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OT: Trip to Austin

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Inspired by @dirty_denim86 recent trip to Austin, I finally bit the bullet and booked a trip to Austin from a Sunday to Wednesday afternoon. I'm looking to get feedback on my tentative plan, recommendations on things to do other than BBQ, and if there are any sketchy areas I should avoid staying in. The wife and soon to be 5 year old will be joining me on this adventure. 

Sunday: Micklethwait and La BBQ or Leroy & Lewis
Monday: Iron Works and Terry Blacks
Tuesday: Franklin and Stile/other or non BBQ
Wednesday: Valentinas before airport (1:25pm flight)

Now on to strategy... I'm concerned about the 2nd stops for dinner being sold out of brisket or their other signatures. Does it make sense to hit my top choices first so I'm not disappointed if brisket or beef ribs are sold out later in the day when I go for round 2? Franklin, Micklethwait, and Valentinas are my must haves, the others can be switched out as necessary. The above schedule takes into account the posted days/hours on their respective websites.

Looking forward to the critiques and suggestions!


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Comments

  • JohnInCarolina
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    The sketchy areas are the ones with the best tacos.

    I’m just saying…
    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike
  • Ragingirishman2
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    Will you have a car?  About 30 min outside of Austin is Treaty Oak Distillery. It has beautiful grounds and they serve delicious food and family friendly. You seem to have an agenda but thought I would throw this out there. 
    XL BGE
    Plainfield, IL.
  • Langner91
    Langner91 Posts: 2,120
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    It has been 21 years since I had a four/five year old, so don't take this personally.  I am sure your little one is a perfect mini-human.

    But, I would rather eat at McDonalds than stand in line with a hungry pre-kindergartener for an hour before each meal.  

    But, that's just me.  You got this!
    Clinton, Iowa
  • TechsasJim
    TechsasJim Posts: 1,909
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    If you want to stray from BBQ and get some Tex Mex El Arroyo is always a good time.   
    LBGE, 28” BS, Weber Kettle, HCI 7.8 SE Texas
  • Jstroke
    Jstroke Posts: 2,600
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    I am not sure what “booked” entails so if you have bought plane tickets, disregard. 

    Having raised three boys, this is my observation. Trips or activities that meant alot to me, or I was super interested in we’re best left to weekends where little ones could be left at home. Especially if I was trying to cram in as much as I could in a short amount of time. If kids are coming, then reduce activities by at least 50% and plan on being fluid. The whole experience is going to be better for everyone. I speak from having my own frustrations with agendas that had to be modified due to unrealistic expectations of young children. 
    Columbus, Ohio--A Gasser filled with Matchlight and an Ugly Drum.
  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 32,364
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    Check out the days when your desired stops are open as many in the Austin area are closed Monday and Tuesday.  
    Louisville; Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!  Seems I'm livin in a transitional period.
  • WeberWho
    WeberWho Posts: 11,026
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    lousubcap said:
    Check out the days when your desired stops are open as many in the Austin area are closed Monday and Tuesday.  
    That's some great advice. 
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • CMH88
    CMH88 Posts: 40
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    Appreciate the advice so far. We will have a car which should help open up some options. I hear everyone regarding a small child. My hope is there are some interesting things to do around the locations where my wife can take him and keep him occupied while I wait in line; playground, museum, open space, etc. 

    Perhaps I'm underestimating the wait times at some of these places. I know Franklin will be long, but hoping since it's Tuesday it won't be as bad. I figured Micklethwait would probably have something, but wasn't sure about the others.

    Definitely interested in non BBQ spots as well since we'll probably end up doing that once to break up all the brisket!

    We have the southwest companion pass which is why the family is tagging along. 
  • Foghorn
    Foghorn Posts: 9,841
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    @The Cen-Tex Smoker should have some good advice.  I know of some stuff to do when it is warm there - like paddleboard on Ladybird Lake, etc, but don't have a lot of good suggestions for this time of year that would be of interest while traveling with a child.

    I will say that we did a lot of travel with our kids - essentially from birth.  They can stay up for an evening event (like a broadway show when in New York - or fireworks at Disney) every other night.  But on the alternating nights we had them in bed early.  If we strayed from that there was a price to pay.  

