Micklethwait Craft Meats
Hard to pronounce, sublime to eat
Reviewed by Mick Vann, Fri., Jan. 25, 2013
Tue..-Sat., 11am-8pm or sold out; Sun., 11am-3pm
Micklethwait Craft Meats1309 Rosewood, 791-5961
One block east of Three Little Pigs and East End Wines, on Rosewood, next to Hearts & Robots Hair Studio, sits Tom Micklethwait's vintage 1960 Comet food trailer, paired with a trailer holding the smoker. He found the trailer out at the lake for $600 and refinished the interior. The smoker he and a friend welded from the old water boiler from Pflugerville High School; it does an admirable job.
I had heard great things about his hand-crafted sausages ($13 per pound) and they were all true and then some. I sampled four varieties. The duck with cherry is his only emulsified link, and it is fine-textured and unctuously fantastic. His lamb with Aleppo pepper and orange is coarse-textured, with the perfect amount of gaminess, and spicy, with hints of citrus. The rich all-beef and jalapeño is loaded with flavor, as is the peppery kielbasa with garlic. These are among the best sausages in Austin, hands down.
Tom's pork loin is succulent and moist, with a balanced smokiness. The chicken is moist (both white and dark meat), with a deep, reddish-brown lacquered patina; a piece of the fatty skin was ethereal. Ribs are of the baby back variety, but moist and tender, with a spicy bark. The brisket is superb; smoked 8 hours over post oak, it has a nice smoke ring and luscious bark, and the flavorful meat melts in your mouth. All of the meats ($13 per pound, plates $8-12, sandwiches $6) are flat-out delicious.
He makes all of the sides: a sweet-spicy-garlicky sauce that I would buy by the gallon, a mustardy-mayo potato salad, a delicious sweet-sour slaw with a hint of lemon, and a cucumber salad with mint and yogurt. Tom has put in time at kitchens like Vespaio and cooked for years doing events; the boy learned good. Micklethwait Craft Meats belongs up with the elite of Austin's barbecue. Go there.