Monday, July 21, 2014

Terry Black's Barbecue


Do not confuse this place with Black's Barbecue in Lockhart. Brothers Mark and Mike Black were going to use the name Black's Barbecue Austin, but Uncle Kent was not having any part of it. Kent Black, who manages the one in Lockhart, did not want to create any confusion for customers. To make things even more confusing/interesting, the owners of Black's are opening a location in Austin on Guadalupe. The brothers ended up naming the place after their father in his honor. Now that I got the family drama out of the way, let's talk about Terry Black's Barbecue. They have been open for over two weeks. I have been anxious to try them out, but I fought off the urges. I gave them a little bit of time to work out any kinks.


Terry Black's does have a great location. They are located downtown which makes them a great lunch spot to meet up. Traffic getting there was a nightmare for me, but that is Austin for you on a Friday. When I arrived there to meet some friends for lunch, the parking lot was full. I wanted to meet after one in the afternoon to hopefully avoid the lunch crowd. Inside, the lines were relatively short. There were three chopping blocks so the line moved at a good pace. Everything on the menu was competitively priced. I order two slices of moist brisket, one pork rib, and a ring of the regular sausage.


The Certified Angus Beef brisket was good. It was cooked perfectly. It was tender with a nice bark, and the fat was rendered well. Although it was good, I felt like it was missing something. More smoke and more flavor? The pork rib was tasty. It came off the bone without any effort and had a sweet glaze on it. The rib was cooked a little too long which made it a slightly dry for my preference. Terry Black's makes two types of sausage in-house. Regular and jalapeño. The grit was coarse just the way it should be, and the fat content was ideal. It tasted fine, but the casing was hard and crunchy. Some of the meat was sticking to the casing. It was like the sausage had a candy shell coating. It was either cooked too long or too high or both? I tried both barbecue sauces they had. I liked both of them, but I prefer the mustard-based spicy sauce more.


I am excited about Terry Black's Barbecue. Sure I was not blown away from the barbecue, but they are still relatively new. It is possible that their huge smokers are not well-seasoned yet. Though the barbecue is good, but they do show a lot of promise of being even better. They serve quality barbecue right in the heart of the city inside an air-conditioned building. I know I do not enjoy eating barbecue outside when it is 100 degrees in the blazing sun. This is the ideal place for me to take out of town guests too. Central, indoors, good Texas barbecue, short wait, and parking. Grade: B


Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 1003 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
Phone: (512) 394-5899
Website:
http://terryblacksbbq.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Terry-Blacks-Barbecue
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerryBlacksBBQ

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Man behind the Smoke : Evan LeRoy

I am going to try something new with the blog. I have never considered myself a writer. I kind of want to stretch out my writing legs a little bit. Please let know what you think of this piece. If this works out, I might try to do something similar frequently.

When most people go to a restaurant, they look for good service and good food. They do not care how everything else works. This also applies to barbecue joints as well. Many pitmasters put their livelihood into the smoked meats they serve to you. They spend all night prepping and tending the fires. It is often a thankless job. I am going to try to shine some light on some of these pitmasters with a series called "The Man behind the Smoke." It will not be limited to just males. I just happened to call it this because the field is dominated by men. There are only a few handfuls of their counterparts out there.
The first spotlight belongs to Evan LeRoy of Freedmen's Bar.


If you have never tried the barbecue from Freedmen's, shame on you. Get in the car and drive there now. If I could describe it in a simple manner, I would say it is awesomely delicious. I am a big fan of the brisket and pork belly because they are both succulent and phenomenal. They are two of my favorite meats to get in Austin if that means anything. Evan has been at Freedmen's since the opening. He actually stumbled upon the job while looking for supplies on Craigslist. I would venture to say this has been the ideal match.

Born in 1986, Evan LeRoy has spent most of his life in Austin. He attended St. Michael's Catholic Academy where he also played soccer and lacrosse. His career aspiration was to get into the film industry so he wanted to attend college in the Southern California area. Things did not work out the way there were supposed to. When it came down to it, he had a choice of staying in Austin to attend UT or leave home and go to Florida State University. I think most kids would elect to leave home to get away from their parental units.



At FSU, Evan majored in English and envisioned that he would be a writer someday. During his time in Florida, he met two people that would impact his life. He met Diego Abreu while working at a fish restaurant. Diego is now the sous chef at Freedmen's. The other person Evan met is now the most important person in his life. He met his wife Lindsey when they were both writing for the school newspaper. The couple recently got married. Congratulations!

