Messing with Texas

I’m heading out to Austin, Texas for a few fun days, checking out some auto racing and seeing if it’s possible to overdose on brisket.

I will have my trusty lap top on hand, so posting will be a thing, albeit somewhat sporadic.

As always, behave while I’m gone, you scamps.


Filed under GTP Stuff

102 responses to “Messing with Texas

  1. Spike

    Try Rudy’s BBQ..

  2. Driftwood, TX, The Salt Lick BBQ.

  3. 3rdandGrantham

    I’ll go ahead and post this here given it might not make it to the blog with SB heading out of town. Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky had to turn down a waffle iron she was given as a bit of a gag gift on the Ellen show yesterday, as it would be a violation of NCAA rules and thus would make her ineligible to compete at Stanford. Live on the air she was basically like, “gee, thanks…but I can’t accept this.”

    Folks, you just can’t make this stuff up…

  4. stoopnagle

    Franklin’s is apparently the place these days. As a Porsche driver, I suppose you could afford a place-holder (if they still allow that sort of thing).

  5. Russ

    COTA? If so, let us know how it is. I’ve been meaning go go over there for a while now. Honk and wave on your way through Houston.

  6. “In Texas, they barbeque beef, which isn’t barbecue at all.”

    Lewis Grizzard

    • Go to Hut’s on 6th and get the Longhorn cheeseburger and a cold beer. I think it’s a $16 cheeseburger but both times I had one it was worth every penny.

    • 3rdandGrantham

      Well at least they actually use the low and slow bbq method if cooking, unlike other so-called popular joints like Rendezvous in Memphis, which grills their ribs at 350 for 2 hours. That ain’t bbq, yet they still proclaim as such to ignorant tourists.

      • The Dawg abides

        They don’t claim it to be BBQ. They distinctly call them charcoal grilled ribs. Different, but still very good. It should be on everybody’s rib joint bucket list.

        • 3rdandGrantham

          On their website and in various videos they refer to themselves as a Memphis bbq restaurant. I’ve eaten there twice and both times I came away very unimpressed with their ribs.

      • ….which grills their ribs at 350 for 2 hours. That ain’t bbq…

        Them’s fighting words, sir. I’ve been turbo methoding ribs / brisket / pork on my Big Green Egg for years and it turns out just as good and flavorful as anything that I used to spend 12+ hours doing. It’s more a convenience factor than anything else for me. I actually like to sleep at night.🙂

        • 3rdandGrantham

          The universally accepted definition of bbq is meat that is done slowly over low, indirect heat, with the food flavored by the smoking process.

          Grilling ribs direct at 350 as mentioned is not bbq…that is grilling. Just because you might find it as appetizing doesn’t conveniently change the definition (BTW, I too occasionally do turbo butts, but always low/slow ribs as they are typically done in 5-6 hours).

        • DawgPhan

          can confirm. Hot and fast is still bbq.

          it also wins a lot of bbq contests these days.

    • Otto

      This post is Grit Tree approved.

  7. Argondawg

    I tried to OD on brisket when I lived in McKinney and that turned out …..fantastic.

  8. RandallPinkFloyd

    Freedmen’s. It’s a little off the beaten path. But you can’t beat the Holy Trinity Plate with a couple of Lone Stars to wash it down.

  9. KershDawg

    Have fun! I have long been a fan of the now United Sports Car series and the new FIA WEC. Great track to go enjoy as well!

  10. paul

    I am of the opinion that it’s impossible to overdose on any sort of BBQ. Though I do prefer dead pig, brisket is good stuff too.

    • 3rdandGrantham

      As I’m constantly having to remind my yankee relatives, “bbq”is a noun, not a verb. You eat bbq, not have one.

      Everything I hear someone say, ‘hey, we’re having a bbq!’ (all while preparing burgers and dogs for a gas grill), my jaw tightens and I immediately grab a drink to calm myself down.

      • RandallPinkFloyd

        You and Andy Staples, both. Well, make that three of us. Drives me nuts. I have to correct my wife on it every now and then.

      • Jack Klompus

        Unfortunately, my dad cooks on a bbq.

        • 3rdandGrantham

          Sorry to hear that. As a well known bbqer once said, cooking on a gas grill is akin to cooking over a bunch if Bic lighters.

          If you think about it, he’s absolutely right.

          • Charlottedawg

            I’m going to have to defend my gas grill. It’s much faster set up (food prep to plate time) when I want a fast grilled meal like on a weeknight and it’s also extra cooking real estate.

            I’m saying this as someone who uses his Weber one touch and chimney starter at least once a week for everything from grilling mussels and steak over a hot lump charcoal fire to pulled pork, ribs, and brisket low and slow. Aka a committed charcoal guy.

