Monday, February 20, 2012

Austin's BBQ

507 East Main St.
Eagle Lake, TX 77434
Open Thur-Sat 8-6, Sun 9-2

Only two BBQ joints in Texas have made it into Texas Monthly's Top 50 BBQ in 1997, 2003 & 2008 without being in the top 5. One is Schoepf's in Belton and the other is Austin's in Eagle Lake. I've had this one on my wish list for some time, so I was excited to give it a try and see what's so special. A good sign upon arrival was a haphazard pile of pecan logs taking up several spaces in the parking lot. This is the only wood they use in their very large indirect smokers out in front of the building.

The placement of the smokers right next to the entrance make for a appetizing odor and a solid advertisement for their smoking methods.

Ordering is done inside along a small walkway that leads to the register. Options are limited, so I went straight for the Texas trinity of brisket, ribs and sausage. There are signs stating that you must request your sauce on the side if you want it that way, so I did.

A homemade sausage was a beef and pork mix with heavy black pepper seasoning. The links were good, but could have had more smoke and a better snap to the casing. The grind made for an almost cohesive sausage, but it hadn't reached commercial sausage consistency. The ribs were incredible. A heavy black pepper rub helped create a beautiful crust. The smoke penetrated deeply into the meat, and the rendered fat within made these ribs perfectly juicy. Brisket had the same heavy rub and well rendered fat. The smoke was bold on these tender slices, and the fat that remained had excellent flavor. All the standard sides are available, but I went with the duo of potato salads. Both types were mashed pretty heavily. The mayo-based option had a heavier vinegar kick with some good sweetness while the mustard-based one was pale yellow with a milder flavor. Either option would be one of the better potato salads around. With all of these quality meats and sides, it's no wonder the accolades have been steady and frequent. This is a joint worth seeking out.

Rating ****


DannyPhannyFeeFieFoPhanny said...

This place looks pretty cool. Thanks for writing up about it. I used to live in texas for work a few times but people only wanted to go to BBQ chains. I felt lucky to have gotten out to a couple of small BBQ shops in no-where towns. they were the best. Im going to use your reviews next time im in Texas.
Ive actually begun a BBQ Chip blog and i was wondering if i could link your site to mine? i dont have any linked sites yet! let me know!

Texas2step said...

I was thrilled to see that you went over to Austin's BBQ in Eagle Lake! I was more thrilled you rated them with 4 stars! I too love this place and frequent on my travels to and from Austin and/or Columbus! Your score only validates what many of us already know! Austin's BBQ is the real deal!


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.