After graduating from college, LeRoy headed back to Austin. His goal was to become a food writer. To hone on his skills, he furthered his education at Le Cordon Bleu. His love for food started right around the time when TV food shows started to become popular, especially Good Eats. “Alton Brown is a personal culinary hero of mine. Love the way he makes culinary education so entertaining,” Evan adds. During his time in culinary school, he also worked at Hudson's on the Bend.



With Lindsey in New York City for an internship, Evan made the move to the Big Apple. He worked at a couple of restaurants and experienced culture shock. Although everything was not going to plan, Evan learned a lot from the whole ordeal. He eventually landed a gig at Hill Country Barbecue. “I worked my way up. I started on the line and then became a cook. I was promoted to pitmaster when the prior one quit during a health inspection,” Evan says. He was there for a year but knew he had to make his way back to Texas to chase his dreams. On a trip to North Carolina one time, Evan tried the barbecue there and hated it. He thought it was dry and bland. He definitely belongs in Texas.

After landing back in Austin, LeRoy actually worked at Lambert's Downtown Barbecue for three days. Differences in food philosophy led to a quick exit. LeRoy managed a Torchy's as he was laying down the footwork for his own food truck. The ultimate goal for him is to own his own restaurant. While gathering supplies for his own food truck, he came across upon the posting for Freedmen's. Freedmen's Bar has been in existence for about a year and a half now. Directed by their pitmaster's ideals, a lot of the food is made from scratch. The barbecue sauce takes two days to make. I am enamored with the pulled pork sauce. I like that are Asian inspirations behind the sauce. The sauce consists of apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, and fish sauce.


Around 5 pm the evening before, natural choice briskets and pork butts are loaded into the smoker and smoked for about 12 hours. A simple salt and pepper rub envelops the meat. The bottoms of the meats are covered with foil right before the restaurant is closed. This process makes sense because the meat will not dry out as fast but still absorb all that post oak smoke. Once the brisket and butts are removed in the morning, the pork ribs go in. After about four hours in the smoker, barbecue sauce and jalapeño jelly are layered on to the ribs and then wrapped in foil. The resulting products simply amaze me. The mouthwatering meats taste smoky and tender. They also produce their own sausage in house. Not many places in Austin do that. No meat scares Evan. He has mastered smoking quail, duck, prime rib, and lamb ribs to name a few.

To help with flexibility, Freedmen's just procured a second smoker. Even on their busiest day, which is Friday, no line is to be found. That is good thing because LeRoy hates lines. Who wants to wait in line for barbecue? He also despises brunch. “It is a quick turnaround for the wait staff and bartenders. Who wants to deal with hung-over and hungry crowd,” Evan says. He would rather cook his own meal. If I had skills like him, I would probably think the same way.


When it comes down to preference, LeRoy chooses his brisket fatty. I could not agree with him more. Some of his favorite barbecue places in town are La Barbecue, Micklethwait Craft Meats, and Valentina's Tex-Mex BBQ. “I am jealous of Valentina's. When I was planning to open up my own truck, I wanted to do barbecue and homemade tortillas,” Evan says. If you are putting out good food, you have his respect. He does love some tacos. For someone growing up in Austin, tacos have to be a staple in their diet. He also enjoys a good pasta dish. For the most part, he just loves food and likes to try new and different restaurants.

In his free time, Evan cherishes his time with his wife and their dog, Star. He sees them having a couple of kids down the road. Lindsey is in the restaurant public relations field. On the weekends, you might see them hanging out with friends and drinking some local craft brews. They are die-hard Seminoles football fans. For whatever reason, LeRoy also cheers for the Dallas Cowboys. He saves himself by saying he does not agree with the way that Jerry Jones runs the team. Bruce Springsteen is Evan’s favorite musician, and he thinks it would be awesome to meet him someday. While LeRoy was still in NYC, Springsteen actually stopped in for dinner at the restaurant where he was working, but Evan was polite and gave The Boss his privacy.


Evan LeRoy lives life with no regrets. He would not switch places with anyone in the world. He is never satisfied in his work, and his drive and determination is a good indicator of his character. Even when he is not at the restaurant during business hours, nervousness and anxiety sets in. LeRoy wants the barbecue to be on point all the time because Freedmen's and his reputation are on the line. He has no understanding why some places do not try to smoke the best barbecue. Life is too short to eat mediocre barbecue. Everyday Evan strives to make Freedmen's Bar a top destination for some of the best BBQ in the state. I am excited to see what Evan LeRoy brings to the table next.


