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OT: Trip to Austin

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  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 32,628
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    Based on only one data point for Sunday I would hit Intersteller first then L&L.  I did that sequence in Dec '21.  The line grew much quicker at Intersteller.  FWIW- 
    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.
  • Hook_emHornsfan_74
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    @The Cen-Tex Smoker have you tried Qi yet?  Went there for my birthday.  Was really really good.  We also really like Woo Chow.
    Midland, TX XLBGE
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    CMH88 said:
    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. 
    If you can pull that schedule off you will be well-rewarded. Just know they are all awesome so don’t fret if you miss one. 

    The only wrench in your plans is Matt’s is closed Tuesdays. There are other great Tex Mex options you could try. Maudie’s is a local staple and they do it right (bright Orange gooey cheesy “the plate is very hot” goodness). They are all over town as well so there will be one close-ish to where you stay. Very kid friendly. 

    ATX Cocina would be a good tuesday dinner as well (pretty fancy and the food is very upscale- perhaps not 5 year old friendly if he likes to eat like a typical 5 year old). 

    There are great spots in every part of town so once you get you home base figured out, let me know and I’ll try to get you some local intel on that area. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    @The Cen-Tex Smoker have you tried Qi yet?  Went there for my birthday.  Was really really good.  We also really like Woo Chow.
    Yes- we love Qi and Lin Asian (same owner/chef). We go to one or the other every time we are in town. Those are our birthday celebration places for the kids who live in Austin. Wu Chow is good too but not nearly as good as Lin and Qi. She does it right at both those places. Amazing soup dumplings!

    I would highly recommend either of these places (Qi and/or Lin Asian) to anyone (and they are kid friendly for OP’s sake). Get reservations now if you don’t want to eat at 4:30 or 10. They both fill up fast-even during the week. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • dmchicago
    dmchicago Posts: 4,516
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    Qi is the bomb diggity. 
    Philly - Kansas City - Houston - Cincinnati - Dallas - Houston - Memphis - Austin - Chicago - Austin

    Large BGE. OONI 16, TOTO Washlet S550e (Now with enhanced Motherly Hugs!)

    "If I wanted my balls washed, I'd go to the golf course!"
    Dennis - Austin,TX
  • nolaegghead
    nolaegghead Posts: 42,102
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    Man, I love dim sum.
    ______________________________________________
    I love lamp..
  • EggObsessed
    EggObsessed Posts: 786
    edited February 2023
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    Matt's is closed on Tuesdays, sadly. Can you rearrange things? Maybe switch nights for Loro and Matt's. They are on the same road, a stones throw from each other.
    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.
  • CMH88
    CMH88 Posts: 41
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    Loro and Matt's will be switched. The others sound good too but wouldn't want to bring the kid to an upscale place. 

    Any other data points on going to L&L or Interstellar first? It might be a moot point as Leroy's is 8 minutes away from the airport which is convenient due to timing. Maybe I'll have my wife drop me off at Leroy's while she continues on to Interstellar.
  • PPMD
    PPMD Posts: 1
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    We just moved from Austin a few months ago, and have little kids so thought I might chime in. One more place to throw out there would be distant relatives. It's a BBQ truck at Meanwhile brewing. Chicken is what they're known for, and the burnt ends + black eyed peas side is delicious. They were nominated for a James Beard Award this year. Also, meanwhile brewery is awesome - they consistently earn medals at national/international beer festivals, and they have a huge property with a playground for kids..

    Another kid friendly spot if you're into beer would be jester king. Great, unique beer (specialize in "farmhouse ales") and have a playground for kids.

