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Curly's Carolina Brick and Mortar in Round Rock

Not to ignore a 2012 "pulled pork" thread where Jay's trailer was mentioned, but I think he and his partner deserve a non-buried report now that they've set up shop as of Nov. 14th downtown in round rock. Jay hails from NC where they know pork like Texas knows beef, and his pulled pork and pork ribs that we had yesterday were smokey, moist, and tender. Better pulled pork than anywhere else in Texas that I've tried - and the vinegar sauce is right on, if not too light on the red pepper flakes. A few drops of Texas Pete fixed that. The standout surprise was the homemade fried okra. Best I've ever had - really nicely seasoned and light breading. Great space - execution will improve as they continue to fix the kinks (like whipping up some tea, getting a soda fountain, and ice). Didn't try the brisket, but it looked great.

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  1. thanks for the update, slowcooked! i've been following the opening on facebook, but haven't been able to make it over yet. looking forward to trying the beef and pork offerings.

    1. The brisket we had Saturday at this place was really good. Very moist, great taste.

      The cucumber salad side was very refreshing, and goes very well with the various meats.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rajat

        How did they make the cucumber salad?

      2. I have now gone several times to Curly's Carolina, and my experience there has gotten better and better. While barbecue is undoubtedly the reason I go there, the sides really elevate the experience. Today we had the Wasabi Cole Slaw, Honey Ginger Carrots and Carolina Texas Caviar (a spicy bean salad that was really delicious). At other times we've had the Cucumber salad, and it's very good indeed. These sides are remarkably refreshing and really complement the meat.

        As for the meat, we love the brisket. The ribs are good, and the pulled pork is also another favorite. They make a few other dishes like quesadillas, etc. but we haven't tried them. We go for barbecue and haven't been disappointed yet.

        I really recommend this place. Starting a day or two ago, they are now open for dinner. They are expanding into the neighboring space, and then expect to be open for more days of the week.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rajat

          I've always wondered why BBQ places do not have more interesting sides. Thanks guys for letting us know. I get tired of pinto beans and potato salad when I have a boatload of meat!

          1. re: rajat

            rajat, i finally got to try this place on black friday. got 1/4 pound each of brisket and pork. the sauces are great; one is very clovey. also got the wasabi cole slaw. as tasty as it was, i was disappointed to find chunks of ramen noodles in the slaw, after asking what the ingredients were, as i'm allergic to wheat. other than that, the meat is great and i will definitely be back.

          2. Went there recently and I have a positive report. I Had the Sam Bass Shootout. The sandwich was properly sauced and not a total mess. The bread was quality. The sandwich is a mashup of sausage, brisket and bacon. The brisket is not the melt in your mouth product you get at the top tier BBQ in the area but it was fine. It wasn't dry and it had good smoke.I think imperfect brisket is best eaten in sandwich form, it hides all the flaws. The sides, hatch cornbread and fried green tomatoes, were solid and I would gladly eat again.
            The only thing I had that wouldn't eat again was the banana pudding. The bananas unripe and hard and the cookies hadn't been properly deconstructed by the pudding. I do not like crunchy banana pudding.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Rptrane

              the okra is the best I've ever had. next time...

              1. re: slowcoooked

                My GF had a pulled pork sandwich and fried okra. I tasted hers and it pretty good, but I'm not much of an okra fan.

                1. re: Rptrane

                  I have to edit my prior review. I held the banana pudding for a day and it was okay, not great. The bananas needed to age and the cookies needed to soak up pudding. I think they must be making them to order or earlier that day.

            2. really like the meat here but wish they'd add a few sides, even if it's just a fresh green salad. there's usually 1 i can eat, which i don't care for (the chipotle beans).

              the first week they opened, the staff did not tell me there were dry ramen noodles in the wasabi slaw despite me asking for the ingredients, and i got gluten poisoning from it.

              ever since, i'm side-shy there.

              EDIT: to give an idea of what i'd love to see, green mesquite and johnny t's has AMAZING green beans. each incorporates ingredients already on hand like bbq debris and rub seasoning.

              7 Replies
              1. re: dinaofdoom

                off topic, but since you mentioned it Dinaofdoom, we did Garbo's last night and they'll throw a heap of lobster on their very good salads. this low carb-er was in heaven. not sure if you've added that dish to you GF list, but I would bet it's "clean", and it's certainly light.

                1. re: slowcoooked

                  so glad you mentioned that slowcooked! i also try to keep it low carb and this new england girl misses her summer lobstah rolls.

                  to bring it back to curly's, man i wish i could eat that corn bread. every time i go with someone they get some and it looks so good, with the brown griddle marks.

                  1. re: dinaofdoom

                    At first thought. I thought it was hot water cornbread. Basically pan fried cornbread my mom used to make. God I loved that stuff.

                      1. re: rudeboy


                        what part?

                        we used to spend time all over-- point sebago, ogunquit, kittery

                        1. re: dinaofdoom

                          I'm at a conference in Belfast. My first time here.....the weather is awesome. Hope to explore later this week.

                  2. Went today for Sunday lunch. We sampled the brisket, sausage, pork ribs, and pulled pork (as well as wasabi slaw and friend green tomatoes).

                    I thought the best thing was the brisket though my dining companion was not as impressed, mine was as good as Stiles Switch on a decent day. Good salty, smokey crust and tender meat. The sausage was pretty good with a Elgin-style snap to the casing. The pork rib was typical Texas style (chewy not melty) and was not bad--the ones at Slab are way better. The pulled pork was very disappointing. It came out lukewarm and didn't do it for me. I haven't eaten in Lexington NC in years, but what we had today doesn't hold a candle to my memories. I've heard better pulled pork at the downtown Whole Foods and LA barbecue.

                    Wasabi slaw was interesting and the fried tomatoes were pretty good--relatively small servings of each.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Carter B.

                      Like I said the brisket was this close to being dry. But with the sauce it was saved. If you go back I definitely recommend a sandwich. Their bread was excellent.

                    2. Per their facebook page they are closing this Sunday. No details given as to why. It's a shame but restaurants are a ton of work. Only got there the one time but definitely would have been back.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Rptrane

                        just came in to post the same thing. sounds financial. too bad. i really liked their meat, and it was so nice to have a place like this in downtown RR. they did a LOT of work to that space, too, to open it up with more seats next door and out back.

                        1. re: dinaofdoom

                          I kinda wish these places would let their fans know they are in trouble before closing. People might make more of an effort to come out. There are alot of good places to eat in Austin. Sometimes I don't make it back around to a place quickly without a concrete reason.

                          1. re: Rptrane

                            I agree Rptrane, I would have tried harder. I liked those dudes 'cue from the time they started on 29th in the trailer. Having had my fair share of eastern NC style, it was the only thing close in town. shucks.

                        2. re: Rptrane

                          That is a shame. Hopefully they're just moving locations.

                          1. re: jwynne2000

                            Not from the post he made. Tears aren't needed if you are just moving.

                            1. re: Rptrane

                              yeah, that is why i thought maybe it was financial.