Until next time, happy smoking...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Underwood's Bar-B-Q


+Amber McGee and I have been driving through Brownwood for over 10 years now. We go through it on the way to Lubbock every time. We see the billboards for Underwood's Bar-B-Q miles out as we head into Brownwood going both directions. Hot Rolls. Cobbler. We actually stopped in once, and for some reason, we changed our mind and left. When we pass through Brownwood, it is not during lunch or dinner time. On this day we left Lubbock early so we could make it to Underwood's around noon.


When we got there, the parking lot was crowded. We had failed to beat the church crowd. The line was out the door. I am used to seeing lines at BBQ joints so it did not faze me it all. I forgot to take a picture of the menu when I was in line. Sorry. The restaurant is set up like a cafeteria. You order your protein and then grab everything else you need after. There was no brisket on the menu?! I was thoroughly perplexed that a barbecue restaurant in the state of Texas that did not have brisket on their menu. They had sliced beef on the menu which they call beef steak. The "steak" came from the shoulder of the cow. I ordered the beef steak and half rib slab combo dinner. I also added a link of the German-style sausage. Amber got the fried chicken. Included with the dinner were unlimited sides, rolls, cobbler, and drinks. The beef steak was cooked in barbecue sauce. It was tender and tasted like I was eating chopped beef but was also dry. I am not sure this piece of meat touched a smoker. I thought I saw some grill marks on it though. The ribs were not half of a rib slab. It was three ribs. They were also cooked in sauce. These for sure were done in the oven. They were tender and juicy but bland. The sausage was okay. It was really fatty and rich with a nice pop. I got a side of potato salad, corn, beans, and coleslaw. They were all forgettable. I would venture to say some of it came from a can. I tried some my wife's fried chicken. It was the best thing there. It was crispy and juicy. The hot rolls were pretty decent. I am not a sweets type of guy so I skipped out on the cobbler.


Underwood's Bar-B-Q fails as a Texas barbecue joint. No brisket at a barbecue restaurant in the state of Texas. Bah humbug. The sliced beef option on their menu online threw me off. I assumed it was brisket. Boy I was wrong. Underwood's is the Furr's of barbecue. A cafeteria style diner serving tasteless food. There was a sign outside saying it was "The Best Eatin' in Town." I hope that is not correct. After driving past here for the last decade without eating, I wish the streak had continued. Grade: F

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 404 W Commerce St, Brownwood, TX 76801
Phone: (325) 646-1776
Website: http://underwoodsbbq.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/underwoodsbbq

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Shack BBQ


+Amber McGee and I were heading back to Lubbock for her brother's wedding. The last time we were there, we hit up J & M Bar-B-Q & Catering. That did not turn out well. I still have some friends living in the LBK, and they mentioned that there was a new barbecue joint in town. The Shack BBQ had just opened up in March. It is located on the northwest side of town. We went to check it out to see if we can add this to our Lubbock rotation. When we got there, the parking lot was empty. That was odd because it was during lunch time. People in Lubbock love to dine out it seems.
 

When we got there, I was disappointed to find out they only had ribs on Sundays.  I ordered the two-meat plate with an extra meat. I got moist brisket, pulled pork, and jalapeño cheese sausage with a side of macaroni and cheese and loaded potato salad. The brisket was super solid. It was tender and flavorful. It had good smoke from the pecan, but it was missing a more developed bark. That being said, I was sad after eating the last bite because there was not anymore left. The brisket reminded me of the one from Brown's Bar-B-Que. Very similar. The pulled pork was definitely good. It was juicy, and the sweet rub gave it a nice taste. The owner said they use a very similar rub on the pork ribs as well. The sausage was not bad. They procured them from the meat market located on the campus of Texas Tech. Did you know that the meat market helps fund scholarship? The sausage was not as spicy as I would like. I probably should have ordered the german style one. The homemade sides were excellent. The macaroni and cheese was creamy and cheesy. The loaded potato salad hit the spot and was fantastic. They also make four barbecue sauces in house. I enjoyed them all, but I prefer the extreme and sweet because of the spiciness and sweetness respectively.


