Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Barbeque at It's Best!


Now, my intention is not to start a barbeque war or make people defensive about their hometown barbeque.  Great barbeque comes from numerous places across this country and each has a unique distinctive flavor.  I know Kansas City is famous for their smoky meats and sauces (in fact, I still have my barbeque sauce shipped from Zarda’s in K.C. and Betsy gets hers shipped from Montgomery Inn in Cincinnati – this is one thing we just can’t agree on); and Memphis dry rub, fall-off-the-bone pork ribs are the pride of Tennessee; and pulled pork from the Carolinas slathered with tangy sauce ranks high in my book.  BUT, when it comes to brisket, Texas rules the pit.  Barbeque joints are everywhere in Texas and we felt obligated to sample a number of these smoky joints.  We sampled barbeque in a double wide trailer, ate with a stunning Hill Country view, waited in line for two hours, and ate at an old family restaurant and market in Lockhart - the “Barbeque Capital of Texas.”  When it comes to meat, we tried pork ribs, beef ribs, sausage, brisket and pulled pork. Needless to say, we are saturated with barbeque and taking a hiatus.  Here is our pictorial rendition of our culinary adventure through the world of Texas barbeque.  Sorry for only including five restaurants, but, we just can’t eat any more!  

We loved the personality and caring love that went into the delicious plates of food at Miss Mae’s.  

We loved Miss Mae's so much they got their own post - check out the previous post (Miss Mae's Bar-B-Q) for an in depth review of our great experience.  Owner Steve Dunk proudly shows off his custom made pit.
We love how Miss Mae is prominently featured at the entrance by the menu.  A testament to  being a true family business. Steve Dunk (her Grandson) runs the restaurant now and glows when he talks about his Grandmother.  
The view from The County Line is stunning and the beef ribs are huge.  This was a favorite of our late friend Judy so we just had to try it and drink a toast to her and her beloved state of Texas and the Longhorns.

The restaurant is warm and welcoming with great food.
Great view of the hills just west of Austin.  No wonder our friend loved this place.
They are famous for their beef ribs...and if you want you can get your picture taken with one.  Sorry there are no pictures of the food - we dove in and starting eating before the camera came out.  Deal with it!
Franklin's Barbeque is the only restaurant where we have ever stood in line for two hours.  The wait drove our stomachs crazy and their famous brisket did not disappoint. So, this is the story of how we got into the ordeal...

Betsy's friend and colleague, Cathi (from California), mentioned that the restaurant was ranked one of the Top 10 Barbecue Restaurants in the U.S. as ranked by Bon Appetite Magazine.
So on her recommendation, we decided to go.  This was the line at 10:15 a.m. (45 minutes before they opened).  Ugh!
Now that we were inside, it was time to order.  No fancy service in this joint -step up to the counter and order.
But while you are waiting for two hours you might as well pose for a picture.  We met some wonderful Austinites in line  and enjoyed talking to them while waiting.  If you're lucky, the waitresses will come around with cold beer for sale.
Here is the menu.  Choose what you want unless it is no longer available (which is denoted with paper taped over it).
Or you can just look at the front door to discover they are "SOLD OUT."  This usually happens around 1 p.m..  That is why you have to get there EARLY.  If you have money to burn, you could hire a "line sitter" to hold your place in line.  Seriously, they really do exist and they get there at 9 - 9:30 a.m.

Betsy's plate of pork ribs, beans, and potato salad.

I opted for the Tipsy Texan - a pile of chopped brisket, a link of sausage, and topped with cole slaw.  It gets it's name because it is so big that it tips over.
The Salt Lick was the first place we tried and we can still taste their mouth watering food.  The atmosphere and food are great…and they make their own wines.

All I can say....yum!
The sausages were delicious.
They burn through lots of oak wood, literally.
The Kreuz’s Sausage and Barbecue Company is located in the “Barbeque Capital of Texas” (Lockhart) and offers succulent brisket and ribs.  The jalapeno sausage is mouthwatering.

Any place that has been serving barbecue and homemade sausage sine 1990 is good enough for us to try.
These pits are burning all day and night and there are many more than these two.  The sawdust on the floor absorbs the grease.
Step up to the counter and order your meat served to you right off the pit...
...and this hunky barbecue guy will slice you up a tender piece of brisket with his scimitar (that's a big meat knife to you non-foodies).
Here is the menu...
...and this is how they serve it - NO sauce and NO forks.
Yea, I got to eat my jalapeno cheese sausage with my hands.
Food is served in brown paper.  Brisket, sausage, pork ribs, beans, potato salad, onions, crackers, and beer.  

I think we have said enough about barbecue.  Hungry yet?

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