613

                                                  Choose Sam's over Stubb's. No question about it. Stubb's is a good concert venue, not a good place to eat. Sam's is a delicious, unique East side experience.

                                                  1. re: alex613

                                                    Alex613,

                                                    I personally think you'll enjoy Stubbs. Yes, it's not Coopers in Llano, but I think the chicken and sometimes the ribs there are quite acceptable. I LOVE the chicken fried chicken they only serve at dinner (yes, not bbq, but...) and I have been known to crave the jalepeno spinich and San Antonio Squash from time to time. I think it's a perfect option describing your limitations above and it has plenty of atmosphere. (I personally like it WAY better than Iron Works, which I think is horrible).

                                                    If you're going to be in town on Sunday, I'd also recommend Moonshine (just down Red River from Stubbs) for their brunch of lots of Texas comfort food. Nice patio too, but figure an hour wait if you show up after 10:30 or 11.

                                                    Also, Joe's on 2/3rd near the Four Seasons Hotel has a great back patio, bocci ball and pretty decent food as well.

                                                    I would highly recommend Flip Happy, but I'm sure the line will be astronomical.

                                                    If you happen to be in town Sunday morning, I also recommend

                                                    1. re: amysuehere

                                                      Thank you for your thoughtful reply Amysue.....we were actually resigned to going to Iron Works as an alternative, since the "authentic" joints don't really fit into our plans, especially as turistas (Bens closes at 4, and yes sitting down to eat IS a priority)....based on your recommendation, we have once again decided to go to Stubbs with the notion that mediocre Texas BBQ is better than 90% of the BBQ I can get here in S. FL (Tom Jenkins notwithstanding)....thank you also for the other recommendations, but our Saturday food consumption will be mostly the fare at ACL....we are leaving late Sunday morning.....if we had more time I think we would explore more culinary options....

                                                      1. re: alex613

                                                        Let me see if I can figure out which food vendors will be at the fest. If Hudson's on the Bend is serving, that would be a must.

                                                        1. re: amysuehere

                                                          FYI The food vendor information for ACL '07 hasn't even been released yet, which is shocking since it's three weeks away. As usual I am going to all three days of the festival, and so have been checking the web site everyday for food info. It's quite frustrating, because as a chowhound, one obviously wants to plan meals during the festival and I KNOW that at some point I am going to be in a situation where I'll have to eat festival food. If I happen to be the first to see the food list when it's posted, I'll definitely report back for other festival goers, because yes, sometimes there are a few passable vendors i.e. Hudsons, as mentioned. Also a note to others who will be in town for ACL: BRING YOUR BIKE, if that is an option. It is much easier to leave the fair grounds and find better food, and get back in time to catch the quality shows if you have reliable, quick transportation. You can bike to Flip Happy Crepes, Whole Foods, or even Sams for example, and be back at the fest in 25 or 30 minutes. It's nearly impossible to get a cab to leave for food, and you definitely don't want to walk and wind up succumbing to Chuy's. If you don't want to pay $7 for *tiny* plate of queso and an Aquafina, this is what I'd suggest.

                                                        2. re: alex613

                                                          Not sure if it's been mentioned here yet, but Iron Works is cafeteria-style dining. No waitstaff taking your orders at your table. That said, they have great beef ribs (I realize you prefer pork). The rest of the fare is substandard.

                                                          The best recommendation in this thread is Sam's IMO. I think you'll have to compromise on at least one thing, and assuming that's not taste, then I think I'd flex on the waitstaff-dining, and head to Sam's.

                                                          I really, really don't think you should go to Stubb's -- the only thing that's worth eating there IMO is the serrano pepper cheese spinach. But sure, you can get a t-shirt and a bottle of sauce. You can also probably wait 3 hours in line with the rest of the tourists there.

                                                          1. re: Nab

                                                            Good points, Nab. I don't believe anyone mentioned that Iron Works serves in exactly the same way as Ben's or Sam's, and being ACL weekend, there's bound to be an exorbitant wait at Stubb's.

                                                            IMO, without the music venue side, Stubb's would've closed its doors years ago (had it ever opened here in the first place). Their 'cue is standard fare for Austin, which is a pretty dubious honor.

                                                            That said, if you're just interested in keeping your 11 y.o. happy and aren't really interested in the deliciousness that 'Hounds search out (see http://www.chowhound.com/manifesto ), Stubb's will probably fit the bill.

                                                          2. re: alex613

                                                            To clarify - all of these places (Iron Works, Sam's, Ben's, Ruby's) are cafeteria style. You have to stand in line to order, but they all have tables and chairs (or benches) to sit while you eat. BBQ isn't fancy here, but we certainly don't make you stand over a garbage can or sink to eat it :-)

                                                            As mentioned, if you go to Stubb's on ACL weekend, you're gonna stand while you wait to be seated anyway.

                                                            1. re: mkwng

                                                              It seems to me that there were several postings about a new, more upscale BBQ restaurant somewhere between 2nd and 4th St. I don't think it's the central Texas type BBQ, but I think there were some positive posts... anyone?

                                                              1. re: Rene

                                                                Rene,
                                                                that would be Lambert's. That's all i can help. Haven't been, though.
                                                                Search this site, there's a lot on it.

                                                                1. re: Rene

                                                                  You're probably referring to the chi-chi bbq at Lambert's. While I find a host of their sides and non-'cue items to be delicious (as well as those desserts-mmmm, fried pie), their pit items tend to be a bit on the dry and/or inconsistent side, so I wouldn't necessarily offer it up as a place to must for bbq.

