the spot: Micklethwait Craft Meats 1309 Rosewood Ave Austin TX 78722
the eats: brisket, barbacoa, pulled lamb, spareribs, beet salad, escabeche, jalapeño cheese grits
the bucks: $20 a person, $30 if you go big with beef ribs
the full nelson: the most underrated barbecue in Austin
If I had a nickel every time someone visiting Austin asked “is Franklin’s worth the wait?” I would take that loot and head straight over to Micklethwait Craft Meats. The answer to the Franklin’s question is really subjective. Do you want to spend a full day waiting to eat at just one barbecue spot, in a town loaded with more smoked meat masters than even I have had time to try in 3 years of living here? Look, Franklin’s is indeed very very good. Their brisket can win over a vegan or at least a pescatarian and a little secret: their smoked turkey is one of the best things to ever have been pulled out of a smoker. But you will have to wait for hours and hours for like it was a damn job. If you have seen the post about Bang for your Brisket Buck or watched my episode on Best Thing I Ever Ate, you know my love for La Barbecue. But that too comes with a substantial wait. Enter Micklethwait Craft Meats, an East Austin food trailer slinging what I believe to be the most underrated barbecue in town.
It often starts in a backyard where a Dad dumps lighter fluid over a pyramid of charcoal briquettes. Hotdogs stand at the ready to be charred. You inevitably eat outside. For a moment, the modern suburban American is somehow a little more connected to nature and the primal beginnings of human civilization. Eating around the fire is both ancient ritual and modern day American food tradition. In either case, while the scenario is fun, eating well from fire is often an art best left to the experts. Enter American Barbecue, the Central Texas smoked meat tradition, and our current food renaissance’s obsession with the pit master obsessed with brisket. There is just nothing quite like it. Sure, Memphis fanatics will talk up the supremacy of sugar rubbed ribs and Carolina pulled pork enthusiasts will mock anything that isn’t porcine focused but man who doesn’t love beef in America? Further, who doesn’t love the pure satisfaction of beef kissed with smoke, salt and pepper? There is plenty of room on my table for all kinds of Barbecue and not just our domestic fare either, but I happily now count myself among the ranks of the brisket obsessed and I can thank living in Austin for that. There has been a renaissance, wait I used that word already, well F*** it, it is what it is, there has been a Renaissance in Central Texas Barbecue that has stretched out as far west as Compton CA and as far east as the Big Apple. But today we will focus on Central Texas Brisket found right here in Central Texas. So here we go – 5 Austin picks where you will find some Bang for your Brisket Buck.