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Favorite meats at classic BBQ places?

I'm going to take my son on a BBQ trip in January around Austin. Here's where we'll probably go. My question is what is your favorite thing at each of the following:

Louie Muellers
Southside Market
Smitty's, Blacks, Kreuz
City Market
Cooper's

I'll probably miss Snow's since I think they're only open Sat morning and we won't be there on a Sat. Also maybe we'll hit LA BBQ as the line at Franklin's sounds a bit much for our short trip.

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  1. Mueller's beef rib
    Southside brisket and sausage
    Smitt's pork ribs and sausage. Also prime rib
    Kruez, nothing lesser of the three good Lockhart places
    City Market, had horrible bbq that was like shoe leather. We couldn't finish our brisket and I have no idea why people love the place.
    Cooper's, Prime rib, brisket and Rib eye steaks on the weekend. Their sides are also pretty good.

    Honestly you can skip all those places and just go to La BBQ. I guarantee you it w none of them are better than LA BBQ. I don't think La BBQ does prime rib or have a wide range of sausage but what they do have is excellent. Save your time and spend it eating mexican or other food.

    1. the line at LA is becoming quite its own little event...
      I dont understand the BBQ tour thing as I cant really see the difference in the the places as some people do who treat it like a wine tour... If I was on a short trip I honestly would hit one good bbq and eat some of other great food trucks and one nice high end..

      5 Replies
      1. re: girloftheworld

        The last report I read was that the line was at max an hour. That's the longest I ever spent in line and that was during the lunch rush. I did the BBQ tour thing and honestly I believe there is no reason to go anywhere but La BBQ now.

        1. re: Rptrane

          max hour? well gee that isnt bad at all... the urban legend had it sounding worse when last I was at Fishy Bizzness..and the line was snaking around the whole food trailer park....

        2. re: girloftheworld

          My husband was at La BBQ on Friday. Got there at 10 am. Took 2 hours to get through the line. No beef rib or sausage left by the time they got served. He didn't enjoy the meal because it was so flipping hot and he was miserable.

          1. re: suburban_mom

            It is/was labor day weekend. I imagine a lot of people were buying for parties and bbqs.. Extra busy around Christmas too. Regarding temperature it is a trailer, there is no indoor seating. I take my que and run to ac. It keeps pretty well.

            1. re: Rptrane

              It was no surprise that it was a trailer. We've had their BBQ multiple times. This was the first time with a 2 hour wait. We don't live in Austin so the only air-conditioned option for eating is a hotel room. In the past, there was something special about eating the bbq on the picnic tables under the "tents" at the original location. This time it was a bad combo of extra long wait and heat.

        3. I've never had bad BBQ City Market and the ribs are the best I've ever had. I'm sure I'll get some back up on this.

          6 Replies
          1. re: James Cristinian

            Weeee all know by now.. I am not exactallllly a BBq girl. I love the stuff.. truly I do but I tend to lack the "passion" over it that other do.. Good BBQ is good BBQ ..from a backyard or waited for in line for five hours... it makes no difference. However, Micklethwait Meats had THE BEST RIBS I ever ate.

            1. re: girloftheworld

              Have you had the ribs at Louie Mueller, Franklin's or La BBQ? If you haven't then you may not have had the best.

              1. re: Rptrane

                I have not had LAs.... do you think they will beat Micklethwait? Muellers were a bit on the dry side when had them and they were beef not pork so is it a fair comparison? Franklins were..ok...maybe it was it suffered in comparison to the brisket but I reallllly cant recall the ribs being special.

                1. re: girloftheworld

                  I think they are worth trying. I think they are some of the best. I've never had a dry beef rib at Louie. John's were a bit dry the last time I had it.

                  1. re: Rptrane

                    There are two Mullers( Duuuh) I think we were at Johns..
                    I will try LA- ribs.. I liked everything else we had there( looks around before she utters the blasphemous) as well as Franklin's

                    1. re: girloftheworld

                      Louie Mueller is in Taylor and kinda begot the whole Austin BBQ revolution.
                      John's part of the family, had a restaurant that Franklin worked at. Franklin started his own truck/pit after it closed. I believe the current La BBQ guy worked for both Franklin and later for John after he started up again. Stiles Switch pit guy used to work in Taylor too.
                      Here's a more detailed account:
                      http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/mea...

                      I think on some level it has to ruffle the original Taylor crew that other people are getting acclaim for their style. But I remember when I used to visit them that they had no interest in expansion to Austin. I imagine now they realize how much money they were leaving on the table.

          2. My favorites by offering:

            pork ribs: franklin's, brown's barbecue trailer (tie), a distant second is Smitty's.
            beef ribs: La BBQ, Stiles Switch
            beef sausage: John Mueller Meat Co., Southside Market in Elgin
            brisket: Franklin, La BBQ, Black's
            Prime Rib: Smitty's
            Turkey: La BBQ - unbelievably moist and good for a meat I usually could care less about.

            6 Replies
            1. re: slowcoooked

              "Southside Market in Elgin"yaaaa but you can buy these at HEB and grill them up your self in a park wrap in a tortilla and take a dip in the creek.

              1. re: girloftheworld

                The short links are not nearly as good as the original long sausages cooked in store. Not at all.

                1. re: Karen West

                  and also, grilling ain't smoking. but it's hard to get that smoker next to the creek.

              2. re: slowcoooked

                slowcooked - I never ordered turkey at and BBQ restaurant for years and years. Chicken was always my go-to when I knew that the brisket and ribs were going to be terrible (example, Green Mesquite and that other BBQ Beer place on Barton Spgs). If one is ever forced to go to Salt Lick, they do have some pretty good, smoky, moist turkey. I have had turkey three times.

                1. re: rudeboy

                  yeah RB, I got it on a whim at La BBQ before they moved, and have gotten it again each time since. It's great every time. I've not had Salt Lick's yet. Re: the chicken, that's what I do at Stubb's. I think a meal there of a smoked dark meat chicken, fried okra, and serrano spinach is very satisfying.

                  1. re: rudeboy

                    turkey does always seem kinda boring to me in comparison with the other bbq offerings, especially if the skin is good and tasty on the chicken.