The Central Texas BBQ Run

Sometimes, you just gotta have some barbecue. But sometimes, that’s easier said than done.

Unfortunately, living in Northern New England means that we’re so far outside the good barbecue belt that most of the attempts to do “barbecue” up here are woefully misguided, with some sort of ketchupy sauce slathered onto some grilled meat and called “good enough”. Sure, there are a few exceptions (go consult the fine guide over at PigTrip, but, in general, the state of affairs is dismal enough I’m surprised that the phrase “New England Barbecue” hasn’t already caused some sort of Civil-War-like incident.

So, when I found that in April 2011 several of my online friends from were staging another “Central Texas BBQ Run”, I decided it was well about time I cashed in some free airline tickets and come join them. So, early Friday morning, I got up at the ridiculously early hour of 3am, and drove through the slushy snow to the airport. After a bit of airline drama involving the world’s longest deicing, resulting in a new record for “shortest connection at BWI”, I made it to Austin.

In two and a half days, I ended up eating at five top-notch BBQ joints, and sampling more than half a dozen of Austin’s food carts as well. The total list of places includes (click on each to go to that place’s full review):

  1. Kreuz Market, Lockhart, TX
  2. Odd Duck Farm to Trailer, Austin, TX, one of the best-regarded Austin food carts
  3. Gourdough’s Donuts, next to Odd Duck
  4. The Peached Tortilla, a fusion cuisine taco truck in downtown Austin
  5. Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, TX, where we had BBQ for breakfast
  6. City Meat Market in Giddings, TX, to tide us over until we got to Luling
  7. City Market in Luling, TX, for another fine pile of meat
  8. Love Balls, another fine food cart in Austin
  9. Bits and Druthers, a fish and chip trailer next to Love Balls
  10. Chi-Lantro, the Austin taco truck famous for it’s kimchi fries
  11. Franklin BBQ in Austin, the current king of central TX BBQ