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May 28, 2012 05:40 AM

Pork BBQ in Austin

Hello all ! Just moved to Austin a couple of months back from Virginia, and while I am loving the Texas BBQ (new to me) I am having a really hard time finding good pulled pork BBQ. Maybe you all could help me out with some local places you recommend. I have tried a few places around, some ok, some really bad.

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  1. Franklin bbq has pulled pork which is ok, but their pork ribs are amazing... and the brisket is pretty damn good too

    1. Here's a list of a few places that I can think of right now. I grew up in Georgia and every so often get a craving for some pulled pork. All of these are serviceable but none as good as I remember from home.

      1) Lambert's: 'fancy' bbq downtown. I generally like everything here except the bbq. I really like the half price bar menu for happy hour.

      2) Mann's smokehouse - 183 and Ohlen: Not bad and they even have brunswick stew.

      3) Busters BBQ in Lakeway: I've only made it here once and it was ok.

      4) Johnny T's Round Rock BBQ - on 620 near Round Rock high school: It's been a while since I've been but is was probably the best that I've had in town.

      5) Franklin - as mentioned already. Pretty good pulled pork but really long lines.

      6) Dickey's - a chain and not very good the day I tried it.

      7) Curleys Perfect Pig - a food truck downtown. I haven't been yet but looks like it has potential.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ssouth

        We're good at ribs don't see much pulled pork. I've had it in Arkansas,Tennessee and Mississippi though, good stuff. We had a Red Hot and Blue for a while and I liked it alot. Seems like Whole Foods' pulled pork is okay. I go to the Gateway store but I'm sure they have it at the flagship too.It's quite easy to obtain anyway. Have you had it ssouth?

        1. re: BTAustin

          I always forget about the BBQ place at Whole Foods. I'll make a note to grab some the next time I'm in there.

          1. re: ssouth

            The pork butt BBQ at is not very good. I've only twice a couple years ago but there was no reason a try it again. Each time asked for lots of bark and all I got was oven roast pork with very little smoke flavor. Also, you have to pull it yourself as they just rip chunks off of it.

            I smoke a lot of pork butts at home and nothing in Austin can top that. Brisket, OTOH...


      2. My favorite sauce for PP is really vinegary SC style, and I guess the closest thing we have to that in town is Franklin. I love their vinegar-based sauces, but they're a little different than what you'd find in SC. Plus you have to go at 10:30 AM.

        I'm originally from Mississippi, and recently got a hankering for a good PP sandwich. I went to Green Mesquite, whose PP is better than most places I've been in town. I got a side of slaw and put it on the sandwich like they do back home. It wasn't perfect, but it did the trick.

        4 Replies
        1. re: popvulture

          Also, to clarify, I should've just said Carolina or just general Southeast BBQ instead of just SC. When I lived in Brooklyn, there was this guy who ran a shop called Pies n' Thighs- I think it's still around. He was this hilarious dude from Georgia who played/plays in the metal sludge band Harvey Milk. His sauce was SUPER vinegary, like face puckering... I wish somebody would do that kind of thing here, because it was damn good.

          1. re: popvulture

            I'm a fan of the Carolina style also. That's whats so intriguing about Curley's Perfect Pig. However, I have the worst luck catching food carts open and this one is not really close to my house.

            Lately, I've been getting my pork with vinegar sauce fix from Coopers. Their big chop and sauce is a nice combination. I'm not a huge fan of their brisket, but I'll drive out that way for the chop and the beans.

            1. re: ssouth

              Another friend of mine said he and his wife went to Curly's the other day and spoke very highly of it. They have both North And South Carolina style. SC being with the mustard based and vinegar sauces. Definitely gonna try and get there this week and report back.

              1. re: KevinCooks

                Ah, so up around Toy Joy. I tried to look at their site, but it looks like their domain reg has lapsed. I'll definitely go check it out, too. I love brisket and all, but there have been days here when I would've paid like 30 bucks for a great pulled pork sandwich. Good to know.

        2. I'll second the Whole Foods pulled pork recommendation. It's my favorite in town. I haven't had it from Gateway, but I love the stuff at the flagship store downtown. For whatever it's worth, Mike Sutter (former Statesman food critic) also sang its praises.

          1. Okay folks I tried Curly's on 29th near campus on Friday and must say I'm pretty impressed. I lived in eastern NC as a kid and know good eastern style NC pork (e.g. the style of Parker's on 301 in Wilson is my all-time favorite pork anyhow anywhere). Curly's is more than serviceable, it's really good. His sauce of vinegar and red pepper flakes is authentic and his pork is slightly smokey, tender, and moist. I think it's 11 bucks a pound and that'll make three or four nice sized sammies with cole slaw on board too. This isn't as good as Parker's, but it's the best / only NC style pork this town has to offer. It's also just as good reheated up in a pan with a smidgen of water / vinegar sauce the next day or two.