My wife and I will be spending 2 nites, one day in Austin. Badly need a fix of good Texas BBQ, heard about Cooper's, any other suggestions? Also, she wants catfish and hush puppies. For dinner what are the not to be missed restaurants, only got two nites so would like to chow down like a good chowhound. Thanks, y'all
For BBQ in Austin, it's gotta be John Mueller on Manor Road. For catfish, Dot's, the soul food cafeteria up north on Orchid Lane. Both are lunch places.
Cooper's is old style "cowboy" BBQ. And unless there's a new one in Austin with which I'm not familiar, I'd advise against it. The original one is in Llano, which is a fairly good drive from Austin, and the food can be uneven -- not to mention nonexistant. I have several times driven out there to discover that the particular item for which I have come is all sold out. Also, because of the crowds (I'm told), they have taken to rushing the cooking of their meats, and sometimes the quality isn't what it was in the past.
I'd suggest that rather than consider Cooper's, you drive the half-hour or so south to Lockhart. Go to Smitty's and tour the building. It's like the holy temple of BBQ. The original Kreuz Meat Market was founded there back in 1900, and that building fairly reeks of the history of smoke in Texas. Due to a family flap a few years back, the brother that owned the Kruez name and business built a large building on the edge of town and moved into it, while the sister that owned the original building went into the BBQ business for herself in the old building. The happy result? More BBQ!
But I'd advise against driving to Cooper's if you're only going to be staying a short time in Austin. Go to Lockhart. Eat brisket at Black's. Tour Smitty's. Buy some meats (brisket, pork, sausage, etc.) from Smitty's, Black's, and the new Kreuz. You can have it packaged to travel, and you can take some home with you. It's even great as thank-you gifts for the neighbors back home that fed your dog, picked up your mail and paper, and watered your plants.
And the suggestion about Dot's is spot on. Go to Dot's for soul cooking at its best. Dot's is only open for lunch most days, but on Friday night, it's 'all you can eat catfish.'
Went to Cooper's (in Llano) today. It's an hour drive from Austin and NOT worth it anymore. The meats are all overpriced and the quality is simply inferior to any of the three BBQ stores in Lockhart. ChrissieH is right on, go to Smitty's and walk around the old place and have some sausage and a slice of prime rib if available. Then go two blocks to Black's BBQ for the absolute best brisket anywhere and a few sausage rings to go. If you are taking the meat "to-go", buy a whole uncut brisket (4-5 pounders), it will travel very well in a cooler.
Yes, go to Lockhart if you can. In Austin:
I tried Meuller's in Austin this weekend for the first time. I had heard that it was inconsistent, so I went at about noon on Saturday.
I was quite impressed. I had the fat brisket and some pork ribs. They both had the same nice, dry rub, and the brisket has a good smoke ring, and a nice medium flavor of smoke. You have to walk through a fake screen door and suffer the purposely abrupt service, but it's worth it.
I had baby back ribs at Ruby's near campus on Sunday, and they were quite good also. I like the ribs at Artz on S Lamar the best, and they have bluegrass.
I need to go back to World's Finest on Burnet Rd to check on the status of their brisket. Last time I had it, it was great. They were just written up as one of Tx Monthly's top 10, if that means anything. I'll report back.
Oh, and beware, lot's of places are closed on Sunday. Ruby's and Artz are open.
Anybody been to Iron Works lately? I've never been there.