    I second the poster above who mentioned breakfast tacos, but my favorite was the migas poblanas taco at Veracruz All Natural. They have a few locations around the city and I would highly recommend trying. One of their trucks is in the mueller neighborhood and is right next to a small lake with a playground.
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    PPMD said:
    We just moved from Austin a few months ago, and have little kids so thought I might chime in. One more place to throw out there would be distant relatives. It's a BBQ truck at Meanwhile brewing. Chicken is what they're known for, and the burnt ends + black eyed peas side is delicious. They were nominated for a James Beard Award this year. Also, meanwhile brewery is awesome - they consistently earn medals at national/international beer festivals, and they have a huge property with a playground for kids..

    Another kid friendly spot if you're into beer would be jester king. Great, unique beer (specialize in "farmhouse ales") and have a playground for kids.

    I second the poster above who mentioned breakfast tacos, but my favorite was the migas poblanas taco at Veracruz All Natural. They have a few locations around the city and I would highly recommend trying. One of their trucks is in the mueller neighborhood and is right next to a small lake with a playground.
    100% all of this. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 32,628
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    @PPMD -Welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.  Above all, have fun.  
    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.
  • xfire_ATX
    xfire_ATX Posts: 1,121
    edited February 2023
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    Sunday: Leroy and Lewis is head and shoulders above the other 2. Go there first and hit one of the others if you still Have the stomach for it (you probably won’t)

    Monday: skip iron works (really obscure old school place but has long been passed by with all the new places coming on board). Iron works would be so far down my list you would have to stay here a month to get there. Terry blacks is really good. 

    Tuesday: Franklin only. Stiles sucks, and you will be at franklin for hours. Do your family a favor and don’t spend 6 hours a day chasing bbq. It’s great, but not that great. 

    Wednesday: yes

    you are missing interstellar which is another top 3 in the state joint here in Austin (ranked above Franklin in the last list). I would try to make time for that and bail on any thought of iron works or stiles switch. 

    As far as the other things to do: Tex Mex- Kelly has it nailed with Matt’s El Rancho. Classic Tex Mex and margaritas. I have taken JIC and other forum friends there. It’s great. 

    I know people come here for bbq and that’s cool. I think you are selling yourself way short and standing in lines all week to eat the same food over and over. If I laid a piece of franklin brisket, Valentina’s brisket, Leroy and lewis brisket, Terry black brisket, and 5 others on a plate, you could not tell them apart. One might be slightly better on that given day or more likely, you got a fresher slice or a piece with extra bark from one of them that was on point that day. Austin has a world class food scene with amazing restaurants and food trucks. Stretch your legs a little. Hit some of the classics for bbq, and get out there to try some other things. 



    dinner:



    Kirby lane cafe: serviceable diner style pancakes/eggs etc

    breakfast tacos anywhere. This is an Austin staple. I eat breakfast tacos several days a week and so does everyone else. Valentinas is the king (real deal Holyfield) but a simple bacon, egg, potato, and cheese with good salsa can be had a gas stations. And they are great. 


    Im sure Im late on this but my thoughts that are contrary to The Cen-Tex Smoker 

    Iron works- Ha I hadnt thought of that place in a long time until I went to Juan in a Million recently and drove by it.  Youre right old school but great location if youre staying by there.

    Stiles sucks- This is my favorite "overall" place.  When I say overall I mean the entire experience to me is the best.  Maybe 20 min wait usually, great Sausage, decent brisket and they usually have something interesting (like meatloaf)

    InterStellar- I happened to go there the day before they got announced top in Tx Monthly.  I thought the experience was AWFUL.  I was 3rd in line took 15 minutes or more.  Food was fine but nothing stood out.  I cant imagine how awful the process must be now.  Frankly if I am right there I go across the street and get Cajun food at Stuffed.

    Brisket- Im with The Cen-Tex Smoker  on this.. they are all so close and frankly Brisket isnt my favorite cut but... The two best I have had is Valentinas and a trailer by Lake Travis- Jims Smokehouse (http://jimssmokehousebbq.com/)


    Matt’s El Rancho can try my patience, its too big for its own good.  It can take forever for standard tex mex.  I am in the minority here but I find El Arroyo south to always be good.

