I was in Central Texas two years ago on business and had the chance to see this amazing part of the county and also experience my first taste of the BBQ that this part of Texas is known for.
At that time I decided I needed to make a trip back for a real "BBQ pilgrimage". For my son's 16th birthday I told him my present to him was going to be a road trip to Austin and the surrounds for a weeks worth of the Travel Channel and Food Network hotspots.
Central Texas and Hill Country were settled by Germans and Czech's in the mid 1800's and those immigrants brought old world butchering skills with them. Central Texas also happens to be the beginning of the Chisom Trail and as you might imagine the BBQ in this area leans heavily towards the beef side of the equation.BBQ sauce is a rarity and the meat is often seasoned with just salt and pepper (Dalmatian rub). Hardwood is used to smoke this meat with (post oak). What I love about this type of cooking is that it takes simple and inexpensive ingredients like brisket, salt, pepper and local wood (post oak, pecan) and elevates it to a level to where a small town local BBQ cafe called City Market in Luling was recently named by Newsweek magazine as one world's 101 best places to eat....(un-freaking-believable!)
The hot beds of Central Texas BBQ are in the small towns in and around Austin. Luling, Gonzales, Llano and Lockhart (the holy grail) will be names familiar to people serious about Central Texas BBQ.
Over a 7 day stretch we hit 18 of the areas best BBQ spots. Below are the spots we selected from a bit of research via the Food Network, The Travel Channel and from a bit of back and forth with Daniel Vaughn at Full Custom Gospel BBQ.
Lamberts Downtown Barbeque-Austin
Son’s of Hermann Hall-Deanville
City Meat Market-Giddings
Prause Meat Market-La Grange
Franklin Barbeque-AustinSalt Lick, Driftwood
Fredericksburg-Becker Vineyards, Pedernales Cellars
Gonzales Food Market-Gonzales
Fargo’s Pit BBQ-Bryan
Louie Mueller- Taylor