There’s a new barbecue joint in town, and it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump (or perhaps a shirtless unicycle ride, if you’re like most of our locals) from Barton Springs and Town Lake. Please welcome Terry Black’s.
This Austin location hails from famed Black’s in Lockhart (and I would like to mention that if you haven’t heard of Lockhart, we need to seriously school you in Texas Barbecue 101).
They have a huge buffet-style spread of sides, plenty of space indoors and out, and of course: Tasty, smoked meats.
I’m not gonna lie, my favorite feature of this place is the abundance of Texas wine available. I know, I know, you should drink beer with barbecue, and they have that as well, but major props to them for having my beverage of choice. Next time you’re hungry after a drip in the springs, or after a relaxing walk over the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge, head here, and give them a try.
We made a quick stop in to Terry Black’s to try Austin’s most talked about, new barbecue stand. The weather was nice, and their patio offered plenty of seating with a beautiful view of the Long Center.
It was late in the afternoon, but we still managed to grab some of their last brisket. Given that I can’t have beer lately (blame it on the low-carb diet), I was happy to see wine offered by both the bottle and half-bottle ($12-$18). There were no lines, despite the restaurant being moderately busy.
We thought what we had was above-average, and even better when you factor in that there wasn’t a 2 hour wait, or a 3 hour drive to acquire it. I should also mention that given you don’t have to jump through hoops to get their food, it’s not necessarily an insane, melt-in-your-mouth, Franklin-esque experience. It’s still good though, and definitely worth a try on a lazy Saturday afternoon after a dip in Barton Springs.
I’d be hard pressed to find someone that has never heard of Franklin Barbecue, the place that Anthony Bourdain claims has the best barbecue in America. If you live in Austin, chances are that you’ve been before, or at least seen the lines of hungry would-be patrons wrapped around the block in hopes of getting in before Franklin runs out.
I don’t eat red meat, but my partner and his friends are pretty much anti-vegetarians. I think cookies are the only non-meat thing they’ll consume. We woke up early, stocked up on booze, and set up camp in line hours before Franklin opened. I recommend getting there as early as 9 a.m. and bringing a chair. Bringing your own alcohol helps make the time pass rather quickly.
Once inside, the seating gets competitive. Expect to have to sit outside for the most part, and to see Aaron Franklin himself serving you from behind the counter. He complimented my partner’s glasses and I’ve never heard the end of it. “Aaron Franklin likes my glasses!”
Out of the ribs, sausage, and brisket that was had, it appears that brisket was the star (and most photogenic). I admit to taking a tiny piece of the meat just to say I did, and despite what everyone on Twitter said, which was mostly, “You’re going to be a carnivore after trying Franklin!” I must confess that I am still not into meat, but could see how people who enjoyed meat would especially enjoy Franklin’s creations.
Was it the best barbecue my partner and his friends ever had? Yes.
Will they wait in line for it again any time soon? Probably not. The hassle of getting in makes it more of a special occasion sort of thing, and not a weekly excursion.