I am going to address a few things here. At some of the barbecue restaurants, the review is based off of one visit. If I like it, my review reflects that, and I will eventually be back. So some places will only have one shot to impress me. This blog is written for fun and as a hobby. I do not want to go broke or into debt because of my affinity for barbecue. Some of the places I have been to multiple times. I will normally give them the benefit of the doubt based on a prior experience. My reviews might be harsher than others, but it is my real opinion. When you try so many different places, you start setting bars and ranking them as you go.
There was a new barbecue joint in town. Kerlin BBQ was the name. They opened up early September. All of these barbecue trailers popping everywhere should help with the lines at the bigger names. I went there later for lunch to avoid the lunch time crowd just in case. This place reminds me of Micklethwait. They both feel cozy; both nestled off of a busy street with a family feel to it. Kerlin uses pecan wood to smoke their meats. Post oak is a more popular choice around here for smoke and heat.
The menu was pretty straight forward. You have your meat, sides, sandwiches, and sides. I did not even look at the side choices. Sometimes I feel like I am on a mission. I just need to slow it down and enjoy the little things. I ordered a little bit of every meat. I did not ask for lean, but the owner, Bill Kerlin, gave me some anyways. Both cuts of brisket were good. They had a good smoke ring with a nice bark. They were both a little dry though, and I wish it was a little saltier. I did enjoy the lean cut so I guess there was a reason why I was given a piece. I also got some pork shoulder which more or less is pulled pork. It was good. It was mixed in with a vinegary barbecue sauce. I have not been blown away with pulled pork from anywhere in Texas which I am okay with. Brisket is king in Texas anyways. The sausage and pork ribs were the winners here. The pork rib could have been even better if it was not a little dry. It was tender and smoky. The rib had a nice glaze on it with great flavors. The sausage was excellent. It could be one of my favorite sausages. It had everything going for it- pop, grit, fat content, and flavor. It was meaty and rich. I could probably one of these at every meal.
Austin is full of excellent barbecue. There are a lot of places now that you can grab a very good barbecue lunch without a long line. I think Lockhart should lose the title of the "Barbecue Capital of Texas" at this point to Austin. Kerlin is really good and a solid choice. If you put this place in any other city, it could be a major player. There was no line, but it might be because it was past lunch time and being new and unfamiliar. I will be definitely back but probably a little bit earlier in the day. Grade: B+
Until next time, happy smoking...
Address: 1700 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Phone: (512) 412-5588