    In the past, we have stayed at the Sheraton - which is walking distance to Franklin's.  But that was mostly because a buddy of mine was the general manager there and got us cheap rooms.  It's a good hotel with a good central location.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • LDR
    LDR Posts: 414
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    For non-BBQ (you heathen!) beyond Tex-Mex, I would recommend finding a place for chicken fried steak.  It's been a long time since I was there, but had several good ones.  Here are some ideas:


  • alaskanassasin
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    Watch the bats fly assuming they are there this time of year, not sure on that
    South of Columbus, Ohio.


  • Legume
    Legume Posts: 14,623
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    Watch the bats fly assuming they are there this time of year, not sure on that
    Summer thing.  They have a winter place in Mexico.
  • Legume
    Legume Posts: 14,623
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    @CMH88 when are you going?
  • Legume
    Legume Posts: 14,623
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    Crapshoot on the weather.  Could have a nice fake spring then.  I saw iron works on your list.  That's an old one, I haven't heard that name in a really long time and have no idea how it stacks up now.  It was around before any of the others on your list, old Austin along with green mesquite and other places that seem to have faded in the bright light of the newer places.  It used to always be filled with businessmen from downtown at lunch time.  A room full of white dress shirts with sleeves rolled up and ties tucked into the shirt, leaning over a plate of bbq is quite a sight.
  • EggObsessed
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    For a BBQ break, I would very highly recommend Tex-Mex at Matt's El Rancho on S. Lamar. They are an institution. I lived in Austin for about 30 years and Matt's was always my go to, whether for ourselves, or taking guests, meeting friends. Their FRESH LIME margaritas are exceptional! They have one taco plate called "Asadero Tacos" and they are on the Texas Monthly "100 Tacos You Must Eat Before you Die" list. They are filled with chunks of beef filet, with Asadero cheese "browned onto" the tortilla. Over the years, we've ordered them many ways, with the guidance of the wait staff. Our final version, which I highly recommend, is: Get them on flour tortillas, medium rare, order the cilantro and onion MIXTURE as a garnish. If you are a big jalapeno or garlic fan, you an order GRIDDLED jalapenos, and/or garlic. Incredible!!! Matt's has been open for 70 years!! We have lived an hour and a half away from Austin for the past 5-6 years, and still make the monthly drive to Matt's for a "fix". They are closed on Tuesdays. We've even run into Cen-Tex there!! 
    Kelley 
    Egging with No Joke Smoke (Bruce), enjoying small town life in Brenham, TX., the home of Blue Bell Ice Cream.  BGEs: XL, Medium,  1 MiniMax. 36" CookRite Commercial Griddle, and a Shirley Smoker.
  • nolaegghead
    nolaegghead Posts: 42,102
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    Don’t forget to schedule an angioplasty when you get back….🤪😂
    ______________________________________________
    I love lamp..
  • Botch
    Botch Posts: 15,479
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    Was it "5th Street" that had all the clubs/restaurants/nightlife on it?  I remember having so much fun there the first couple years, and when TX went to a 21-yr drinking age it hurt them pretty badly (close to UofT).  Great bands in every club, delicious smells everywhere, and cutie college coeds comingling!     
    _____________

    Remember when teachers used to say 'You won't have a calculator everywhere you go'?  Well, we showed them.