The Shack BBQ has to be one of the best in the Hub City. It is good to see that Lubbock now has a reliable BBQ joint besides Rudy's. Hopefully word travels out faster about this place. It seems like they would be one of those places that should sell out of food frequently. But then again, people in Lubbock love their chain restaurants. Kyle Farris and his fiancée Kelly run the restaurant by themselves and supply it with local products. I will definitely go back when I am in town again to try the ribs. They are adding another smoker to boost ribs production. Grade: B


Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 2309 N Frankford Ave Lubbock, TX 79416
Phone: (806) 747-1810
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theshacklubbockbbq

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fitties BBQ


+Amber McGee and I had plans to go hiking at Bastrop State Park on this particular Sunday. The park was kind of disappointing. The wildfires that rip through the city a few years ago did a number on the park. I would imagine that the park used to be beautiful. I was looking for some barbecue to try in the area afterwards. I wanted to try Zimmerhanzel's BBQ in Smithville which was only about 15 minutes away, but they are closed on Sundays. I found a place that was a good compromise for us because they also served burgers and breakfast tacos in addition to barbecue. Fitties BBQ was the name and was located west on the outskirts of Bastrop.


We ordered a breakfast taco with sausage, egg and cheese and cheeseburger plus a three-meat plate that was not on the menu. I got moist brisket, pork ribs, and homemade sausage with dirty rice and coleslaw on the side. When we got the order, the smoked meat was swimming in the barbecue sauce pool. I did find a few bites of each meat without sauce. The brisket was lean. The lady at the counter heard me ask for moist because she yelled across the way saying I wanted extra fatty. I do not understand how some places cannot understand a simple request. The lean cut I got was chewy. It was not smoked long enough to render that fat. It was like eating a well-done steak. It did have good smoke though. The brisket was just okay. The pork ribs were a little better. They were overcooked and dry however. It did have some nice smoke, and the flavors were solid. The sausage was the winner. It had a nice pop and texture. It was sure tasty. The sausage could also have stayed in the smoker a little longer to bathe in the smoke and heat. It was grayish in the middle. The coleslaw was chopped finely, and it was crispy and refreshing. The dirty rice was really good. The cheeseburger was sad. You can tell that they used a frozen beef patty for it. The breakfast tacos were huge and pretty good. Everyone sitting around us had ordered them.


The barbecue was just okay at Fitties BBQ. They seem to get a lot of business. They are located on a busy stretch along Highway 71. Order the sauce on the side. The sauce was overwhelming at the end. It is not a bad sauce, but there was just too much of it. I felt disgusting after I ate. I could not finish all of the meats which tell you something. I was feeding the leftover meat to a stray cat. Excuse me if the pictures are not great. There are a few other BBQ joints in Bastrop if you want to give them a shot. If I were you, I would probably drive into Austin. Grade: C


Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 1376 Texas 71, Bastrop, TX 78602
Phone: (512) 303-6808
Website: http://fittiesbbq.webs.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Fitties-BBQ

Monday, June 16, 2014

La Barbecue (Updated)

My blog is now one year old! I have counted that I have eaten barbecue at least 78 times in the last 52 weeks, but I have not gained a pound of weight. You can now find the blog at an easier address - http://www.thesmokingho.com. You can still find me on Twitter @TheRunningHo, facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheSmokingHo, and Instagram @TheRunningHo.


Now that my blog is a year old, I can do updated reviews. I wanted to force myself to keep trying new places, and I will still keep on doing that. If I can, I will continue to post a new entry every Monday. I have done a couple of reviews that I have regretted the manner in how I did them. This includes the one I did of La Barbecue. I did not give La Barbecue a fair shake. It was rainy so I could not get any good pictures. The rain affected the whole experience. I have been back numerous times, and I was going to make this visit count. There has been a lot of buzz about them lately. The Austin American-Statesman named it the best barbecue place in town. After my visit, Fed Man Walking wrote that La Barbecue was also the best in Austin. The line on this Wednesday was definitely longer than what I have experienced in the past. Although I got there when La BBQ opened, I waited about an hour before I got to the counter.


When I got to front, I saw that pitmaster John Lewis was cutting the meat. I have had the pleasure in the past to talk to him. He is a nice dude. They always give you a bite of the brisket when you are ordering at the window. That one bite can make you weak at the knees. I ordered my usual Holy Trinity of Texas barbecue (brisket, pork ribs, and sausage). I actually got both cuts of brisket this time. The moist and lean were both phenomenal. Lewis does stray from the normal salt and pepper rub. He also uses mustard and pickle juice?! The deepness of the post oak smoke combined with his rub makes you see stars when you are eating the brisket. It is like you are having an out of body experience where you are hovering above your body watching yourself eat it. Both cuts are so juicy and flavorful that I might have to keep ordering the lean when I come back again.


