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Feb 22, 2009 04:27 PM

BBQ with good chicken?

We're taking a family vacation to Austin at the beginning of April and I've started my oh so important food research. We're staying near the Arboretum. I can see that as far as BBQ goes, we should go to Lockhart and that there are a number of places closer to the city to think about such as Salt Lick and County Line. But we have a very specific issue. My son and I like red meat just fine, but my husband doesn't eat it at all. I know. This is a tough thing in Texas. He also doesn't like turkey. He happily eats chicken. I know that, to the extent these places have websites, I can check menus on line. But is there anywhere with good bbq brisket AND good chicken? Not afterthought, dried out tasteless chicken, which is all he's found so far on various business trips to Dallas and Austin, but actually good chicken?

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  1. Salt Lick actually has good chicken. I've gotten it several times and it's been very good each time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: achtungpv

      I second the Salt Lick recommendation. I don't think it's much closer than Lockhart, but it's got a really nice drive. Admittedly, I haven't tried chicken at any of the Lockhart places--seems like sacrilege.

      Rudy's has good chicken (very moist, occasionally bordering on greasy), but only passable bbq. I tried Ruby's by UT and was unimpressed--maybe I caught them on a bad day, but it was totally dried out.

    2. I usually get vilified for recommending County Line on this board, but I think that their chicken is excellent - always tasty, well-seasoned and perfectly cooked. And, their location on Lake Austin is only about four miles from where you're staying near the Aboretum. If the weather is nice (and chances are that it will be in April), you can enjoy pre- or post-dinner drinks on their large lakeside deck.

      2 Replies
      1. re: marfaboy

        I agree with you on the CL chicken and the setting is nice. I also agree on Rudy's for the chicken, but dang I wish they would make at least one decent side...

        For some bizzare reason, the folks that make good chicken fall short in other areas and vice versa. Good chicken besides the above are Green Mesquite (the best chicken wings anywhere, btw).

        1. re: marfaboy

          I agree with marfaboy. County Line has really good chicken. Lots of nice bbq charring on the outside, and super moist inside. Also, if you go, make sure to get their homemade bread.

        2. First of all, chicken and sausage are the two easiest things to barbecue. Then pork ribs, pork shoulder, beef ribs and finally, brisket. So the challenge becomes this: where in Austin can you get great brisket and also chicken. The answer is, as always, is House Park Barbecue. Sam's is also a good bet. The thing to remember is that barbecued chicken skin is universally tough and unpalateable.