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BBQ in Austin

My husband and I are coming to Austin for memorial day weekend and we are looking forward to trying some great BBQ. What BBQ places would you recommend for dinner Sunday? I heard that Franklin is amazing, but since our time is so limited in Austin, I prefer not to wait in line for hours. Any opinions on Opies? We are staying at the W an will have a car, so we are willing to travel for great food. Also, I am planning on dinner Saturday at Swift's Attic and brunch on Sunday at Olivia's; any thoughts? Any advice is much appreciated!

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  1. Sit down dinner for out of towners, I'll be an outlier and say the original Salt Lick. I'm a Stiles Switch guy personally. But for a sit down experience it's pretty good. I'd stay away from the County Line. Great location and ambience but the food just isn't that good.

    1. Try JMueller's, also a trailer, but I hear the line is not as long as Franklin's. Biggest talk of BBQ Austin right now.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Lambowner

        Second this. Wonderful BBQ, fairly minimal wait if you get there before noon.

        1. re: heyzeus212

          JMueller is a trailer and you have to worry about the possibility of running out. Doesn't happen nearly as often at the proper BBQ restaurants.Note. JMueller trained Aaron Franklin and the guys from Stiles Switch, my current favorite, worked at the original Mueller joint in Taylor.

      2. Although it is a nice drive, I'm not sure I would recommend going that far for Opie's. It is good, but Smitty's in Lockhart is about the same distance and I think it is much better. You would also have the option of trying a few different places.

        I haven't eaten at Franklins or J Mueller, but Salt Lick is pretty good, although more expensive than the Lockhart options.

        1. Sunday night dinner is a lousy time for barbecue, be sure to check your hours. The trailers are almost certainly closed, a lot of the places in Lockhart are closed. Stiles Switch is probably your best bet. I don't know much about Opie's

          4 Replies
          1. re: Carter B.

            I think Black's is the only Lockhart joint open late on Sunday.

            1. re: Carter B.

              Salt Lick does have additional choices on Sunday, FWIW. I wrote that up somewhere else with caveats.

              1. re: Carter B.

                Just to follow up on Carter B. for the OP...

                In general, your old-school barbecue joints - Lockhart, Luling, Taylor - tend to cook for a lunchtime crowd. By early evening, they're either running out of things or closing, and the meats can lean toward the drier side as it gets later in the day. Even if they're open till 8, we tend to avoid going any later than 3 or so.

                Salt Lick is an exception - Driftwood location only, please - due to the volume of business they do. It may not be in the absolute top tier, but it's good, plus it's a nice drive and an enjoyable setting.

                JMueller and Franklin are the best in town, but they're done by mid afternoon. Stiles Switch has been getting good reviews, not sure about dinner time though.

                1. re: ampeg66

                  Also, if you get the all you can eat mixed meat at the Salt Lick, then if they are having a bad brisket day, you can ask for more sausage or ribs, whichever you like best.

              2. Thanks everyone for the suggestions! We ended up going to Salt Lick; we had the brisket and the pulled pork which was delicious. Thanks for all of the suggestions!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Feaster18

                  Just got back from Stiles Switch with my wife. It was my second time there and her first. Much like my first visit there, everything was excellent..........Except the brisket. The brisket had a great bark, tender and juicy on the inside. Don't get me wrong, it was good brisket, but the flavor just wasn't even in the same playground as Franklin. My wife felt the same way. She also remarked that the BBQ sauce reminded here of the watery tomato sauce Bill Miller's puts their green beans in.

                  I'll go back to Stiles Switch because of the conviences and good food over all. However, I have friends coming to visit from Barbados in a few weeks and I'll definitely be taking them to Franklin instead.

                2. J. Mueller's is the truth when it comes to BBQ. Unbelievable burnt ends and the salt/pepper crust on the brisket/ribs is amazing.