The sublime experience does not end at the brisket. The pork ribs were quite excellent. They were on the saucier side but still tasted great. The tender meat was barely hanging on to the bone. The smoke and the glaze create this wonderful awakening for your taste buds. Last time I gave the sausage AKA hot guts no justice. I was definitely hating on it. I blame it on the rain. It is one of the best all beef sausages out there. Normally beef sausages are drier, but John did a good job mixing the different ingredients together. Having a good fat ratio also helps. The snappy casing could barely hold in the gritty mixture. The spice was nice too.


La Barbecue never ever disappoints. I have never had a time when I went that I thought that it was just "good." It always freaking awesome. When you are there next time, consider getting the El Sancho "loco" style. It is a sandwich filled with chopped beef, pulled pork, and sliced hot link with pickled red onions. So basically a three-meat between two buns. I have also had the beef rib in the past. It is definitely a heavyweight in this town. Grade: A

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 1200 E 6th St, Austin, Texas 78702
Phone: (512) 605-9696
Website:
http://labarbecue.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/labbq78704
Twitter: https://twitter.com/la_Barbecue

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mann's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que


I have had barbecue from Mann's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que a few times over the years. The company I for work also orders catering from here quite frequently. The pits are (wo)manned by Kathleen Mann. She is the daughter of the owners and one of very few female pitmasters out there. They used to be a +Texas Monthly's Top 50 BBQ restaurant in 2008, but the BBQ market has gotten very competitive since then. I never thought I would be able to stop in again because I do not work in the area, and they are not open on the weekends. I had some business to attend to in North Austin on this day and was able to drop in for lunch. Sometime things just work out.


I ordered the Texas Sampler which comes with brisket, pork ribs, beef ribs, and jalapeño sausage. It also came with two sides so I ordered coleslaw and macaroni and cheese. The brisket was decent. It was missing that dark bark I love. Mann's uses an Old Hickory smoker which is fueled by natural gas instead of solely wood. You can taste the smoke, but you will not get the deep smoke that some of us cherish. The moist cut was tender and fatty. The pork ribs were solid and meaty. It had a nice flavor, and not much effort was required to pull the meat off. The beef ribs were a baby back variety. Compared to short ribs elsewhere, they do not have as much meat on the bone. Although there was not a whole lot of meat, the smoker did do a good number on it. It was smoky and flavorful. The jalapeño sausage was a commercial sausage, but it was not bad at all. The spice from the jalapeño gave it a nice finish. The macaroni and cheese was different. It was not as creamy and had spaghetti noodles in it. The coleslaw was crisp and fresh.


Kathleen gave me a sample plate of her BBQ sauce, Brunswick stew and pulled pork. The sauce was a Georgia-style one that was mustard and vinegar based. In case you did not know, I hate mustard. I was surprised by the Brunswick stew. I have never had it before, but I liked it. It was a tomatoey concoction with bits of leftover smoked meats. It was good. The pulled pork was probably my favorite meat here. The smoke, rub, and moisture of the pork worked well together.


No frills. No fuss. Blue collar. That is how I would describe Mann's. They put out consistent barbecue for the everyday working man. Not everyone has time to stand in a long line to get their barbecue. Ain't nobody got time for that! They do have daily specials that work with everyone's budget. Not pictured is the brownie I got for free. They have free brownies a couple of days during the week, and on Fridays, they serve up homemade ice cream. The combination of the pulled pork and Brunswick stew is enough for me to go back. Grade: C+

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 8624 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758
Phone: (512) 459-5077
Website:
http://www.mannsbbq.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MannsBBQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MannsBBQ

Monday, June 2, 2014

Lone Star BBQ


I knew Lone Star BBQ had opened last fall, but I have never seen it. I somehow missed the trailer when I was looking for it. It was located at a food trailer food court on South Lamar. I was really excited to eat here. I had no expectations coming in. It was lunch time when I got there, and there was no line. Score! Well I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing.


I ordered a quarter pound of all the meats (brisket, pork ribs, and pork belly) and a link of sausage. The moist brisket was solid. It was smoky and tender. The post oak kissed bark was lacking a little bit of flavor though. A dash more of black pepper would have gone a long way. The pork ribs were the show stopper on this day. They had a sweet glaze that made it super tasty. The meat was falling off the bone without being dry. I wish I had gotten more ribs to eat. The pork belly had the same rub as the ribs. It was meatier than what I have seen out there. They were quite delicious, but I think the sweetness was a little too much. I think it would have worked better with a rub similar to the brisket. The sausage was the red headed stepchild of the group which was outsourced from a place in Brenham. It had a good pop, grit, and fat ratio though. There are just not many people out there who make their own sausage. There were two types of barbecue sauces. There was a sweet Carolina style sauce and an original Texas style made with Lone Star beer.



