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Barbecue crawl in Austin/South Texas

I'm headed to Austin next week, dedicating Monday and Tuesday to finding some first-rate barbeque, especially brisket, beef ribs and hog. All suggestions welcome! Georgtown, San Marcos, Balstrop, Elgin, New Braunfels-wherever. Thanks in advance.

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  1. If you're in NB, I'd certainly suggest a stop at Coopers. Excellent ribs, prime rib, sausage and the sides are better than any of the other top places.

    2 Replies
      1. re: amysuehere

        Woody's BBQ in San Marcos on Hunter Rd is really good. Great, tender brisket.

      2. I can't vouch for it personally, but Fuschak's in San Marcos was an honorable mention in the Texas Monthly BBQ round-up.

        3 Replies
        1. re: gilintx

          More pins in the map. Thanks to both of you. I'd like at least one spot that does great beef ribs. The Ironworks in Austin is pretty good for those, but I know there must be more.

          1. re: gilintx

            Fuschak's is horrible. It's a bad all-you-can eat buffet. I have no idea how they stay in business or how they keep getting good reviews.

          2. Franklin's BBQ, at Concordia and I-35. You have to sit outside because it's served from a trailer, but it's some of the finest brisket I've ever had.

            Go early - for lunch, as close to 11 as you can manage.

            6 Replies
            1. re: heyzeus212

              I 2nd this. I've only had the pulled pork and the brisket at franklins. The pork was serviceable, but o lord the brisket. i had a burnt end that I think rivals anything I've had blacks or louis muellers, and without the hour drive (although darn near as long a wait when i went). Crispy outer bark yielding to fatty melty deliciousness. Biting into it stunned me, it was so good.

              There's a reason there's a line (i got there about 10:50 on a Saturday and there were already a dozen or so folks waiting, probably got my food about 11:30 or so. You might have better luck on a weekday though.

              1. re: willtryanythingonce

                That's a third for Franklins, same reason. Ribs are quite good too, but they run out of both fast. Same suggestion on the line.

                1. re: willtryanythingonce

                  I've been to Franklin's 4 times now. It is very, very good. Best brisket in town by far. You do need to line up at 10:30 regardless of the day of the week. A gauge is that once you're at the end of the awning you've got a 30 minute wait.

                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                    Yes, it's a trailer you'll miss unless you're looking for it (and I missed it specifically trying to go there). However, you'll most likely see the little white shade and the line snaking out of the chain-link fence enclosure. It's behind an empty building/lot on the north-bound access road to I-35 kind of across the highway from the UT practice field.

                    3421 N I H 35

                    http://www.franklinbarbecue.com/menu....

                2. I'm surprised no one mentioned the big 3 in lockhart...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chrisdds98

                    No kidding. I dream of Smitty's. Every time I eat there I'm in heaven. I took my Albuquerque- residing parents there over the holidays last year and they still mention it to me, asking if I've been recently.

                    No need for sauce or utensils. Oh man, those ribs.

                  2. An offshoot of the Lockhart mention-- Texas Monthly (our venerable "national" magazine) ranks the top fifty every five years. There's always a cluster in Lockhart and the Hill Country in general. To wit: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5871...

                    1. Sorry I overlooked this earlier, but from your earlier post about Black's it sounds like you're still barbecue crawling. If so, I'd highly recommend City Market in Luling (not far from Lockhart). Every bit the equal of Black's, which is in the very top level of barbecue places I've ever eaten.

                      Atmospheric too.

                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/mississi...

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                      City Market
                      633 E Davis St, Luling, TX 78648

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Mississippi Snopes

                        Went to Black's the first day. Pork ribs were lightly smoked juicy and succulent. Also liked the pinto beans and pickled onions. Brisket was melt in your mouth, yet with a nice crust. Thought about getting the beef rib, but it was bigger than I could handle at the moment. Next day I had some business in town, so I hit the Ironworks for a late lunch. Had the sampler, which was only decent by Texas standards but would be king in the DC area. Next day I went to Franklin Barbecue, which was awesome. I got there at 10:45 and was 3rd or 4th in line. When I left about 11:20, the line went back down the block. Had the brisket and a tipsy to go. Brisket was excellent with nice smokey bark. They let you pick the section of brisket you want, lean or "juicy". The espresso sauce was tasty, not sweet, with a rich coffee flavor that went very well with the meat. So good that I may have over-done it, as my guts were a little bubbly the rest of the day. Went back to Lockhart the next evening, but too late for Smitty's. Went back to Black's and got the beef ribs, two monsters which were sublime. Again, that melt in the mouth thing, which must be the hallmark of Black's beef. Franklin's was great, but I have to give the nod to Black's. Next time, Smitty's and Luling Market and some goat somewhere.

                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                          I'm a Black's fan... will be interested in your comparison with Smitty's and City Market when you get the opportunity. I like both of them... their sausages are both better than those at Black's, but the beef at Black's just rules. Have not had the ribs, but something about the brisket is just more succulent than any other place I have been.

                          BTW... Louie Mueller's in Taylor is worth the drive. Very different brisket, but along with the other meats and the quality of the sides it is deserving of the reputation.

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                          City Market
                          633 E Davis St, Luling, TX 78648

                          1. re: GroovinGourmet

                            As good as the brisket was (probably the best I ever had, except for at a roadside shack in New Braunfels years ago), the beef ribs at Blacks were just insanely good. I came close to hurting myself. I'll be back in November. Thanks for all the recommendations.

                          2. re: flavrmeistr

                            Thanks for reporting back. It sounds like a grueling barbecue regimen, but an enjoyable one.

                            1. re: flavrmeistr

                              Thanks for the report back, flavrmeistr, and glad to hear you had a good time. Definitely do come back for Luling's City Market and Smitty's, and if you happen to be here on a Saturday morning, you should consider Snow's in Lexington. Only open on Saturdays from 8 am until they run out, but the brisket will absolutely blow your mind.

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                              City Market
                              633 E Davis St, Luling, TX 78648

                              1. re: gilintx

                                as I just posted separately, do try Sam's BBQ (12th st. on the eastside) for the brisket & mutton.

                              2. re: flavrmeistr

                                If you like pork ribs, definitely try them at City Market.

                                For goat, head west where the BBQ style shifts from slow oak pits to hotter mesquite ("Cowboy style"). Cooper's in Llano sometimes, and other places further north and west along the Edwards Plateau. It's also popular in S. Texas, pit roasted and sold as cabrito.

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                                City Market
                                633 E Davis St, Luling, TX 78648