For those of you who’ve been living under the impression that one has to travel south or east to find good barbecue in or near Austin, we’ve got fantastic news: if you’re a resident of one of the town’s more northern regions, you barely even have to leave the neighborhood. Johnny T’s Round Rock BBQ offers a comparable pulled pork plate to that of Lambert’s downtown, and its brisket — dare we say it? — is knocking on the door of Franklin-level greatness. Though you don’t have to wait in line for two hours, whetting your appetite to the point of near dementia, we’re betting you’ll appreciate the smoked meats and generously-prepared sides all the same.
Our recommendation: try a two-meat plate (one-quarter pound apiece) and douse it in the unassuming joint’s classic and mustard sauces. It’s literally finger-lickin’ good, and you barely have to drive around the block to get it. Enjoy.
Johnny T’s Round Rock BBQ
1318 Round Rock Avenue
Open 7 days a week, 11 am – 9 pm
Although most of us find ourselves sick with caloric remorse after Thanksgiving and declare loudly that we’re never going to eat anything ever again, we generally see the light again by the following weekend. What better way to continue the feast than with a delectable brunch at Lamberts? The “upscale BBQ” establishment, although handsomely appointed, is actually a very comfortable spot, with gracious service — not to mention servings — of its beloved barbecue and finer dishes. Sunday brunch at Lamberts is served buffet-style, with cook-to-order stations set up along the way so you can customize your meal to your exact specifications. The drink menu is known for its craftsmanship and attention to detail, just like the rest of the Lamberts experience. (An insider tip: try the pulled pork. It just might change your life.)
401 West 2nd Street
Visit the Lamberts website for more info
Sunday brunch is served 11 am – 2 pm
Photo Credit – austinphotoimages.com
Saturdays and Sundays are always the same at the Franklin BBQ trailer on Austin’s eastside; proprieter Aaron Franklin is up at 3:30 a.m., readying the brisket and ribs. At 10 am, the line starts to form. Shortly after 1 pm, the sign goes up announcing that the trailer is sold out for the day, and the discouraged few still standing in line are left to try their luck another time. No one seems to mind, though; Franklin’s meat is just that legendary… quite a feat for a joint that only opened a couple of years ago. Even Bon Appetit magazine editors agree that it’s some of the best barbecue in the country. And really, with street cred like that, a one- or two-hour wait is nothing compared to the 18 the nationally-acclaimed brisket spent cooking.
900 East 11th Street Open 6 days a week, 11 am-early afternoon (closed Mondays)
Tip – Get there right when it opens or be prepared to wait.
Although the air will be crisp this weekend, the sun will still be shining, so zip up your fleece jacket, rent a set of wheels from Bicycle Sport Shop and take a cruise around Town Lake via the city’s hike & bike trail. Rent a townie or crosstrail bike for the morning, spend a couple of hours exploring Central Austin’s lakeside greenspace. Before you return your rental, circle back around for some brisket or pulled pork and a local beer handcrafted on site at Uncle Billy’s BBQ just off Lamar on Barton Springs Road. It’s the perfect way to burn plenty of energy, take in Austin’s natural beauty and enjoy some local flavor all in a few short hours.
Bicycle Sport Shop: 517 South Lamar Blvd.
(9am-6pm Saturdays, 11am-5pm Sundays)
hike & bike trail map:
Uncle Billy’s BBQ: 1530 Barton Springs Road