Austin

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…

Smoked in Texas: Easy Tiger Pastrami

Easy Tiger in Austin is many things. A bakery and coffee shop, a beer garden, and table tennis tournament grounds. They also have a great food menu with homemade sausages and sandwiches. The most impressive might be the pastrami sandwich. The slices of cured smoked meat are a little thicker than what you’d get from a deli, and they provide a good mix of lean and fatty slices. It’s topped with sauerkraut, swiss, and “Easy…

Franklin Sign

Interview: Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue

Aaron Franklin Owner/Pitmaster: Franklin Barbecue in Austin; opened in 2009 Age: 35 Smoker: Five steel offset smokers made from 1000 gallon propane tanks that are 5/16” thick. Wood: Post oak. Some seasoned, some green. Last week, I sat down with Aaron Franklin over a tray of ribs and brisket at the Blue Ox in Austin. Franklin had left the following day’s early shift to another employee so he had time for a few beers and…