Austin

Carnal in Austin

There’s a new beef rib in town. Carnal has found a temporary home in Austin, the epicenter of the Texas barbecue boom, while their spot back home, Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg, is closed for the winter. James Zamory and Aaron Saurer, the duo that make up Carnal, draw inspiration from Texas’s smoked meats, but they don’t cook barbecue, nor do they claim to. Instead, they serve a focused menu of large meat cuts cooked in their own fat, so they…

Cele Store

The Cele Store was built in 1891, originally opened as the Richland Saloon, and it looks like it got its last coat of fresh paint about a decade later. Without all the trucks parked in the grass outside of the Manor joint, you wouldn’t expect that the barbecue joint inside was open for business, but they’ve been smoking meat here since 1953 when Marilyn Weiss and her husband, Marvin, bought the place. Since then it has…

Iron Works BBQ

It’s important that Iron Works serves good barbecue. As a barbecue joint in downtown Austin, one that is just steps away from the convention center, I’d wager that more Austin visitors get their first taste of Texas barbecue at Iron Works BBQ than anywhere else. General manager Aaron Morris agrees. “Something that’s been a focus of my time here is to give the best representation we can,” he told me while I ate a plate of…

Smoked in Texas: Smoked Corn at Kerlin BBQ

Kerlin BBQ in Austin has been known for their ribs and brisket since opening in 2013, but Bill and Amelis Kerlin really made a splash with their smoked-meat kolaches. Those have been so much of a hit that soon  they’ll have a dedicated kolache truck. I must admit that the savory pastries had become a bit of a distraction for me during my last several visits here, but I recently stopped in for lunch and found one of…

Evan LeRoy Leaving Freedmen’s Bar

Talented pitmaster Evan LeRoy has left his position at Freedmen’s Bar in Austin. He’s planning a place of his own, but details are still vague. LeRoy told me over the phone that he hoped to have something open in the Austin area within the next year, and promised that it would be a barbecue-centric menu. In the meantime he’ll be teaching barbecue classes with the 500 gallon smoker he has parked at his home, and working with the…

Smoked in Texas: Chicken Wings at Green Mesquite

Green Mesquite has been a fixture in South Austin since Tom Davis opened the place in 1988. The restaurant now has three locations, but the original on Barton Springs Road has all the charm of a real joint and one of the coolest neon signs in Texas. There’s an even better one inside—a glowing red bovine to remind you of the backbone of Texas barbecue: beef. But I’m here to tell you just how good their chicken is. I was first…