Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

6610 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78757

Phone: 512-380-9199
Hours: Sun & Tue-€“Thur 11-€“9, Fri & Sat 11-€“10
Website: stilesswitchbbq.com
Twitter: @StilesSwitchBBQ

Opened 2011
Pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick
Method Post oak; indirect-heat pit
Pro Tip Ask for your Thorndale sausage "dry," meaning smoked longer.

TMBBQ Rating: 4

Texas Monthly BBQ Top 50

More Reviews

May 14, 2013

This place comes with rock-solid credentials: The pitmaster, Lance Kirkpatrick, worked under Bobby Mueller at Taylor’s Louie Mueller Barbecue for nine years. Following that, he briefly succumbed to the lure of a fine-dining kitchen, but last year Austin entrepreneur Shane Stiles beckoned Kirkpatrick to the pits once again. We’re grateful he did. Only a year after taking over the corner of a little shopping center, Kirkpatrick seems to have the hang of his surroundings. A…

TMBBQ Buzz

Comments from our joint finder app.
Came here with the family for dinner. Brisket cooked perfect and tasted great. I would have liked a bit more spice and salt in the rub. Pork loin was tender and tasty. Pork ribs were very good nice and peppery. I never cared for their turkey but I think they are using a different type of breast because it was delicious. You have to try the Mac & cheese and corn pudding. Kids loved it!!
Bob Conti @ Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, 2014-09-07 03:46:03
The brisket was the big winner today. Beautiful crust with a thick ring. Enough fat to keep it moist and with lots of flavor. They topped off my order with what must have been a half pound of burnt end and I got a free beer cause the one I paid for kicked the keg. Love the switch.
pk @ Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, 2014-08-09 00:33:25
Seriously solid brisket! The pork loins a great and the sausages are good also. So good. Legit pit!
Jonas Black @ Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, 2014-07-17 09:55:47
Had sliced brisket which was very moist and tasty. Also has the Texas Frito pie... Yummy
dayolddoughnut @ Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, 2014-05-22 21:57:32
Wow!!! This is one of the BBQ place I've eaten! Serious food!
Rodney @ Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, 2014-05-06 12:31:53
Ate late lunch this afternoon. Thorndale sausage and smoked turkey. Sausage fair. Turkey pretty good. Not a real fan of the sauce. 3 stars at best.
Ken Melton @ Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, 2014-03-21 23:12:20
Went for dinner. Not sure if it was due to the later hour (7pm), but lean brisket was cold, dry and tough. Moist brisket was pretty good and ribs were better. Sides are really good, especially the corn casserole. People are cool and they have one of the better beer selections you'll find.
Jimmy Canning @ Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, 2014-02-28 16:20:09
Everything is tremendous today. The sausage is full of the flavor, the brisket is moist, and the ribs are smoky and tender. So good.
pk @ Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, 2014-01-04 18:03:09
More Buzz →

Review

February 5, 2012

Austin has traditionally been a jumping off point for barbecue trips to famous towns like Lockhart, Luling, Taylor, and Llano. Great barbecue seems to surround Austin, but the city has been getting a reputation of its own as a barbecue destination. Some have even started to question if there’s a need to trek the forty-five minutes from Austin to Lockhart. Franklin Barbecue started these questions, and the Austin crowd got louder after John Mueller’s return. The opening of Stiles Switch may just seal the deal. While matching the experience and ambiance that can be had at those hallowed barbecue temples can be difficult, there’s now no reason to leave the city for great smoked meat, whether you’re in north, south, or central Austin.

Megatron

I arrived late on a weekday after pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick had completed his day’s work. Lance had worked for a long time at Louie Mueller Barbecue (and is even referred to as Bobby Mueller’s “right hand man” in this Food Network video), but his time there didn’t end well. He tried his hand at upscale dining in Taylor for a short time, but it wasn’t too long before rumors began to surface that a Louie Mueller alumnus would be opening a joint in Austin. A bit of a controversy leapt up when Wayne Mueller asked nicely (through a cease and desist notice) that Stiles Switch not use the Louie Mueller name when promoting the new joint. It seems that Lance and the crew, with a little help from their Klose pit “Megatron”, are beyond the controversy.