  • TechsasJim
    TechsasJim Posts: 1,909
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    Botch said:
    Was it "5th Street" that had all the clubs/restaurants/nightlife on it?  I remember having so much fun there the first couple years, and when TX went to a 21-yr drinking age it hurt them pretty badly (close to UofT).  Great bands in every club, delicious smells everywhere, and cutie college coeds comingling!     
    6th street.    Great for the younger crowd for sure. 
    LBGE, 28” BS, Weber Kettle, HCI 7.8 SE Texas
  • Dyal_SC
    Dyal_SC Posts: 6,052
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    Great food trucks throughout. 
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
    The Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 22,968
    edited February 2023
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    For a BBQ break, I would very highly recommend Tex-Mex at Matt's El Rancho on S. Lamar. They are an institution. I lived in Austin for about 30 years and Matt's was always my go to, whether for ourselves, or taking guests, meeting friends. Their FRESH LIME margaritas are exceptional! They have one taco plate called "Asadero Tacos" and they are on the Texas Monthly "100 Tacos You Must Eat Before you Die" list. They are filled with chunks of beef filet, with Asadero cheese "browned onto" the tortilla. Over the years, we've ordered them many ways, with the guidance of the wait staff. Our final version, which I highly recommend, is: Get them on flour tortillas, medium rare, order the cilantro and onion MIXTURE as a garnish. If you are a big jalapeno or garlic fan, you an order GRIDDLED jalapenos, and/or garlic. Incredible!!! Matt's has been open for 70 years!! We have lived an hour and a half away from Austin for the past 5-6 years, and still make the monthly drive to Matt's for a "fix". They are closed on Tuesdays. We've even run into Cen-Tex there!! 
    Could not have said it better. I would add a large Bob Armstrong queso to everything you recommended. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
    The Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 22,968
    edited February 2023
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    Will you have a car?  About 30 min outside of Austin is Treaty Oak Distillery. It has beautiful grounds and they serve delicious food and family friendly. You seem to have an agenda but thought I would throw this out there. 
    Great spot. Would have to do that on Sunday as I don’t believe they are open Monday or Tuesday. Sunday is the best day out there anyway. Have taken several forum peeps out there over the years and it’s always a hit. If the weather is nice, it’s a great spot and will be loaded with families/dogs/kids. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 32,364
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    And there you have all you need to know and more.  I am refining my next objectives as I read the above from @The Cen-Tex Smoker.  Ground truth right there.  

    Louisville; Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!  Seems I'm livin in a transitional period.
  • Foghorn
    Foghorn Posts: 9,841
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    +1 on Uchiko.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • Eggdicted_Dawgfan
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    +1 for BBQ once a day instead of twice. And definitely skip a day if you have more than 2-3 days there. Looking forward to trying some of these non-bbq recs from the locals here next time I’m in town. 
    Snellville, GA


  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 32,364
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    If pressed for time and a narrow window of opportunity, if you only go after brisket (1 slice lean and 1 fatty) at each place you can get three stops done in a day.  
    Louisville; Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!  Seems I'm livin in a transitional period.
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    lousubcap said:
    If pressed for time and a narrow window of opportunity, if you only go after brisket (1 slice lean and 1 fatty) at each place you can get three stops done in a day.  
    I have still never seen anything like the pace you keep when you come down. It’s impressive. You eat as much brisket in 3 days as I do all year lol. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    I just read your “must haves”. Although they are all good choices, if I were doing a bbq tour of Austin (or recommending to friends and family), my must-haves would be Interstellar, Franklin, Leroy and Lewis-with Valentina’s for breakfast/lunch. Mickelthwait is good but it’s a full step down from any of those 3. I would throw Mickelthwait strongly in the #2 category with La Barbecue and Terry Blacks (probably the best of that group). Iron works and styles switch a full step down from them- I would never recommend either to anyone visiting town with limited time to eat the best bbq. Mickelthwait is really known more for their homemade breads, sides and desserts. Their meats are average. Can be real hit and miss. Even when they are on, full step down from the other 3 I mentioned. 

    As far a sketchy places to stay…I don't think that would be a problem if you are staying in a hotel. Downtown is awesome and will be kid-friendly on Sunday-Wednesday. 6th street gets very dangerous on weekends after midnight. Shootings every weekend down there. Completely out of hand. Mostly drunk college kids, gang bangers, and homeless people down there on weekend nights. You could not pay me to go there on a Friday or Saturday.  2 blocks from there is beautiful with great restaurants and bars. You would never know you were so close to the sh!t show. 

    Let me know when you get some ideas on what you are thinking and I’ll make sure you land in a good spot. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • CMH88
    CMH88 Posts: 40
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    Thanks again everyone for all the great information! It's apparent I mixed up Interstellar with Iron Works, which throws a wrench in my plans due to their schedule. Here's my 2nd go at the food schedule:

    Sunday: L&L and Interstellar (maybe Treaty Oak in between)
    Monday: Terry Blacks and Loro
    Tuesday: Franklin and Matt's
    Wednesday: Valentinas

    I don't see any other way to get both L&L and Interstellar since they are closed Monday and Tuesday. I have no problem being the last person to board the plane, but I don't want to risk having to bail and miss BBQ completely that day. Plus, I really want to try Valentinas. 

    @The Cen-Tex Smoker thanks so much for all of the additional detail. We will definitely check out the library and hopefully get a hike or two in if the weather is nice. Also good to know I don't need to worry much when my wife and kid wander around without me while I'm standing in lines.