Our Texas inspiration…….
So, having catered over 40 weddings over the last couple of years and been to almost every BBQ restaurant in London we thought we would go to Austin Texas to see how they really do it!
In October 2017, nearing the end of our busy wedding season, myself Ashley, kaz and our then 10-month baby Franklin flew to Austin Texas to experience BBQ the way it should be done. Looking for inspiration and wanting to have the ultimate benchmark to live up to, we set off.
We stayed in a great little Airbnb in East Austin, not too far from Downtown. Even just driving around it was clear to see people really love their bbq, with offset smokers a regular sight in people front/back yards. We actually arrived really late and our first meal was from In n Out burger…. really good but we’re not here to chat about burgers 😉
The next day, we were desperate to try some bbq so we headed down to ‘Stile Switch BBQ’ in Austin for a fantastic platter. Now over here, the way to order is by the pound. This is great, but it meant that we usually ordered way too much! As you can see from the picture below, we got stuck in. What I really noticed was how much course black pepper was on the ribs, really different to what we’re used to back home, not sweet at all. They were the perfect tenderness with just a little bite and good smoke flavour. Amazing food, pork was the winner, beef rib nice and peppery and tender, turkey was reaaally good, brisket good but the least tender of all the places. Slaw was the best I had anywhere, fries were good but the mac was average.
Next on the list was La Barbecue in downtown Austin. The BEST BBQ I’ve probably ever had! That beef rib was out of this world best thing I had all trip. Pork was amazing, turkey so moist and great smoke, brisket amazing just I prefer the fatty pieces from the middle of the point, sausage was good, nice kick to it, slaw was good, potato salad went really well with the meat.
The next day we went to the legendary Kreuz’s Market in Lockhart. We went here for a very meaty brunch! We ordered slightly differently as they had a great menu famous for their sausage and prime rib. So cool and old school this place, prime rib was crazy good and perfectly smoked, ham was really moist and loads of flavour, sausage was great, slaw really tasty and those crackers wtf but actually went well!
A few hours later, as we were in Lockhart we thought it would be rude not to visit blacks bbq! This place has been here for generations! Meat was pretty good, especially the brisket. one of the more smokey ones too. Didn’t like the sides at all though unfortunately, very family style but very different to what we were used to.
Next on the list was Micklethwait craft meats. Brisket was amazing, ribs really great really tender and smokey, beans were meh, slaw wicked, pork was pretty good. Great little set up here, in a trailer with massive queues already at not even 11am!
A couple days later we went to the one, the only Franklin BBQ. Only we knew we wouldn’t get in, not because of the line but because they had a massive fire a few weeks previous and they had been shut ever since. We were absolutely gutted as this was pretty much the reason we went to Austin, we even named our son Franklin!
There was some saving grace though. We dropped in at Legend coffee right outside Franklin where we met the General manager of Franklin BBQ and he chatted with us about all things bbq and kindly let us inside their back room to buy some merch for us and the baby. Super nice guy and he then recommended we try out Valentina’s tex mex bbq, the other side of Austin.
So that’s what we did…. – Loved how they use their smoked meats in tacos paired with really fresh guac. The beef one was reaaaaaally good.
On top of all the bbq, we had many tacos (especially the breakfast kind), burgers, sushi, and even cooked our own 1kg bone in ribeye from a legendary butcher salt & time. Here are some more pics of the other food we had in Texas:
As well as all the eating, we managed to check out ACL music festival (with a little man too) where we saw the likes of Skepta, The Revivalists, Jay-z, Foster the People etc. What an awesome place!!! Here are some other fun pics we took of what we got up to…