I was pleasantly surprised with Lone Star BBQ. I might have hit them on a good day, but either way, you should check them out. There are just so many good barbecue choices in this town. I did enjoy everything I ate. If you check in with Yelp, you can get a free drink. Of course I went with a bottle of sweet tea. The husband and wife duo of John and Jaylyn Morell were also a pleasure to talk to. Grade: B

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 2323 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Phone: (512) 739-4724
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com//lonestarbbq

Monday, May 26, 2014

Brown's Bar-B-Que


I have known about Brown's Bar-B-Que for a long time now. I just have not had a chance to come by the trailer. It used to be by a car wash, but it is now located next to Corner Bar. I guess I was a little apprehensive in going to a trailer at a car wash to get barbecue. I met up with Mike Sutter from Fed Man Walking on this day. He was finishing up another top 10 barbecue list.


I went with the three-meat plate today with the usual moist brisket, pork ribs, and sausage with cabbage and macaroni and cheese as sides. The brisket was super solid. It was moist and tender. The fat on it was luscious, and it had a nice meaty flavor. I do prefer a smokier brisket with a dark peppery bark, but I am not going to kick this brisket out of bed. The pork ribs stole the show. The rub/glaze was sweet and peppery. Just the way I like it. The ribs were meaty, tender, and juicy. The sausage was a commercial blend from Texas Sausage Company. Nothing noteworthy. The sides were excellent. The cabbage sounded healthy, but it was far from it. The bits of bacon did not help. The macaroni and cheese also had bacon in it. Not original pictured are the smoked chicken and peach cobbler. I ate some of the chicken from Mike's plate. It was really moist, but you can still taste some smoke from the post oak. It was the perfect balance. I can see why people rave about the chicken. I am not a sweets type of guy, but the peach cobbler was pretty tasty.



I love the smells of a car wash. I am not sure why I have not gone by Brown's sooner when it was still there. Their prices are very affordable as well. The sausage they had today was not their usual custom blend. I did not get to try the pulled pork on this visit, but I will make that happen next time l go. On Sundays, they give away free barbecue if you order stuff from the bar at Corner. Free barbecue and alcohol? Win-win. grade: B


Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 1901 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Phone: (512) 517-8520
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/BrownsBarBQue
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BROWNSBBQ_ATX

Monday, May 19, 2014

J & M Bar-B-Q & Catering


I lived in Lubbock for a few years when +Amber McGee was in law school at Texas Tech. There were not a lot of choices for barbecue. Our favorite spots were Rudy's and Tom & Bingo's BBQ. Tom & Bingo's was included in the 2008 +Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ list. They only smoke brisket, ham, and burgers though. DV featured them in a recent article on BBQ sandwiches. I only ate J & M Bar-B-Q & Catering once when we lived in Lubbock and thought it was good. We were in town visiting because Amber's family still lives in the LBK. I only had time for one BBQ joint on this trip so I had to make it count.


When you walk in, you think you would order from the counter, but you actually order from the menu at a table. You do not get to see the meat cut in front of you. I ordered the three-meat with moist brisket, pork ribs, and German sausage. The sides I got were coleslaw and macaroni and cheese. The Certified Angus Beef logo was displayed everywhere on the menu so I assumed that they were using a better brisket. They were better off using a lower grade of beef. I ordered fatty and got lean. The waitress charged me for a quarter pound of moist to get my order "right." It was like eating dry pot roast with smoke for both types of brisket. There was no bark and the fat was rendered away and/or trimmed away. The moist fell apart when I picked up a slice. As you can see below, I ate everything but both cuts of brisket. The pork ribs were solid. The dry rub combined with the smoke made them tasty. The ribs were very tender. The commercial sausage was just okay. You could probably find something similar at the grocery store. Nothing special to note about the sides, but I did eat it all because I was hungry.


I had no idea what to expect in this visit so I came in with an open mind. I am pretty sure I would not be going back to J & M Bar-B-Q & Catering even if I lived in Lubbock. I probably should have gotten the pulled pork instead of the brisket, but that is not how I do things around here. They trim away the fat off of the brisket before it is served. Why? Look elsewhere if you are ever in Lubbock, Texas and want some 'cue. Grade: D

Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 3605 34th St, Lubbock, TX 79410
Phone: (806) 796-1164
Website:
http://jandmbarbq.com/