There are few better things than a perfectly smoked brisket, beef rib, pulled pork, etc. When the proper combination of heat, smoke and meat come together, the results can be an experience as opposed to a meal. I had that experience today at La Barbecue in Austin, Texas. Even though I was dripping in sweat by the time we were at the front of the line ordering, I could not get my mind off of the smells, and sights that were engulfing my senses. In addition to the BBQ, I was also reminded of the BBQ experience that has been missing in my life since the last time I was in Austin. There is almost always going to be a significant line to wait in if you want to get some of the best BBQ, at least that is the case in Austin.
We arrived at about 10:00am to start waiting for what would turn out to be the best BBQ of the day. I had high hopes initially because this particular establishment came highly recommended by my brother, whose taste I trust supremely. This particular joint is a food truck that is situated in a densely developed part of the city, and I could see how it would be possible to drive right past it if you’re not looking for it. By the time we would leave not only we found the barbecue, but we had also found the Texas BBQ experience at La Barbecue.
I cannot say enough good things about the food we had. Brisket, turkey, pulled pork, and a beef rib that could destroy the buoyancy balance in a nuclear submarine! I honestly don’t see how it can get much better than this which does not bode well for the assuredly longer line that awaited us at Franklin BBQ the next day.
For starter’s I have to address the beef rib. This is by far the best beef rib I have ever had at a restaurant. There was a great render of the fat that comes with the cut. the bark on these ribs is out of this world. A very peppery crispy bark greets any patron who is lucky enough to nab one of these ribs before they sell out early in the afternoon. The meat that occupied the prehistoric looking bone left on the bottom was tender enough that one could easily poke a finger down through the whole thickness of the rib. The beef flavor was heavily offset by the amount of fat that was coursing with flavor that now courses through my veins. If you have a friend to share it with this is one of the best ways to go at this joint.
Next, we should probably have that important conversation about pork. the pulled pork that came on our tray was cooked to be very tender, and was pre-doused in a vinegar sauce that gave things a nice twang on the initial bite. The marriage of this sauce, and this pork definitely hits the spot in a BBQ jungle that is dominated by un-sauced brisket.
Turkey is not just for thanksgiving. Never has been, never will be. Thank goodness there are BBQ joints across the country that agree with me on that point. I would imagine that La Barbecue has some of the best turkey available from those BBQ joints! I liked the thickness of the slices that the turkey cam in, and I also liked the seasonings that were on the top of the slices we ordered. There was a good smoke flavor, but it was not overpowering like turkey can get in the smoker against a lighter flavored meat. even though the slices were a little thicker than what you might normally find at a BBQ joint, I think there was a great texture, and tenderness to the slices. It’s definitely worth a shot if you find yourself in line for La Barbecue.
Now time for the main attraction… the brisket. I don’t think there are enough good things that I can say about this brisket. From the burnt ends that were cut for us to try to the last bites we took off our tray was all sublime. For starters, it is cooked to a perfect tenderness in the lean, and fatty cuts. I feel obligated to create an official tenderness scale just so I can rate this at the top. The Bark is perfectly seasoned with the rub that is midnight black when it is served. The interaction of fat cap, and salt/pepper in the rub in this brisket has created what I have heard referred to as “meat candy.” When brisket is cooked wonderfully, and there is a great rub interacting with a great piece of meat this magical substance is found, and occupies your whole brain as you are eating it. I believe that in the interest of time, I have said enough good things about the brisket.
It’s a good thing that there were no emergencies in the immediate area while I was eating La Barbecue because I’m not entirely sure that I would vacate the area if it was deemed “necessary.” Even though this was BBQ that came directly after a trip to Snow’s in Lexington it felt like eating BBQ for the first time while I was enjoying it. I cannot see any scenario in which one goes to La Barbecue, and doesn’t have a good meal. I implore you to try this joint if you find yourself anywhere near the Austin area!