            • PTC DAWG

              My chimney heats up quick….love my one touch too. All charcoal for me. 3-4 times a week.,

            • 3rdandGrantham

              I’ve owned a BGE for about 12 years and have used my handy blow torch as a starter. I also have a weber gas grill as well for side items, etc. Using my torch, I honestly can heat my egg up to, say, 400 faster than I can my weber — about 10 min for the egg and 12-15 for my weber.

              • Charlottedawg

                I don’t dispute that a blow touch could get an egg up to 400 degrees faster than a gas grill heats up but in terms of total set up time it still takes longer. 1) u have to hold said blow torch for ten minutes while on a gas grill u can simply push a button and start prepping your food. 2) if you cook frequently on your charcoal grill I’d imagine u extinguish a fire by closing down the vents which also saves on charcoal. I’ve found it’s usually a best practice to stir the old charcoal and shake out the previous cooks ashes especially on an egg where the charcoal grate holes are small and cleaning out the ashes leads to a hotter faster cleaner fire. So once you add in the fact that you have to round up your blow torch, clean out your egg and get it set up, light the charcoal, then prep the food a gas grill will be up and ready with the food prepped. On a weekend i don’t care about spending the 10 extra minutes to set up my chimney and grill. On a weeknight it’s much quicker to push a button on my gas grill, immediately prep my food and have the grill ready to go when the food is. Cuz when I’m fungry or have other chores i gotta get to on the weeknights those extra 10-15 minutes are a long time. Rant over

                • 3rdandGrantham

                  Cool, I hear ya. A few things that has helped me. First, get a bag of Fogo lump charcoal ( Its amazing stuff and the chunks are huge. God forbid you use that crap that Publix or Home Depot sells. I don’t recommend stirring charcoal before restarting (IMO its not a best practice at all and not needed), and thus I simply hold the torch for 25-30 seconds, then come back 8-10 min later.

                  I can do 2-3 cooks before needing to clean/reload, which is what I do on weekends. Even then we’re only talking a few minutes here and there. Again, for me personally, cooking on the BGE during the week is, at worst, equal in time/prep than cooking on my gas grill; typically a few minutes less.

                  • First, get a bag of Fogo lump charcoal ( Its amazing stuff and the chunks are huge.

                    I’ve heard good stuff about Fogo. My personal favorite is Rockwood which is made in Missouri. It’s a quality hardwood charcoal that isn’t overly smokey on its own (some like that, I prefer to add my own smoke), lights quickly, and burns cleanly. I can usually find it at my local Ace Hardware, but there are online outlets that will ship to you as well.

      • Charlottedawg

        Living in the northeast i literally have yet to find a bbq place better than my backyard. Which was definitely not the case in Georgia or north Carolina. I have to bite my tongue when my Yankee friends rave about a new bbq place and my thought is “tried ’em, mediocre, but u guys wouldn’t know because ALL the bbq restaurants up here suck”

        • The Dawg abides

          Haven’t you heard? Trendy Brooklyn hipster millinials have perfected BBQ. Just like they have beer, bourbon, and bluegrass.

      • stoopnagle

        That’s called “grilling” at my house.

    • DB

      Or try this method from a Texas guy 7-8 hours including rest time(rest time is key).

  11. Tommy

    Senator, not sure if you can see my email in your WP dashboard, but if so and your schedule permits, drop me a note and maybe we can grab a beer and some ‘cue.

    Regarding the latter: Anyone who refers you to Rudy’s, Salt Lick or County Line is trying to keep you away from the edible stuff. Franklin’s is deservedly well-known, but the 2-3-hour wait may not be your thing. I have heard about people who were willing to settle for whatever’s left showing up at 1 and getting seated immediately.

    Close to equally good options with less of a wait are La Barbecue (run by the granddaughter of Louie Mueller, BBQ royalty in nearby Taylor) and Micklethwait’s. Both are on the East Side and are run out of trailers. The best indoor options (other than Franklin’s) are Stiles Switch on North Lamar and either Black’s (also north) or Terry Black’s (just south of downtown on Barton Springs). Both Blacks are descendants of another line of Central Texas BBQ royalty in Lockhart.

    Btw, Grizzard should’ve gotten out more. I’ve lived here 13 years and never been to a place that didn’t have, at the very least, pork loin ribs. Usually there’s also pulled pork and/or pork chops. And for those too smugly puritanical to enjoy beef that’s been smoked low and slow over post oak for 12+ hours, suit yourself – more for the rest of us.

    • Tommy

      Damn, Freedman’s! How’d I forget? Another great indoor option, with the added benefit of great craft cocktails.

      • RandallPinkFloyd

        Freedmen’s is the tits. I agree with your point about beef. When I find a place in the south that actually knows what they’re doing with brisket, I’m all over it.

