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Oct 10, 2011 07:41 PM

Please review/critique my plan and logistics

Hi all,

Los Angeles hound here and I'm making a bbq pilgrimage. I've never had bbq outside of the West Coast except for one meal in Lexington KY years ago. I've got a week and I'm determined to expand my knowledge and palate. I'm sure what many of you consider just average would be sublime to me.

I'll be staying near University of Texas, will have a car and an adventurous spirit. I'm landing at noon on a Wednesday and flying out at noon the following Wednesday. Taking into consideration hours of operation and crowds, my current plan is as follows:

Wednesday – Triangle Market, Iron Works
Thursday – Lockhart Smitty's, Kruez's, Black's
Friday – Franklin
Saturday – Snow's, Luling's City Market
Sunday – Sam's evening
Monday – Artz's
Tuesday – Louie Mueller (Taylor) Mann's
Wednesday – Rudy's before flight.

I plan to order at least a half pound of brisket, a few ribs and a link at each place. Unless it's a place like Sam's which specializes in mutton, then I'd swap out something else. I would appreciate any other suggestions for the places listed, such as if I'm better off getting beef or pork ribs or staying away from a particular item. I really don't care much about sides. I'm about trying the meat. Any sides I get will be more of a palate cleanser, got to save room for all the meat I plan to eat.

My plan has some holes in it and I'm still searching a bit for things to fill. I'll be doing some walking tours an generally just exploring Austin in between meals. I'm used to walking a lot and just exploring cities.

Some other thoughts I had was possibly breakfast taco's since that's another Austin specialty. Perhaps Mi Madre's?

Thank you for any help and advice.

Mi Madre's
2201 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

City Market
633 E Davis St, Luling, TX 78648

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  1. I would put Franklins on another day as Friday would be the most crowded and the biggest hassle for you. I'd also not go to Iron Works.

    3 Replies
    1. re: amysuehere

      Agreed, get it on any weekday but Friday.

      1. re: Lixer

        Monday too since they're closed. When are you coming? Looks like Franklin's will be closed Nov.1-10th as well.

        1. re: Lixer

          My visit won't be in that span. Thanks for the Franklin tip, maybe switch it with Tuesday then. Sounds like the mid week would be best for it.

    2. Have you mapped out Saturday? It sure will be a lot of time driving. Acc'd to google maps going from UT to Snows, then to Luling then back to UT is 183 miles (over 4 hours accd to them). I'd re-think those logistics, if it were me.

      Also, you might want to add John Mueller's new BBQ place. Acc'd to those that have been there it is good. And it is in town.

      2 Replies
      1. re: TroyTempest

        My thought about Saturday was to hit Snow's first thing in the morning when they open after 8. I'd have it for breakfast, the drive to Luling would be a good break and it could be lunch. Then drive back to Austin in time to do stuff for the afternoon. 183 miles in one day doesn't sound too bad to me if I'm breaking it up with a couple of stops. I was thinking I'll only be driving an hour or so in between stops. But I've never driven in Texas, so maybe that's not realistic. Being from LA, driving for an hour at freeway speeds with no stop and go traffic is heaven, I just put some music on and an hour will fly.

        But again, I've never driven in Texas so maybe that's a wrong assumption on my part.

        1. re: Jase

          You won;t have any problems with traffic on that drive especially on a weekend. Should be a nice, and before our recent drought, scenic drive. You won't be on any interstates, IIRC.

      2. I've always been partial to Cooper's in Llano, but it's a pretty good drive from Austin.

        2 Replies
        1. re: heyzeus212

          There's Coopers in New Braunfels...but still a 40 minute drive one way.

          1. re: heyzeus212

            Yeah, I did have Cooper's on my research list but really waffled about how far it was and nothing else as part of the trip.

          2. Cooper's has ALWAYS been my favorite. Lambert's also gets good reviews.

            Don't waste your time with Iron Works.
            Salt Lick is a fun trip as well, especially if you're with friends or a group.

            1 Reply
            1. re: amykragan

              Okay, seems like everyone is saying no go on Iron Works. I had read mixed things about Salt Lick so was unsure. Also I'll be by myself and wasn't sure how that will work with Salt Lick. Thanks!

            2. ditch Iron Works, sub Live Oak BBQ (all is good)
              on Lockhart leg ditch Black's, and go 15 miles down the road to City Market in Luling (especially pork ribs and sausage)
              on Sat hit Snow's (be sure and get some pork loin) and then Louie Mueller's and Taylor Cafe (especially turkey sausage and fatty brisket) on the way back to town
              on Tuesday hit JR Mueller's new spot on South First (since you will have already been to Louis Mueller's)
              check Franklin;s schedule online, and get there by 10:30 am at the latest

              City Market
              633 E Davis St, Luling, TX 78648

              3 Replies
              1. re: chowmick

                I haven't been to Live Oak, so I can't comment there, but rest of your recs are good *except* for skipping Black's. The last few times I've been to Lockhart, Black's outshone Smitty's and I've just given up on Kreuz.

                cm, your advice to hit Snow's and the Taylor joints on Saturday makes much more logistical sense. To the OP, if you still want to hit up Luling, you're better off doing so on your Lockhart jaunt.

                1. re: agoodbite

                  Okay, I guess Snow's and Taylor's on Saturday is more logical.

                  Luling with the Lockhart jaunt. I still want to hit the big 3 Black's, Smith's and Kruez's even if it's to poke my head in and get a small portion. I figure I owe it to myself to at least try it, especially since this is trip is to expand my knowledge and palate.

                  If I'm hitting all four within the span of a few hours, I'll only want to order lightly at each place anyway. Although I will have a fridge in my room. How about some cold bbq for a late night snack or early morning breakfast? haha!

                2. re: chowmick

                  I was planning to do Luling City market after Snow's breakfast on Saturday. Is that not a logical set up?

                  My thought for Lockhart was I'd just hit all three in one trip.

                  Thanks for the tip on Live Oak, Mueller's and the items.