Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bring on another pound of brisket....

We are back from our long weekend down in Austin, TX. Now if you had asked us we would
have told you we were going there for Maker Faire but you know the real reason was the barbecue. Oh, we did eat our share...
First stop was Cooper's in Llano, TX which is out in Hill Country. People line up here to get their pick of whatever is on the pits that day.
Choose your meat
We chose pork ribs, pork loin, brisket & sausage though we also could have had beef ribs, steaks, prime rib,  pork chops, goat, chicken & ham. Then you can have them dip them in thin sauce if you want. Bring your tray of meat inside where they cut it up as needed & charge you by the pound. Sides are the classic potato salad & cole slaw with all the beans & white bread you want for free. You sit down at a communal picnic table & eat right off your paper placemat.
Our meal cost about $28 & I thought we had a lot of meat until the couple next to us sat down with $60 worth! This was probably the best meat we had on the trip especially the brisket which was fall apart tender. I have to say the sausage was a real surprise to us & super tasty. We heard from some people around us that the goat was great so we wished we'd tried it too.

The next day it was off to the Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX. Here you sit down & chose your meat & sides from a menu though it is by no means anything but casual. You can order your food family-style all-you-can-eat or just get a plate which includes meal, bread, coleslaw, potato salad & beans.
Salt Lick
We went for the combination plates with sausage, pork ribs & brisket. We figured 3/4 pound of meat each was enough & we didn't need all-you-can eat. The sauce here was nice & tangy (which is apparently usual for Texas) & we really liked their potato salad. I liked their pork ribs though Matt thought they could be more tender. The brisket was what we were more traditionally used to though I thought mine was a bit dry. All-you-can-eat here costs $18.95 person while a plate was $11.95. 

Monday night we went to Lambert's in downtown Austin for some "fancy barbecue." Lambert's is a nice sit-down restaurant in an old restored building yet still features wonderful barbecued meat. Here we could chose our meat either smoked or grilled & then choose family style sides. Really it was the salads & sides that made this places food a little fancier. None of the other barbecue places are offering beet & goat cheese salads or green beans in brown butter.
They give you really generous portions of the meat & then your choice of sauces to dress it up if you wish. This was the only place we went to that offered pulled pork (which I had & it was so good). You pay a little more for the ambience & fancier food here, meat choices started at $12 & I think went up to $40 & that does not include your sides which are family-style & cost $6 each. It was kind of funny to come back from a nice dinner out & smell you've been sitting right next to the smoker.

I'm afraid we may need to go on a meat free diet for a few days after this trip....


TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

I've never seen a "buffet"-ish display in a pit before! =)

Deborah said...

Now I'm having a major meat craving...

Kelly said...

ahhhhhhh i love the salt lick.

Stacey Snacks said...

BBQ is so foreign to us in the NYC area. The imposters always try and set up bbq restaurants, but they are not authentic.
That buffet is certainly interesting looking.
Is that really Kat eating that?
You go girl!

Peter M said...

I lordy...this is meat heaven! I'd have to detox for a a week after this feast.

Anonymous said...

The salt lick is our favorite. I'm the loser who goes for the sides and the chicken, but I love arguing over who makes the best sauce!

ben wideman said...

oh wow this looks amazing. Very few great places in SoCal. I miss the south.

PG said...

Wow...and I thought I had a lot of meat with my 4lb brisket.

Looks really tasty. Although today's news about the health risks associated with red meat have me contemplating ways to reduce my red meat consumption.

HungryinSW said...

I love Texas BBQ. Been down there a few times for tournaments and I think I'm yet to eat a vegetable. Your pictures take me back!

Brendan Steinhauser said...

Did you guys have V&V Sausage?? It's the best sausage in Texas!

grace said...

what you've described is essentially my heaven on earth. thanks for the pictures--at least i get to be there vicariously through you. :)

Melani said...

Lambert's is one of our favorites. I love that you can get deviled eggs as an appetizer there and their sides are incredible.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recommendations! We took the drive out to Cooper's and it was definitely worth every bite! At 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon, there was already a line out the front with around 30 people. Worth every bite! I'll definitely check back for other recommendations!

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