      • Russ

        “Craft” cocktails and BBQ? That’s so Austin.😉

        • Yep. The word craft and BBQ should not be intermingled. I’m really beginning to hate that word. Great BBQ is an art form. Everything cooked, brewed, distilled, or mixed is basically crafted by definition. Making the word trendy and putting it in front of something doesn’t make it better.

          • Tommy

            I get how Austin that is, and, again, if you want to turn your nose up at it, more for the rest of us.

            I’m pretty low on the trendy scale, at least by Austin standards, but, having been to a few of these craft cocktail bars for work holiday parties and such, I will posit that any place that makes its own tonic water, infuses its own gin, etc., and employs bartenders who can mix pre-Depression Era cocktails has a couple legs up on your standard beer-and-a-sidecar dive when it comes to appropriating the ‘craft’ moniker.

            Not saying Freedman’s goes to those extremes, but a well-made cocktail is hardly detrimental to something like this:

            Personally, I prefer brewers to mixologists. Senator, let me know if need recs along those lines — Adelbert’s, Jester King, Austin Beerworks, etc. do fabulous work.

    • I second the La Barbeque reco. Best I have ever had.

    • AusDawg85

      Tommy nailed it, but the really big point has been missed here…where are you going to catch the Mizzou game, especially with so many other games going on at the same time? There is a Bulldawg Club watch party in Austin but in any sports bar our game will be feeding into the pre-game Longhorns frenzy for their west coast showdown with Cal. Choose wisely.

      With the COTA crowd in town, if you’re thinking of any of the top downtown restaurants while you’re here, you’d better be making reservations. Let me know if you want a list of non-bbq recommendations, because honestly…they only do cow right here, which ain’t bbq. I’ve yet to find anywhere that does pig justice. Grizzard was right.

      P.S. Our regular Sunday morning t-time is 9:00 and we’re only 20 minutes from COTA.

      P.P.S. Thunderstorms possible…be prepared for mud in the parking lots but you’ll probably be taking one of the shuttles from downtown.

      • Otto

        The race is a 6 hour enduro run Saturday afternoon into night. The dusk and night is the best time to be at the race. I hope he sets the DVR and watches the game when he get back.

      • Bulldog in Longhorn country

        The Tavern on Lamar reserves the entire upstairs for Dawg fans on game days. Great spot to watch the game although not the best food in town. For y’all who have not found good pork in Austin, try Kerlin’s – a trailer on Cesar Chavez. Strong brisket, great pork ribs and usually no line. I’m from Memphis and like my smoked pig. Otherwise, I concur with up votes for LA BBQ and Freedmans. I think the Salt Lick is a great experience, but it’s a little like the Rendezvous in Memphis – more atmosphere than quality.

    • This exactly. Ignore all other recs. Would add Louie Muellers in Taylor (brisket and beefrib) and City Market in Luling but likely not worth drive if youre on tight schedule.

      Only go to Salt Lick if youre wanting the vyob experience but food is far inferior to these other recs.

    • stoopnagle

      All y’all need to write the above down and keep it for your next trip to Austin.

  12. Herschel Talker

    I’m a Southern man from Georgia who loves southern BBQ. I’ve also been to St. Louis, Memphis, and Kansas City. None of that comes close to Texas BBQ. Enjoy!

  13. Dolly Llama

    You had a chance to ban that troll before you left, didn’t you, Senator? You know how shit can get when you’re away.

  14. VoxDawg

    I fulfilled a lifelong dream of Mrs. Vox’s 4 years ago when I bought her an XL BGE for her birthday. As our kung fu has progressed, there are fewer and fewer places in the ATL where it’s acceptable to eat BBQ that we don’t do ourselves. It’s a blessing and a curse, for convenience’s sake. I had to send the brisket from Williamson Bros. back because they cut it with the grain. At this point, I’d put my own brisket up against anyone’s this side of the Texas state line. Twistification can attest to this.

    • VoxDawg

      I still want to check out Fat Matt’s and Fox Bros., here in town. They’re on the list, and I’m always willing to entertain more. I’ve only been through Texas a couple of times, but I’m bookmarking this thread for the references, all the same.

      • Fox Bros is legit. Fatt Matt’s, not so much. I used to really like it, but my BBQ expectations have since been raised.
        Heirloom Market is the only other place in ATL that I really like (aside from my backyard).

        • Fox Bros for brisket for sure. Heirloom Market is also very good. As I mentioned upthread, once 4 Rivers opens next year, they should be at the top of the list as well. I also agree with LamontSanford on Swallow in the Hollow up in Roswell. I’m not a huge fan of Fat Matt’s.

          Exciting to see so many fellow Eggheads on this board.

          • stoopnagle

            See, and I just didn’t get it at Fox Bros. Not enough fat or something. I’m willing to try again for sure.

          • just sayin

            Heirloom is strong. Pork sandwich, brisket and B stew are deadly. Whole fried okra not to be missed.

