Micklethwait Craft Meats

1309 Rosewood Ave.
Austin, TX 78702

Phone: (512) 791-5961
Hours: W-Sat 11-3 & 4:30-8, Sun 11-3
Website: www.craftmeats.com
Twitter: @CraftMeats
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MIcklethwaitCraftMeats/info

Opened 2012
Pitmaster Tom Micklethwait
Method Oak in an indirect heat pit

TMBBQ Rating: 4.25

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Comments from our joint finder app.
Brisket is really good and tender! Has great smoky flavor. This place also has a butcher!
Nathaniel Cox @ Vincek’s Smokehouse, 2014-08-31 18:30:40
The hunt for the best barbecue continues with the second joint today. This is a small victory as I have always wanted to hit more than one restaurant on the Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ establishments in a single day. Billy's Old Fashion Barbecue happens to be number 9. I have a hair less than four years to visit the other 41 before the list is updated. I have my work cut out for me as these places are as far at 500 miles from home. I wasn't hungry when we rolled into Jasper, but I was here to eat barbecue. I knew I wanted brisket and when we found the dilapidated restaurant, I knew we were going to experience some magic. I chose the sliced brisket sandwich. I wasn't expecting this monstrosity as it was quite large. Topped with pickles and onions, this sauce soaked sandwich was perfect. I only wish I had ordered the sauce on the side. The sauce was decent, but I came for the meat. The sliced brisket was very nice. It was juicy and the fat was rendered beautifully. It was a bit toothsome, but it certainly wasn't tough. I had forgotten to ask for untrimmed meat, so I was pleased when I saw that the crusty bark was intact. The meat had a mild flavor. Not too much smoke, and it wasn't overpowered with seasoning. It was a simple, beefy masterpiece. At only 2 1/2 hours from home, I can see myself loading up the family for a nice meaty adventure. This is easily a 4.0/5.0. Well done, Texas Monthly. This BBQ doesn't disappoint.
Theodore Luoma @ Billy’s Old Fashion BBQ, 2014-08-31 01:12:51
It has been a few months since I was able to hunt for some good Texas BBQ. It is a bit of a tradition that my oldest daughter, Alli, and I enjoy. I'm not a hunter, so we aren't likely to go kill deer as we spend time together, but we have our own game we like to track down. We decided to have lunch at the Hitch-N-Post in Livingston, TX. It's 3 1/2 hours from home so we had time to work up an appetite. We both ordered untrimmed fatty brisket which in my estimation, is the best tasting meat. I usually try the sausage as well, but we are planning an early supper at another BBQ place and I don't want to gorge myself. The brisket, though cooked, could probably have used another four hours in the smoker to completely render the fat and make the meat fork tender. I actually had to use a knife to cut the meat. There was a beautiful smoke ring and a decent crust, but I was hoping for a denser crust. Then again, this ain't Lockhart. The beans were good, but they were punched up canned beans. The potato salad probably came from Brookshire Brothers, but I came for the meat. The sides are just a bonus. Apparently, the proprietor has a policy to give free cake to first time customers. He was a really nice BBQ enthusiast as he asked if I had tried Snow's in Lexington. Then he started showing me pictures of BBQ joints on his phone. The ambience was a schlockfest with old tricycles dangling from the ceiling and tiki umbrellas reminiscent of Gilligan's Island. It was enjoyable soaking it in while I soaked up sauce with my bread. The food was good. I would rate it a 3.0/5.0, but with the outstanding service and friendly atmosphere, I rate it a solid 3.5. Hitch-N-Post is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
Theodore Luoma @ Hitch-N-Post BBQ, 2014-08-30 18:24:06
It has been a few months since I was able to hunt for some good Texas BBQ. It is a bit of a tradition that my oldest daughter, Alli, and I enjoy. I'm not a hunter, so we aren't likely to go kill deer as we spend time together, but we have our own game we like to track down. We decided to have lunch at the Hitch-N-Post in Livingston, TX. It's 3 1/2 hours from home so we had time to work up an appetite. We both ordered untrimmed fatty brisket which in my estimation, is the best tasting meat. I usually try the sausage as well, but we are planning an early supper at another BBQ place and I don't want to gorge myself. The brisket, though cooked, could probably have used another four hours in the smoker to completely render the fat and make the meat fork tender. I actually had to use a knife to cut the meat. There was a beautiful smoke ring and a decent crust, but I was hoping for a denser crust. Then again, this ain't Lockhart. The beans were good, but they were punched up canned beans. The potato salad probably came from Brookshire Brothers, but I came for the meat. The sides are just a bonus. Apparently, the proprietor has a policy to give free cake to first time customers. He was a really nice BBQ enthusiast as he asked if I had tried Snow's in Lexington. Then he started showing me pictures of BBQ joints on his phone. The ambience was a schlockfest with old tricycles dangling from the ceiling and tiki umbrellas reminiscent of Gilligan's Island. It was enjoyable soaking it in while I soaked up sauce with my bread. The food was good. I would rate it a 3.0/5.0, but with the outstanding service and friendly atmosphere, I rate it a solid 3.5. Hitch-N-Post is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
Theodore Luoma @ Hitch-N-Post BBQ, 2014-08-30 18:24:05
Third in line pound of lean got two ends and a sausage PERFECTION worth the drive ft worth good food good folks
doug_wallace @ Louie Mueller Barbecue, 2014-08-30 15:38:00
Loved that there was no wait unlike that other place on East 6th. Fatty brisket was as advertised. Pepper on crust was perfect. Jalapeño sausage was okay. Loved the cheesy squash - my new favorite side. No beef ribs today sadly. Drank the BBQ sauce too; very good stuff.
Rahul Yaratha @ John Mueller Meat Co., 2014-08-29 16:44:19
Brisket was moist, but tough. Needed more smoke. Spare ribs were ok.
mrb @ Rudy’s Bar-B-Q, 2014-08-27 02:53:29
Stopped at Rudy's at Leon Springs. Not good. Brisket was moist but tough. Ribs were fair.
mrb @ , 2014-08-27 02:47:40
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Review