    Kerby Lane is always good- well my Kids love it, I dont care for pancakes and such.

    Tacos are everywhere and I was blown away by how good Juan in a Million was.
    XLBGE, LBGECharbroil Gas Grill, Weber Q2000, Old Weber Kettle, Rectec RT-B380, Yeti 65, Yeti Hopper 20, RTIC 20, RTIC 20 Soft Side - Too many drinkware vessels to mention.

    Not quite in Austin, TX City Limits
    Just Vote- What if you could choose "none of the above" on an election ballot? Millions of Americans do just that, in effect, by not voting.  The result in 2016: "Nobody" won more counties, more states, and more electoral votes than either candidate for president. 
  • Legume
    Legume Posts: 14,648
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  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 32,628
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    Friggin nailed it.  Way to just get it done.  Awesome eats right there.  Your photos tell the story of a Q crawl in the Central Texas area. 
    Take a week off then plan the next trip. 
    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.
  • CMH88
    CMH88 Posts: 41
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    Some additional thoughts in case anyone in the future finds it useful...

    Meanwhile Brewing was great for kids. My son loved it there and they have a soccer field too. I think it's called Butler Metro Park, right across from one of the Terry Black locations, was also a really good spot for kids and we spent a lot of time there. 

    Food:

    Leroy - Beef cheeks from was a unique experience (in a good way). Brisket was awful, I've made better.

    Interstellar - Ran out of pork belly 8 people in front of me... Was pretty pissed since I waited probably 2 hours in line. Brisket was good, probably 2nd best but I didn't enjoy it as much since I was stuffed already from Leroys.

    Terry Blacks - Not sure if it's fair to compare beef rib to brisket, but it was top notch.

    Franklin - By far the best brisket. I was worried it would not meet expectations due to the hype and previous offerings. I feel like I'm cheating saying this, but the ribs might have topped the brisket, possibly because of expectations. Hands down the best ribs I've ever had by a multiple. I almost tried to see if I could get back in line to order more since I only got 2.

    Valentina's - Solid, good change of pace from traditional BBQ. Best tortillas we've ever had,

    Loro's and Matt's was good as well, and it was nice to take a break from BBQ.

    Overall, it was a good trip. I was a little disappointed until Franklin saved the day. To my surprise, I only gained 2 lbs.  

    For anyone in the Maryland/DC area, 2fifty BBQ holds up pretty well to some of the spots. I thought all of the them would blow 2fifty out of the water with "real" Texas BBQ, but honestly it wasn't by that large of a margin. 
  • kl8ton
    kl8ton Posts: 5,441
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    I'm trying to sneak in in Austin trip before the campground season fires up.  Thanks for all the recommendations.  I'm trying to go without kids. But I have a lot of kids with big appetites.  $$$$$
    Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • JohnInCarolina
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    CMH88 said:
    Thanks to everyone for the recommendations. It was a fun trip. I almost abandoned the schedule on Monday after stuffing my face the day before, but by coincidence we were at a playground across from Terry Blacks. It was clearly a sign, so I doubled down and got a 2lb beef rib for early lunch and kept the train going. 

    I have no idea how to post pictures properly so will just dump them. I clearly forgot to take pictures before eating every single time. The ones that haven’t been touched are from the wife, because she’s not a heathen like me.


    Dios mio!
    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike
  • kl8ton
    kl8ton Posts: 5,441
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    kl8ton said:
    I'm trying to sneak in in Austin trip before the campground season fires up.  Thanks for all the recommendations.  I'm trying to go without kids. But I have a lot of kids with big appetites.  $$$$$
    I also feel that I could save some money by buying an XL and some protein and taking 4 days to cook some stuff at home.  
    Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 32,628
    edited February 2023
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    In my observations as an outsider, the level of brisket skills and output in CT (not Connecticut) has (or may have) hit a plateau across the top-end places.  The differences are in the consumer's likes.
    Edit as the fat finger fired the post too soon. 
    The above said, you will not be disappointed with any places you visit but in the same vein, you can work at the cook and deliver great brisket in you back-yard, but it does take experimenting and that takes time.  FWIW-
    The most fun cook you can run with, thanks to "the cow drives the cook!"
    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.
  • xfire_ATX
    xfire_ATX Posts: 1,121
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    lousubcap said:
    In my observations as an outsider, the level of brisket skills and output in CT (not Connecticut) has (or may have) hit a plateau across the top-end places.  The differences are in the consumer's likes.

