Austin

Mann’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

A spot in Texas Monthly‘s Top 50 brings high expectations, so my mouth was watering after the disappointment at Texas Rib Kings down the street. Tuesday-Friday 11-3 were the temporary hours posted at the door, but there was no indication of the timeline for these hours. Upon ordering I was pleased that the pit boss quickly asked if I wanted lean brisket or “some with a little more flavor.” I opted for the fatty brisket…

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

Downtown Austin is home to many new structures, many of them modern. In the midst of the building boom sits Lamberts, which is located in a historic two-story brick building with lofty ceilings and an open kitchen. On a Wednesday afternoon, there were no open tables during lunchtime, so we made our way to the concrete bar. Detractors generally chalk up Lamberts as “fancy barbecue” and insist that it does not belong in the discussion…

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

Can a place that cooks its meat in a gas-burning rotisserie make really great ’cue? Well, the brown-sugar-and-coffee-rubbed brisket was delicious, the maple-and-coriander-encrusted pork ribs were tender, the pulled pork was perfect, and the chorizo-ish jalapeño hot links were unforgettable. Sides and desserts were extraordinary. A jícama-and-carrot slaw, in particular, had plenty of cilantro and lime to cleanse the palate, and the hot blackberry fried pie prompted an “oh, my God.”

Mann’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

Owner Jim Mann and his jovial staff served us fatty brisket, pork ribs, and pulled pork that offered a surplus of smokiness and juice. (The salty sauce worked well with the loin.) Jim’s wife, Sallie, makes sides from Southern family recipes. Her black-eyed peas, lima beans, and cornbread perfectly accompanied the meat. Come on Fridays for free homemade ice cream (especially during peach season).