Monday, January 26, 2015

Black's Barbecue (Austin)



Our go-to barbecue joint in Lockhart is Black's Barbecue. They are open every day of the week, and their brisket is top notch. The food is consistently good. When it was announced that a location was being opened in Austin, I was indifferent. It was closer for me to go to the Lockhart location anyways. Then I heard that they were transporting the meats from Lockhart, I could not find a reason to visit the Austin one frequently. This location is right by the campus of The University of Texas. Freedmen's is my favorite by campus, but the prices at Black's make it more affordable to the student crowd.


It was rainy and cold when I went this day. On these days, it must be hard for food trailers. Not everyone wants to brave the elements. It was nice and warm inside of Black's. The selection here is not as expansive as the Lockhart one. I ordered a quarter pound of moist brisket, a pork sparerib, and a ring of jalapeño and cheese sausage. My wallet was only 10 bucks lighter after paying. That was a plus. The thinly sliced brisket had a lot of unrendered fat. It could have used a little bit more time in the smoker. The meat was tender, but if it was sliced thicker, it would have been chewier. The flavor and smoke was good though. The sparerib I got was not very meaty. It was also dry. I have never gotten the jalapeño and cheese sausage before. It was great. The grit and snap from the casing was on point. You can taste the chunks of cheese and jalapeño.



Take the drive to Lockhart. It is worth it to go to the original Black's. There is a lot of tradition and history that you miss out on at the Austin location. I am not going to grade this post because there are too many variables when you are transporting the food from one location to another. If the meat is smoked in Lockhart, why not just eat it there?  While you are there, hit up the other historic BBQ joints. Do not get me wrong. I have no issues in going to the Austin one. It is convenient, and the prices and hours are just right. The opening of Black's adds another solid barbecue option to the capital city of Texas. Grade: N/A



Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 3110 Guadalupe Street, Austin, TX 78705
Phone: (512) 524-0801
Website: http://blacksbbqaustin.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blacksbbqaustin
Twitter: https://twitter.com/blacksbbqaustin

Monday, January 19, 2015

Roegels Barbecue Co.


My parents were leaving for Vietnam next week so I had to make a quick run to Houston to pick up their house keys. We also met up with our friends for a birthday lunch at Pappasito's. I was not going to miss out on a chance for some barbecue so a second lunch was in the plans. After some research, I chose Roegels Barbecue Co. It used to be a franchise of Baker's Rib before Russell and Misty Roegels decided it was time to do things their way. I follow a ton of BBQ folks/joints on social media, and every time I see something about Roegels, it has been positive. It was also not far from where we ate lunch.


I wanted a slice of moist brisket, a link of mild sausage, and a pork rib. The guy working the counter was confused with my order. I just ate lunch and did not want a ton of food. He was like if you want to sample everything, get a three-meat plate plus it is a better deal. I was not going to argue with him. I was going to have leftover barbecue. Oh darn. The plate came with two sides, and I got coleslaw and macaroni and cheese. The thin slices of brisket I got were from the flat instead of the point so I missed out on the bark. The flavors and the smoke were on point. The texture was like roast beef though. It might have been better if I had some from the fatty side. I was disappointed in the brisket. The ribs were much better. The sweet black pepper rub and smoke made a great duo. Combine that with the tender meat, and you have a winner. Reheated the next day, they were still great. There was a lot of sausage on the plate. The sausage was tasty with a good snap from the casing. The homemade sides were superb. The macaroni and cheese was nice and cheesy. The coleslaw was fresh and crispy and tasted good. I felt sort of healthy eating in. I wanted to try the other sides too. They all looked delicious.


