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Austin BBQ: A Tour of the Town

Mar 20, 2008
Deep in the heart of Austin Texas, folks have been cooking up their own brand of BBQ for years and years. Unlike those other BBQ meccas like Memphis and Kansas City, where pulled pork is all the rage, in Austin it's all about the beef. We'll start our tour a bit out of town (about 30 minutes) in Driftwood where The Salt Lick BBQ Restaurant brings the city dwellers out in droves.

Their generous portions of brisket, chicken, sausage, and homemade cobblers have earned The Salt Lick an international reputation. You can order sandwiches, plates, and combos, but we recommend the All You Can Eat option that comes in at less than $15 a person. Making your way back to town, you may pass a gas station that proclaims to have the "wurst BBQ in Texas." Pull in and you'll find yourself and Rudy's Country Store and BBQ. Rudy's is a favorite throughout the state of Texas. Slide on up to the counter and order your brisket, sausage, chicken, and pork by the weight. Your order comes wrapped in wax paper with plenty of Wonder bread to go around. Rudy's also serves breakfast tacos in the mornings and has a wonderful selection of sides including beans, creamed corn, and potato salad.

Back in downtown Austin you can visit the old Weigl Ironworks building, the home of Ironworks BBQ. A favorite haunt of politicians in the heart of downtown, the Ironworks is a great place for people watching. They serve platters and sandwiches with all the sides. Trust us when we say that the beef ribs are worth the trip alone. The Ironworks is also one of the few joints in town to offer an all you can eat salad bar. In the heart of the live music capital of the world, Stubb's BBQ is just as famous as a great music venue as it is a restaurant. The specialties here are the chopped beef sandwiches and chocolate pecan pie. The best time to visit is on Sunday morning, when the sounds of the famous Gospel brunch spill out onto the streets.

Moving a few blocks northwest to Guadalupe St., you'll find Ruby's BBQ filled with hungry students from the University of Texas nearly every day of the week. Their reputation is based on their wonderful chopped beef sandwiches. You can also order the usual selection of meats by the pound. For your non-meat eating friends who may like to tag along, Ruby's is also the only place we know that offers vegetarian jambalaya.

Our tour heads west on Bee Caves Road at The County Line on The Hill. In addition to their fine BBQ, The County Line also offers grilled fish, chicken, and steaks. Founded in 1975, in a converted speak easy, The County Line offers a great view of the Texas hill country. These fine BBQ establishments are just a sampling of the great restaurants all over Austin. Where ever you go you're sure to find cold beer, good food, and great people.
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