Thursday, November 3, 2011
AUSTIN: Bar-B-Q Heaven
SW Corner of Seventh & Red River
Austin, TX 78701
It was eleven o'clock at night in downtown Austin. I was parked illegally in a spot that I could keep in sight while I walked up the window at the Bar-B-Q Heaven truck. A man wearing a shirt from this popular food truck looked on agreeably, so I thought I should be safe in the parking spot just vacated by a taxi hauling unsteady students just back to school. Smoke still surrounded the trailer as I made my way up to the ordering window. My glances were shared between the man cutting the meat behind the window and my car in its illegal spot. When money was exchanged and my bag of meat finally came through the window, I was off into the night avoiding a collision with the revelers of Sixth Street.
Back at a friend's house, I opened the container to find meats of widely varying quality. Brisket took the low end of both flavor and texture. The meat was both overcooked and mushy while still allowing the fat to be chewy. There was no crust, smokering or smoke flavor. This made the high quality of the ribs confounding. The pork was well smoked, perfectly tender with great flavor. The fat was nicely rendered out the split spare ribs, and they were quite enjoyable. Sausage fell right in the middle. The dry disks were well beyond their prime, but the underlying peppery flavors were good as well as the smokiness. To be fair, I had a sample of their brisket early one evening a few months ago and it was very promising, but if this poor brisket is a possibility on any given visit, then beware and stick with the ribs.