My first time to Roegels Barbecue Co will not be my last. Sure the brisket was not very good, but it was not terrible either. Owner/pitmaster Russell Roegels reached out to me after I posted my pictures on Instagram and facebook. He owned up to the quality of his product. I respect and admire that so I will give them another chance when I am in town. I am looking forward to it, but until then... Grade: C+


Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 2223 South Voss Road, Houston, TX 77057
Phone: (713) 977-8725
Website: http://www.roegelsbarbecue.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Roegels-Barbecue-Co
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thepigonvoss

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Stubb's BBQ


You can find Stubb's BBQ sauce in grocery stores all over the world. If you did not know, there is also a restaurant located in Austin. Stubb's actually started in my wife's hometown of Lubbock, Texas. Even President Barack Obama has stopped in here for lunch. The next time Obama was in town, he stopped at Franklin Barbecue. That man loves his barbecue. It has been a while since I have eaten at Stubb's. The last time I ate here was on a Sunday during brunch. You have to make a reservation to attend the Gospel Brunch. The brunch buffet features items like brisket, migas, catfish, and enchiladas with a live band for entertainment.

A friend took this picture in a Switzerland grocery store


It was freezing cold outside when I went, but it was nice and toasty inside. I got the three-meat plate with the Texas trinity of moist brisket, ribs, and house sausage with sides of serrano cheese spinach and hand-cut fries. The brisket had a thick red smoke ring. The meat was tender but lacked favor, and the crust had a creosote aftertaste. You can get creosote with too much smoke, stale smoke, or a dirty smoker. Air needs to flow efficiently through a smoker. The sauce did help mask the taste. The rub on the ribs tasted good and were also smoky. The ribs were soft but were dry on certain bites. The sausage was fine. It was heavy on black pepper, and I liked that. The casing was chewy though. The hand-cut fries were great. It tasted fresh and was a nice change of pace. The spinach was similar to a thicker creamed spinach with spicy undertones. It was served lukewarm but was tasty. I was so full after the meal. There was an all you can eat option during lunch. I would be useless at work the rest of the day if I had done that.


If you want to grab a quick bite when you are downtown, Stubb's BBQ is an okay option. For locals, it will probably be a disappointment, but for tourists, it might be one of their better BBQ experience. Amber and I see a lot of concerts here. It is not best venue to see a show because it can get hot outside. The beer prices are not bad, and they serve barbecue sandwiches. On the way back to work, I drove by Franklin hoping for a short line because of the lousy weather. To no avail, I kept on driving. Grade: Other


Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 801 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 480-8341
Website: http://stubbsaustin.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StubbsAustin
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stubbsaustin

Monday, January 5, 2015

Smoke Shack BBQ


Amber's family met up in San Antonio for the holidays this year. It was another opportunity for me to explore more barbecue. Last time we visited San Antonio, we went to Two Bros. and The Granary. I have heard a lot of good things about the Smoke Shack BBQ so that was my vote for lunch. I guess I have a lot of pull in the family because that is where we went for lunch. Smoke Shack started in a food truck back in 2010 and opened up a brick and mortar location in 2014.


If I can, I would prefer to order combination plates over ordering meat by the pound. Normally they are better values, and you get sides with the meal. I got the three-meat plate with the Texas trinity of moist brisket, ribs, and sausage. It came with spicy cream corn and potato salad on the side. The brisket was good but nothing amazing. It was cooked on point. The oak/pecan kissed meat was nicely smoked and tender. I wanted a better bark with a little bit more flavor from the rub though. Dynamite. That is how I would describe the pork ribs. The sweet rub and smoke were balanced to perfection. The juicy meat gave little resistance to each bite. I could probably eat a whole rack of ribs by myself. It was just that good. It might be one of my favorites. The beef and pork blend sausage was solid. The casing was snappy, and the garlic and pepper made the sausage tasty. You can see that there was a lot of thought put into the homemade sides. The cream corn was not as creamy as I would like, but it was a good change of pace. There was a nice kick of spice. The potato salad was similar to a loaded baked potato but served cold. I tried some of my wife's macaroni and cheese. It was very cheesy and had bits of smoked meat in it.


If Smoke Shack was in Austin, I would go here a lot. It is good and has chicken tenders for the wife. They are open till 9 pm so you have time to stop in after work. The Congers have done a superb job with this joint. I am getting hungry thinking about them ribs. My only regret is for not getting the pulled pork on this trip. When people think of San Antonio, they do not think barbecue. Maybe they should. Grade: B


Until next time, happy smoking...

Address: 3714 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209
Phone: (210) 957-1430
Website: http://www.smokeshacksa.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/congerssmokeshack
Twitter: https://twitter.com/smokeshacksa