OK, so we are now coming to the end of the first stage of our holiday, soon to be leaving the extremely hot, extremely friendly and epic Texas to sample some creole cooking in New Orleans – very exciting!
We are having a bit of a breather from BBQ – until Nashville and Memphis, but I have one more post to write about the incredible BBQ scene I have been very lucky to get stuck into. This post will be a bit different from previous, I am going to look at 2 BBQ joints visited at the opposite ends of the spectrum if you will. la Barbecue in Austin (the new) and Smitty’s Market in Lockhart (the old).
First up la Barbecue. This is a street-food truck on the east side of Austin. I made a slight error in deciding to walk to it – about 45 minutes in the boiling midday heat, with no shade, so we arrived pretty hot and sweaty, but it was worth it (Jen wasn’t quite so sure!). It’s a very cool bright yellow van, in a small park with a few other vans. They offer free beer, and some pretty banging barbecue meats and sandwiches. No queue, quick service and awesome BBQ, what’s not to like?
I went for the El Sancho Loco sandwich – sausage, pulled pork and chopped brisket topped with pickled red onions on white bread, Jen went for the hotdog loaded with relish, peppers and pickles. We also had a few sides – and I am (not) ashamed to tell you I went back for a second sandwich they were so good!
The BBQ meat here was really delicious – and it was nice to have a change from big slabs of meat to have a sandwich (or 2). The brisket was great, but for me the pulled pork here was really great, tossed in a small amount of BBQ sauce this was rich and meaty.
At the opposite end of the BBQ spectrum sits Smitty’s Market, this was recommended to us by a friend we met in the queue at Franklin (read the full story here). This is in Lockhart, about half an hour south of Austin. It’s a real old cowboy town, and its a real old cowboy smokehouse – no frills, huge smokers and delicious, meaty BBQ. there were even 4 cowboys in front of me in the queue, complete with cowboy hats and handguns!
We went for some prime rib, brisket of course and a couple of their famous sausages, which we were told we had to try, a couple of sides and a coke – like I said no frills.
The BBQ here, was as expected simple, no sauce – and really, really meaty. The prime rib was amazing – a beautiful crunchy crust surrounding a deliciously beefy piece of meat. The world famous sausages, were also very good – although a little greasy. Still not quite as good as Lockhart’s in my opinion.
For both Jen and I the experience of Smitty’s was one of the best we had in Austin – it was so different from anywhere else we had been, totally not touristy, built around great BBQ meats and that was it!
So a great experience going to both a modern style of BBQ from a van serving up crazy sandwiches – and an old school place. that clearly hasn’t changed in nearly 70 years. Both serving up cracking BBQ in their own individual ways.
Well that’s it for BBQ for a while, next up will be Louisiana, with their world famous, Gumbo, Jambalaya and Po-Boys!