BBQ Taste-off: La Barbecue vs Franklin vs John Mueller Meat Co.

This summer a friend of mine finally decide tosolve one of Austin’s little mysteries: who actually has the best barbecue in town? Is it really worth three hours to wait in line for brisket? Really? Let’s be honest. Peter, who is ever the entrepreneur , finally set it up, priced it out and got us all together for a little friendly backyard barbecue taste-off. We all paid $35 for brisket, ribs and sausage from each of the three Austin barbecue beasts: Franklin, La Barbecue and J. Mueller. Oh and there was a keg to wash it all down. While all three were sweaty, juicy, meaty goodness, there was a clear winner for each category. Here is how it went down: we each got a huge plate, each piece had a colored toothpick. No one besides Peter knew which toothpick belonged to which meat house. Whatever tasted the best, we put the that toothpick in the winner’s cup. It was pretty unanimous about the brisket. Hands down we all agreed, the blue toothpick was indeed the tastiest.

BBQ-tasteoff Flyer

Big BackyardDSC_0518 DSC_0514 DSC_0515The Man, The Myth, The Legend.


DSC_0526Lucy joined the party, what a lucky dog!


DSC_0529And the winners were:

Brisket: La Barbecue

Ribs: Franklin

Sausage: La Barbecue

I have to admit, I thought Franklin was going to take the cake, but side by side there was no competition for me as far as brisket was concerned. Everyone else agreed too. You can read another review of the event here. And if you don’t have time to wait three hours in line, I recommend the free beer and El Sancho at La Barbecue.

La Barbecue

Before the rains last week, I tried out La Barbecue for lunch. This place gets quite the line, so be prepared. On a happy note the serve free keg beer during lunch on Fridays and there’s a live band which makes the wait inevitably better! There’s picnic tables and you can bring your dog. They have big galvanized ice bucket full of bottled sodas to wash down your barbecue.

I went with The El Sancho and got it loco. Perfect way to try all the meats! Warning: things got messy. Get extra napkins. You can load up your tray with peppers, pickles an onions when you check out. There are no plates, so you’ll be kickin’ it old school and eating off the tray. There are only so many picnic tables, so you’ll get to know your neighbors. At Friday lunch there was a good crowd of families, business-y looking guys, and regular Austinites.

You’ve got to really squish it down to take a bite! The servings are hearty.The potato salad was classic. I opted for the Chipotle

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Slaw and found it mildly addicting, quite peppery, but I liked it.

For those of you barbecue traditionalist, the brisket is pretty melt in your mouth. The sauces were pretty watery, but flavorful. If you’re not into sauces, not a problem for you as the meat is really great on its own.

Overall, I’m glad to have a great BBQ place close that’s delicious and not too over hyped.

For a full menu and hours, check out their website here .

Have you been to La Barbecue? What’s your favorite thing?