            • I really like their Korean pork sandwich. That, and the Fox Bros. “burger” are my two favorite non-traditional spins on BBQ in ATL. Can’t beat that chopped brisket with pimento cheese and jalapeno mayo. Both those places also have kick-ass smoked wings.

      • LamontSanford

        I like ‘Cue and Swallow in the Hollow way better than Williamson Bros. Fatt Matts was ok…I prefer Williamson bros to that. I am looking forward to trying Fox Bros.

      • PTC DAWG

        Fox has some good Que

  15. hassan

    With BBQ, everyone has an opinion on what they think is “the best”, I’ll make no such claim. BBQ is like bourbon for me. There are many good ones that deserve a try, and at best all you can do is narrow down the list to the top offerings that rotate depending on your mood.

    Outside of some quality suggestions already mentioned above, I would submit that Iron Works is definitely worth a visit.

  16. Will Trane

    Good deal brother.
    Be safe, but have a hell of a good time.
    Go ahead and indulge in all forms of food, liquor, and “you can fill in this part”.

  17. illini84

    Try White Tiger in Athens for Q, you won’t be sorry.


    Don’t forget to remind all those teasips in Austin what time it will ALWAYS be in Texas!!! 10 to 9 baby! GATA JYD!!!!

    • 86BONE

      Ain’t heard that one, ever, from an Aiken man. Lastinger reminded me of his score when I moved out to Houston, and I have worn that one out!
      BBQ Joints, in no particular order, in Texas that are must tries:
      City Market
      Salt Lick
      Those are at the top of the heap, however, NO ONE in TX cooks hash, or anything close to Brunswick Stew. Rudy’s has a decent Green Chili Stew, but it ain’t hash!
      Enjoy your stay Senator, Austin has really changed since I moved to Houston 5 years ago. Stay off 6th street and Uber everywhere you go, traffic is a damn nightmare!
      Oh, and please remind everyone you see what time it is….10 to 9, By GOD!!


        Yeah surrounded by chickens and pussycats here in Aiken! Lastinger scoring in the Cotton Bowl to beat those arrogant teasips was one of my favorite Dawg moments. The thought of losing to us NEVER crossed their minds and leaving the Cotton Bowl that afternoon was like a magic carpet ride!!! GATA JYD!!!

      • Henry wyche

        ’86 – Yep. 5 years in the oil boom will change a landscape more than anything. I’m here I Houston and will second Killen’s south of town (and Gatlin’s in the north quarter while we’re all giving rec’s.)
        And ’86, I WOULD appreciate hearing where to watch a UGA game here inside the 610 loop….
        Those talking about Austin, I’ll second all that, the bbq, the beer, taking Uber’s, Rainey over 6th, and embracing the craft movement. Austin’s not apologizing for anything Athens does, and I for one am proud enough of my A/CC heritage to embrace it on equal footing. Senator, have a great trip to the Lone Star, brother!

        • 86BONE

          Henry I hate to tell you, but 5 years inside the loop and I have no favorite spot, beside polishing my own couch that is! I have caught a couple UGA games at Little Woodrow’s midtown….fun joint if you can stand the loud 30 something’s!
          If I had my new townhouse buddy I would invite you over. I will finally have a spot for a nice ceramic smoker and we could do some ribs before the game! My lady has turned into quite the Dawg Fan and she is fun.
          I often have lunch at Johnny’s place on Kirby….that’s the “original Carrabbas”…look me up and I will buy you lunch soon.

  19. 3rdandGrantham

    By the way, I can’t believe we’ve had a “Messing with Texas” entry with 75 responses, and nobody has asked yet what time is it in Texas and/or mentioned 10-9. Damn.

  20. Dawg in Austin

    First of all, no one on here actually lives in Austin, and likely hasn’t hit every BBQ joint in town. Salt Lick is decent, Franklin’s takes waaaay too long (sorry, but no food is worth waiting 5 hours for) and there are many others equal to it anyway that have shorter waits. You’ve got my email – would love to show you around town. I’m in DC on business today but will be back tomorrow night. Hit me up and we’ll get some serious brisket, ribs and sausage.

    • 86BONE

      No one wants to live in Austin, but it’s a mighty fine town for a dine and dash!

    • AusDawg85

      Slow your roll cowboy. Been here since 2000 holding down the Dawg fort and on GTP since around ’08 or so. To 86 below, I tell my friends if you HAVE to live in Texas (emphasis added!) then Austin is the place.

  21. 86BONE

    No one on this post, and I mean NO one, has eaten at Norman’s BBQ in Lincolnton, GA. Best chicken and ribs you will ever put in your mouth! If Colonel Sanders had Norman’s secret sauce, he would have been a General!

  22. God bless this thread is making me hungry.

  23. Russ

    Dang, Senator being gone puts a serious crimp in my morning activities.

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