    This is my take, also you can hit a place on different days or different animals and be underwhelmed.   

    Frankly at this point I also put service into the mix.  
    I went to Interstellar on a lark the day before they got named number 1.  The process was stupid and for being 3rd in line it took way too long.  When I saw they got the spot my first thought was they couldnt handle 3 people how can they handle whats coming.

    I recently went Gravel biking out past Luling and Lockhart and on the way back we picked Terry Blacks in Lockhart- mainly as we could eat outside and keep an eye on the bikes.  I had chopped beef and Jalapeno sausage- chopped beef was good- their original sauce was better than spicy but I didnt like the sausage really too meally of a grind.  The Potato salad was very good and the service level was over the top.  The other rider got brisket, ribs and Sausage and he noted to him they were all very good.
    XLBGE, LBGECharbroil Gas Grill, Weber Q2000, Old Weber Kettle, Rectec RT-B380, Yeti 65, Yeti Hopper 20, RTIC 20, RTIC 20 Soft Side - Too many drinkware vessels to mention.

    Not quite in Austin, TX City Limits
    Just Vote- What if you could choose "none of the above" on an election ballot? Millions of Americans do just that, in effect, by not voting.  The result in 2016: "Nobody" won more counties, more states, and more electoral votes than either candidate for president. 
  • TechsasJim
    TechsasJim Posts: 1,930
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    xfire_ATX said:
    lousubcap said:
    In my observations as an outsider, the level of brisket skills and output in CT (not Connecticut) has (or may have) hit a plateau across the top-end places.  The differences are in the consumer's likes.

    This is my take, also you can hit a place on different days or different animals and be underwhelmed.   

    Frankly at this point I also put service into the mix.  
    I went to Interstellar on a lark the day before they got named number 1.  The process was stupid and for being 3rd in line it took way too long.  When I saw they got the spot my first thought was they couldnt handle 3 people how can they handle whats coming.

    I recently went Gravel biking out past Luling and Lockhart and on the way back we picked Terry Blacks in Lockhart- mainly as we could eat outside and keep an eye on the bikes.  I had chopped beef and Jalapeno sausage- chopped beef was good- their original sauce was better than spicy but I didnt like the sausage really too meally of a grind.  The Potato salad was very good and the service level was over the top.  The other rider got brisket, ribs and Sausage and he noted to him they were all very good.
    The above are some of the reasons I really enjoy Cooper's and Opie's.    Been to both many many times (albeit they are outside of Austin by a bit) but the consistency is there, always.    Sure, big lines form on the weekends but the service and consistency are a constant.    Just my .02
    LBGE, 28” BS, Weber Kettle, HCI 7.8 SE Texas
  • dstearn
    dstearn Posts: 1,702
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    When I was in Austin about 6 years ago Aaron Franklin sat down with me and wrote out some of his favorites on a sheet of butcher paper.
    Uchiko was one of our favorite non BBQ spots if you like Asian Fusion.

  • TechsasJim
    TechsasJim Posts: 1,930
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    dstearn said:
    When I was in Austin about 6 years ago Aaron Franklin sat down with me and wrote out some of his favorites on a sheet of butcher paper.
    Uchiko was one of our favorite non BBQ spots if you like Asian Fusion.

    fully agree with City Market in Luling.   Place is wonderful.
    LBGE, 28” BS, Weber Kettle, HCI 7.8 SE Texas