Micklethwait 10

October 29, 2013

There’s a trailer in East Austin that is creating a new target for what it means to be a complete barbecue joint. Micklethwait Craft Meats not only serves great smoked meats, they also bake their own bread and desserts, all the sides and sauce are homemade, and they start with dry beans from a sack rather than from a can. As if the time required to make great barbecue wasn’t already a big enough hurdle, Tom Micklethwait demands more of himself and his staff.

How he does it, I’m not sure, but afternoon naps must be involved. That was probably the case when I was there last week and Tom wasn’t on site. [Read more about Tom's schedule here]. He would have been pleased with the line that had developed by 12:30. Micklethwait has been steadily gaining popularity, but any sort of line has been confoundingly absent on my previous visits dating back to February. Maybe it was the recent publicity they received after the Cooking Channel show Eat St. filmed at the trailer two weeks ago. Maybe it was overflow from the always lengthy line at Franklin just a half mile away. No matter the cause, this is a joint that deserves the attention.

Micklethwait 03

Brisket, Lamb Sausage, and Chicken

Tom Micklethwait (the “th” is silent) opened this trailer last December. Two months later I was pleased to find lamb sausage on the menu along with other barbecue staples. That day the brisket was dry, the chicken lacked smoke, and the pork spare rib was a bit tough. The sausage, however, was stunning. It had bits of tangerine zest and the lamb had been mixed with beef instead of the usual companion of pork. It provided an aggressive meatiness with every flavorful bite.

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Pork Spare Ribs

A few months later I popped into town already late for a meeting. Meats are not sliced in front of you, but rather tickets are completed in a fashion similar to a short order cook. My to-go order still came out quickly, and the other party at the meeting was the beneficiary of some great barbecue. We fought over the jalapeño cheese grits. They are light in texture and rich on flavor at the same time. They’d replace macaroni & cheese on every local menu if everyone could make cheese grits like Micklethwait. The large pork spare ribs were just as stunning. These were grown-up ribs that make candy-coated baby backs feel like child’s play. The salt penetrates deep from what must be an overnight rub, and the large pellets of black pepper mingle with the hammy flavor with every tug of meat. Tug you must, but not uncomfortably. Meat clings to the bones a bit, but they’ll be clean when you’re through. You’ll also know you’ve eaten. With sides and bread, just one could be the meaty centerpiece of a whole meal.

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Kielbasa

“Sausage is a playground.” is what Tom Micklethwait told another interviewer recently. That’s where his creativity goes way beyond traditional links. That lamb sausage was stunning as was a simple kielbasa that was so technically sound it made me wonder why he bothers with anything else, but I’m glad he does. A pork belly andouille from a previous visit was the only misstep, although slight. Despite the incredible flavor, it was too fatty to hold together, and the juiciness seemed to affect the still-chewy casings as well.

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Pork Belly Andouille

Brisket may have been the weak link a few months ago, but it has come along nicely. Last week, the slice from the fatty end cut was intense with smoke and pepper and melting fat. A slice not from the end wasn’t as tender. The meat could have pulled apart a tad easier, but this was still better than most in town. Because of that, I almost felt bad ordering the simple chopped beef sandwich. I’m so glad I did. The meat was chopped to order and served on a homemade roll. I topped it with the excellent pickles, a bit of red onion and some of the vinegar-heavy sauce. The first bite was sublime. Hidden inside the top of the bun was a layer of cheese baked in. The heft of the bun complemented the juicy, smoky beef beautifully.

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Fatty Brisket Slice

Micklethwait 06

Brisket End Cut

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Chopped Brisket Sandwich

Thankfully the pork rib was still great, and so was every single item on the plate with it. Pinto beans were well spiced with a texture that comes from using dry beans to start with. The potato salad was simple and well executed. There was just enough dressing to bind the tender potatoes with the bell pepper and chives. The plate was clean when I finished, thanks in part to the white bread. It is homemade by former pastry chef William Ankeney who is now on the Micklethwait staff.

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Combo Plate

Anthony also has a hand in two of the best barbecue desserts in town. I’m a sucker for buttermilk pie, and the one here is both firm and yielding at the same time. The marshmallow filled, chocolate covered moon pies are also incredible, but make sure they warm up a bit before eating them. Marshmallow cream right out of the fridge isn’t a great texture. Either one will make a gratifying end to one of the best complete barbecue meals you can have in Texas.

Micklethwait 04

Moon Pie

This level of attention to sides and accouterments isn’t likely to catch on in rural joints, especially where the pitmaster’s time is already too taxed with the pits alone. That’s fine with me since there should always be a place for cheap, fluffy white bread and dill pickle chips from a five-gallon bucket. But in a more confined and competitive environment of the city, it’s not a stretch to imagine Micklethwait’s attention to each detail becoming a real influence on the Austin barbecue scene. Maybe that means bakers will now be in demand whenever a new barbecue joint opens in Austin, but I do hope others start following the lead of Tom Micklethwait and his staff.

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