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Apr 18, 2013 08:00 PM

BBQ in downtown area for 20 people on a Saturday night

I will be in down town Austin next Saturday with a group of 18-20 late 20s early 30s, and I am trying to find a place to eat BBQ in the area (preferably walkable from the La Quinta capital). I would like to be able to make a reservation and we won't be eating until like 9pm. Trying to avoid Stubbs and Lamberts. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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  1. Pretty limited based on your requirements. Scholtz might work. They have a nice beer garden if the weather cooperates. Call ahead and reserve a spot ahead of time and if you're willing to order for a group get them to just have a whole brisket held back so it won't be as dry and a couple of rib racks and some sausage. But don't expect much other than a nice time.

    11 Replies
    1. re: ftf

      Thanks! Yeah, unfortunately, we have some pretty tight parameters to deal with, so this definitely helps! Any idea if Sam's BBQ is walking distance and any thoughts on the place?

      1. re: SmashleyNYC

        I doubt your crew would like Sam's. It's not walking distance but you could do Live Oak, but it's on the East side. Their stuff is okay. Stiles Switch is the best sit down option but it's not downtown. Maybe Iron Works?

      2. re: ftf

        Unfortunately, Blue Ribbon, Stiles Switch, Live Oak and Iron Works all close by 8 or 9 PM.
        As ftf mentioned, Schotlz's Beer garden is within walking distance and a great place for pitchers of beer but the BBQ is just so-so. Sam's might have a problem with such a large group - they can move a little slow.
        Places just outside of walking distance that would be open this late are:
        Near UT, you have great options in Ruby's BBQ or Freedmen's Bar.
        Green Mesquite on Barton Springs Rd is a good option open late, and the Blue Ox BBQ trailer in the back of Buzz Mill coffee mentioned by Rptran can be fun.
        Or just say "screw it" and walk over and get drunk at the Texas Chili Parlor.

        1. re: Alan Sudo

          Yeah, I think most of the aforementioned places told me they closed at 9. I called Sams and they said they were fine with our group size, I just wasn't sure where it was. Do you think it would be a reasonable cab ride to green mesquite, blue ox or rubys from where we are staying? Worth the cab ride compared to Scholz? We are NYers so pretty used to the whole cab thing, and the group is pretty set on getting some good bbq, be it from a truck, a fancy resto or someone's mama, but I know it's tough since we can't come until so late.

          1. re: SmashleyNYC

            Green Mesquite is better than Scholz. They have a lovely back patio and schooners of Shiner beer. I don't know how late the music goes, but they have music at night out there as well.

            Best...wings...ever. Chicken fried chicken is good, as well as the fried okra. Slaw is acceptable. Problem is by that late at night bbq places are mostly not open, and if open, sold out of the best cuts or most likely pretty dried out.

            I would say this is a long walk (think Central Park) or a short cab ride.

            1. re: amysuehere

              I'd pick ruBy's over GM or Scholz's for food only. Isn't Scholz's owned by Green Mesquite? Though for out of towners the outside patio at GM would be nice. If you're going to BartonnSprings for GM, you could do Shady Grove, unless BBQ is on your must do list.
              A word of warning about Sam's. I've never eaten there, so the food may be worth it, but i'd be hesitant to take out-of-towners there. It's in a kind of sketchy area.

              1. re: TroyTempest

                My problem with Ruby's is ambiance is awful and food is almost the same. Still am voting for GM or S. S doesn't have the bbq items that GM has.

                Truthfully, at the time you're planning on going, bbq just isn't going to be noteworthy and y'all are going to be disappointed. I'm picking mood, then quality for the hour you're going. BBQ is a morning/early afternoon event here.

                However, I have heard that Live Oak is the only place that serves "late night" bbq and I have never had their specials, as I arrive too early (before 2 pm). It's a thought.

              2. re: amysuehere

                Green Mesquite and Scholz are owned by the same folks. Their bbq menu is basically the same so I assume you haven't been there since they combined a few years back. Scholz has Green Mesquite wings etc.

                1. re: amysuehere

                  Doesn't Green Mesquite cook all the BBQ for Scholz?

                2. re: SmashleyNYC

                  I've been to Iron Works past 9:pm, I could have sworn. Oh well.

                  You can pretty much forget getting a cab back into town at 10:30PM on a Saturday night. But the #3 bus would take you from Green Mesquite close to your hotel and runs until probably 11:30 or 12:00am. $12 cab ride to Green Mesquite. I would not go to Sam's on a Saturday night with 20 people.


            2. That leaves Iron Works, which is pretty good but I haven't been there for a while. They can support groups of 20 at 9:00pm (usually).

              I did see a new BBQ restaurant at 4th or 5th and Brazos but I don't know anything about it (including it's name). In the Frost building, I believe. Might have formerly been a Which Which.


              2 Replies
              1. re: sqwertz

                I think you are talking about the BLue Ribbon place? It's not that good and really almost a fast-food place. Not someplace you'd take out of towners to make an impression. What about that Blue Ox Pancake place? I have no experience with them but the notices have been decent.

                1. re: Rptrane

                  Yeah, that looks like it according to Google street view. The Google+ reviews are a little suspicious - not sure if that's common for Google+ reviews or not. I might try them for breakfast tacos if I'm around there that time of day as anything's better than Taco Shack.

                  I didn't realize it had been there so long as I try and stay away from downtown (used to spend too much time down there).

              2. Thanks everyone! I kind of figured about SAMs. Has anyone been to Mack's? (Formerly Danny's). They are open until 2:30am and seems like the reviews are pretty stellar.

                3 Replies
                1. re: SmashleyNYC

                  Just do Live Oak it's serviceable bbq, but nothing special.It' s your best bet at that hour and the East Side is a nice scene. If the que fails you can go to Via 313 for pizza or any of the other cool places.

                  1. re: Rptrane

                    Live Oak used to be open late, but these days they close at 8PM.

                    1. re: Rptrane

                      And you can take the tram to Live Oak and save yourself the cab cost. It's a very short walk from both the hotel to the station and the station up there to Live Oak.

                  2. So, how about a recap? where did you end up going and how was it?