When ordering brisket here, I’d suggest skipping the lean meat altogether. It was so dry it had grown fuzz. The smoke and seasoning were there, but go for the fatty cut if you want moist and succulent meat. If you know the Louie Mueller style, then you won’t be surprised by the heavy black pepper seasoning. I was certainly pleased with it. The beef rib was equally well executed, but not to the level of John or Wayne. While smallish, the meat was well smoked, fat perfectly rendered out, and thick dark crust provided a nice textural counterpoint to the tender meat.

Beef rib

Three sausages are made in house, and all have notable qualities. The all-beef Thorndale had exemplary smoke and texture, but I just like a little pork fat in my sausage. Pork lovers who can take some heat will be well served with the jalapeño-cheese sausage which is a fifty-to-fifty beef and pork mix with a spicy kick that’s not timid. For me, the best of the bunch was the Switch original. The casing had a perfect snap, and hot fat rushed into my mouth when I bit into it. It’s a beef link with 15 percent pork and 100-percent-perfect seasoning. Not too salty, just enough black pepper and perfectly smoked. If I’d had a better link than the one I had on this evening, I’m not sure where it was.

The pork ribs had that same black pepper rub. The tips on the spares was overcooked and chewy, but the meat right at the bone was moist and tender. A meatier rib would have been welcomed.

Sides aren’t an afterthought but also not particularly memorable. Two slaws, vinegar and mayo based, are available. Vinegar slaw with jicama was soggy and missed the pop that I expected from the vinegar. The chopped mayo slaw was well executed, but beans were too watery. Homemade banana pudding was a good way to end the meal.

After being open for less than two months, it sounds as if the neighborhood is embracing this new joint. Nice touches like having multiple Austin-based breweries on tap show that Stiles Switch is embracing their city as well. Austin should be proud to have them in the barbecue mix.

(This review originally appeared on Full Custom Gospel BBQ.)

Comments

  • http://sollerstudios.com/ Ben

    Wasn’t there a Stiles Switch BBQ that opened, and closed within a few months, in Carrolton a year or so ago?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13823666726747359204 BBQ Snob

    Ben – Close, but that one was called “Cobb Switch”, and was named after a fictional railroad stop. This one is named after Stiles Switch just outside of Thorndale, and Stiles is also the owner’s surname.

  • http://scottr.yelp.com/ Scott R

    I had a similar experience. Loved the Original sausage. The brisket and pork ribs were good but fould the heavy black pepper rub a little tiring after a while. Reminded me of J Mueller but fell short.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09025858202155765176 Donna

    I’ve only been once since they opened (first week) and thought the brisket had potential, sausage was good, but pork ribs were pretty sad. I’m glad to have a decent BBQ option in the neighborhood. But it’s hard to compete in Austin when Franklin and JMueller are both dishing out exceptional BBQ.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03684084754467893776 John

    I just went to Stiles last week. I started at Louie Muellers but got there about 15 minutes too late so ended up at Taylor Cafe for some decent Q although it is the first Texas BBQ place taht puts sauce all over the meat. After Taylor Cafe I went to Stiles to try it out.

    Stiles was very good. The beef rib was OUTSTANDING, rendered out perfectly with a thick crust. Brisket (a mix of moist and lean) was very good with a thick crusty bark and super tender and juicy…not as good as Franklins but top notch. Pork ribs were very good with lots of pepper in the crust but they were slightly cool so I don’t think I got the best they had to offer. I got an “original” sausage and it was very good classic Central Texas but I do prefer my sausages on the dry side and this one was fresh of the smoker and a bit wet still. I would say that Stiles is very similar to Lockhart Smokehouse up in Dallas. All in all it was worth a stop and is very similar to Louie Muellers and J. Muellers. Near the top of the Central Texas BBQ lists for me.

    Headed to Memphis and New Orleans next.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15645502126948626509 Kelly F.

    I went a few weeks ago and I felt like it was the same caliber as Louie Muellers, Snows, etc… in the Brisket department (mine was not dry at all), and the Beef Rib department (the one I got was huge and perfectly smoked). Thought the sausage was very high caliber (I think I had the Thorndale). The pork rib left some to be desired I will agree. Having been to many of your 5-star rated joints, I felt Stiles Switch was at that level myself.