                                                                  1. re: Twill

                                                                    I like Lamberts and I agree with Twill. Some of the non traditional barbecue stuff is great (quail, chicken) but once the brisket was great and once it was subpar and dry.

                                                                    1. re: Carter B.

                                                                      I like Lamberts for the Mac & Cheese and desserts, but the bbq isn't great and I guarantee a huge wait there.

                                                    2. re: alex613

                                                      I wouldn't take a kid on 6th Street at night. I'm a parent and a musician, I've spent lots of time there. It's usually peaceful but during festivals it is crowded, unruly and things can get rough very quickly. Not appropriate for children.

                                              2. Whole Foods - Disneyland for foodies. the make-your-own sandwich counter is probably one of the better deals/sandwiches in town and yes, the bbq is better than Iron Works...

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: amysuehere

                                                  Whole Foods downtown was included in the Austin Chronicle's Ten Best BBQ places in the entire city. And since it is about the food, who cares if it is in the middle of a grocery store? You can pick up a baguette on the way out.

                                                  1. re: amysuehere

                                                    The smell is tantalizing, but the one time I got a pulled pork (which is actually chopped, BTW) sandwich, it didn't taste like it smelled. There was not much of a discernible smoke flavor. I think the Iron Works, Ruby's, Sam's, House Park, and even Pok-E-Jo's and Rudy's are better.

                                                    1. re: amysuehere

                                                      Yep. Their brisket is cooked to perfection. MUCH better than Iron Works BBQ, from what I've had at both.

                                                      1. re: amysuehere

                                                        Had brisket and ribs at the Austin Whole Foods yesterday. Really, really good.

                                                      2. If you have to sit down and have someone wait on you and you have to stay relatively close to downtown, Hoover's isn't terrible. Maybe a little far (on Manor just east of 35), but it's better than Stubbs. Not good, really, but better than Stubbs.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: jonesy4000

                                                          But Hoover's isn't bbq. If she wants comfort food, Moonshine is walking distance.

                                                          1. re: amysuehere

                                                            It's not completely barbecue, but barbecue does comprise a good portion of their menu. Hence the "smoke" in their slogan, "Smoke, Fire & Ice House."

                                                          2. re: jonesy4000

                                                            Hoover's is a good option - they have waitservice, and while they really shine in comfort foods, they also offer decent Bar-B-Q pork ribs, chicken and sausage, strong margaritas plus great sides (jalapeno creamed spinach, butter beans, collard greens).
                                                            Another really good option that's only a 10 minute drive and 2 turns away from ACL (meaning easy to find sticking to main roads, even if you are an out-of-towner) is County Line on the Hill. Waitservice, fresh baked bread (available at an additional charge, but go ahead and spring for it) and platters piled high with a good rendition of Texas style Bar-B-Q. I would order it family style - they'll bring you Bar-B-Q refills!

                                                            1. re: Alan Sudo

                                                              The jerk chicken & ribs are especially good there. Smokey, spicy deliciousness.

                                                          3. This is a huge topic, especially if you expand your geography to the small towns within 30-60 miles of Austin. I'll keep it brief as you're probably swimming in information overload.

                                                            In Austin city proper I would point folks to Sam's, Ruby's (with a "B", not to be mistaken with Rudy's with a "D"), and the underrated/under-reported Lewis's (on MLK near Airport).

                                                            I would *avoid* County Line and Stubbs.

                                                            -----
                                                            Lewis's Bar-B-Q
                                                            1814 Harvey St, Austin, TX 78702

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                                              Yes, but someone else down the line may find this thread and end up having great bbq based on our feedback long after the original poster got the waxy mouth plate at Stubbs.

                                                              1. re: ilbranzino

                                                                Take the time to drive to Taylor and eat the Moist Brisket at www.louiemuellerbarbecue.com The best I've ever had!

                                                                1. re: FoodEquipmentGuy

                                                                  ... but if you like Sauce you'd better have your wife carry some in her purse; but, I agree that Louis Mueller deserves that James Beard Award it received a few years ago. Moist and wonderful brisket & sausage in a traditional Texas setting for 'Cue.

                                                            2. Take a little more time and drive to Gonzales and eat Brisket and sausage at the Gonzales Food Market. Great Barbeque, very unique sausage, (I love it) and the barbeque sauce is worth the drive by itself.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: tuckspop

                                                                I much prefer bbq that is good enough that it doesn't need sauce, like the pork ribs at Texas Rib Kings. Don't bother with the sauce, 'cause it doesn't need it.

                                                                1. re: danny_w

                                                                  I take issue with your summary condemnation of a good BBQ sauce :)
                                                                  It seems odd to me to relish a meat with an expert dry rub, cooked for hours over a mesquite or pecan wood fire, and then turn your nose up at a good BBQ sauce.

                                                                  But I'm an Alabama guy, and we love BBQ sauce. except for a few Memphis food nerds over on the the South board. I haven't been to Gonzalez, but Iron Works has the best BBQ sauce in town that I've tried.

                                                                  1. re: NWLarry

                                                                    Well, I ain't crazy about bbq sauce on my brisket but the ribs, chicken and sausage is a different story. I promise you that you would like the bbq sauce in Gonzales. The bbq sauce on the sausage is great. They sell the sausage raw and you can bring it home and grill it.... I have left my favorite bbq town of Lockhart and have moved my bbq buys to Gonzales.