Stubb’s BBQ (Austin, TX)
If you haven’t figured it out yet, we spent a lot of our last couple weeks in Texas exploring the world of barbeque. When you’re in the land of milk and honey, well, you try as much of the milk and honey as possible. So on the suggestion of Scott’s Uncle Tom (thanks Tom!), we found ourselves at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin, TX.
On the strength of this recommendation, Uncle Tom’s suggestions now go right to the top of the list. Stubb’s throws down some excellent barbeque.
As per our usual, we went with 2-meat plates that give us more meat options in smaller servings, plus several different sides. And of course, we added some cornbread.
I’m sure you’re not surprised to see that we got brisket. Scott has a weakness for brisket and would eat it daily if possible, so when it’s on the menu, it’s on the plate. Given that we had brisket 8 of the last 11 days we spent in Texas, we like to think we’re becoming semi-experts on the topic.
Stubb’s takes the prize for the best brisket we’ve had (to date). Much like Buddhism, the search for enlightenment is never over, so we’ll keep searching, but for now, Stubb’s is the best we’ve had.
This brisket is so tender, you don’t even need a knife. All of the tender brisket we’ve had prior still required a knife to cut it. All you need at Stubb’s is a fork. The meat itself is smoky with a perfect crust on the outside and pink smoke ring inside.
Whatever Stubb’s does to their meat works. The ribs are just as tender as the brisket. The meat just pulls right off the bone. You can actually clean the bones here without actually picking up the bone.
These things are smoky and moist with a delicious crust on the outside from the rub. You won’t need any sauce for these. And the ribs themselves are big and meaty. They say that Texans focus on beef in their barbeque and not as much on pork, but Stubb’s knows what they’re doing with both.
Even the sausage was tender! Edie usually doesn’t eat the sausage casing, but at Stubb’s, they’ve even managed to cook the sausage to a point of tenderness that she did.
These links are a good 5-6″ long and 1″ or more in diameter. The meat inside is smoky and delicious. It’s not spicy, though it’s definitely “spiced”.
Chopped beef was a new one on us, so of course we had to try it. So what’s chopped beef? Well, according to Jose, our server, they take the fatty part of the brisket and run it through a chopper, then mix it with their sauce and brown sugar (and maybe something else that we forgot). The result is moist, tender, flavorful, and frankly, just unbelievably good.
This must be Texas’ answer to the pulled pork found in the southeast. Should you get both the chopped beef and the macaroni and cheese, mix the two together for a flavor combination that’s out of this world.
Let’s start with the sauce. You can stroll through the BBQ sauce aisle in your grocery store and you’ll probably find a few different kinds by Stubb’s. I have no idea how it compares to what’s in the restaurant because I’ve never tried the bottled kind. Hopefully what’s in the bottle is like what’s in the restaurant.
The meat doesn’t need any sauce. It’s just that good. But the sauce does compliment the meat perfectly. Don’t drown your meat in the sauce because that would be a disservice to the meat, but do try some and you’ll see that Stubb’s has nailed both the meat and the sauce.
Mac & Cheese
This is your basic mac & cheese. It’s definitely a solid effort of elbow macaroni with a thick cheesy sauce, but you won’t be sending letters home to mom about it. Mixed with the chopped beef though, it’s unbelievable.
Unlike most cole slaw that’s mayonaissey, Stubb’s puts out a cole slaw that’s more vinegary with vegetables that are still crisp. Even Scott liked it and finished it off.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
With sweet potatoes, you never know what you’re going to get. Most people tend to take an already sweet sweet potato and then add brown sugar, marshmallows, and ten tons of other sugar. Stubb’s, on the other hand, lets the sweetness of the sweet potatoes shine on its own. They’re a tad sweeter than normal sweet potatoes, but not overly so, with the addition of cinnamon, then topped with nuts. These are absolutely excellent.
Serrano Cheese Spinach
Scott nearly got the collard greens, then saw the cheese spinach. Being a lover of both cheese and spinach, he decided to get it. If you don’t like spinach, you’ll probably still like this. It is very cheesy and incredibly awesomely delicious.
We love cornbread. So if it’s on the menu, we’re getting some. Stubb’s cornbread is moist and delicious, a tad spicy, sweet but not excessively so, and not crumbly. It actually holds together, which is a good thing. You won’t even need to add butter…though adding butter to cornbread is always a good idea.
Stubb’s is a full-service sit-down restaurant. We were there early, so the restaurant was pretty empty. We were greeted immediately and sat in Jose’s section. Jose was super friendly and made sure we had everything we needed quicker than we’d have expected it.
When we were curious what’s in chopped beef, he ran right back to the kitchen and found out for us. You really can’t ask for better service than we got.
After 2 two-meat plates, 2 cornbreads, tax, and tip, the total came to $39, which is a tad higher than expected for two. On the other hand, you do get a boatload of food, definitely enough to take home and have for lunch. Or enough to stuff yourself and then take a little bit to the dog, as the case may be.
The Doggy Bag, By Knox
All of that stuff they said above about the meat, sides, and cornbread is spot-on. Stubb’s definitely gets my vote for one of the best barbeque places in Texas. After our recent BBQ adventures in the past few weeks, I’m a dog that knows, too!
If I had my druthers, we’d eat barbeque for every meal of every day, but for some strange reason, the humans like variety. Yeah, I don’t understand it either. If meat’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for them too. Someone please convince them that this dog is suffering from an acute brisket deficiency.