Austin

Photo by Nicholas McWhirter

Austin BBQ Guide

Austin has the greatest concentration of truly excellent barbecue of any city in the world. The 78702 zip code alone features enough stellar barbecue—Franklin Barbecue, la Barbecue, Micklethwait Craft Meats, John Mueller Meat Co., Live Oak BBQ, and Kerlin BBQ—to make most other cities in Texas blush. Of course, there’s plenty of other great barbecue in the city as well, but sometimes it’s hard to navigate when and where to visit, or what to expect…

Douglass, Neal. [West Sixth Street Barbecue & Market Explosion], Photograph, January 29, 1948; digital image, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth62795/ : accessed September 17, 2013), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Austin, Texas.

Austin BBQ Explosion

Sixty-six years ago on January 29, 1948, rush hour in downtown Austin was given a jolt by an explosion. A small barbecue joint called the West Sixth Street Barbecue & Market was left in shambles. The news was reported as far away as Sweetwater where the snippet in the February 1, 1948 edition of the Sweetwater Reporter read: “BARBECUE BLAST INJURES EIGHT – Rescue workers struggle with an explosion-wrecked barbecue stand in Austin, Texas, in…

Valentinas 6

Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

My first trip to Valentina’s was on a whim. I stopped at the trailer behind the Star Bar on Sixth Street in Austin on my way out of town. A friend was writing a story on taco variations, and I thought I might be able to add a novelty to his story – Texas barbecue in a taco. I didn’t know what to expect from this mash-up of Tex-Mex and barbecue, but it wasn’t much….

Smoke @ ICC

The International Chefs Congress (ICC) is in its eighth year, but this weekend in New York they hosted their first ever barbecue competition.  It was simply called Smoke @ ICC. Ten teams from six states were competing for the grand prize of a trip for four to South Korea and a Southern Pride rotisserie smoker. It wasn’t much of a surprise that Texans took the top two spots. The Carillon is a much-lauded New American…

Blue Ox Barbecue

The rise of Austin’s barbecue culture has been led by food trailers. The mighty trio of John Mueller Meat Co., la Barbecue, and Franklin Barbecue (which began as a food trailer) lead the local scene and have made patrons all too familiar with the “Sold Out” sign. These joints all cook a huge amount of meat, slice it furiously for a few hours and are done for the day. We all love the results because…

Freedmen’s

Evan LeRoy has come a long way from New York. He worked for a while at Hill Country Barbecue in Manhattan before making his way to Austin. That’s a long way to come so you can cook in the back of a bar, but it’s not any bar and it’s not just any kind of cooking. LeRoy is doing some honest barbecue in an old offset smoker out back of Freedmen’s bar. The building itself…