Best Gateway to East Austin

Ben's Longbranch BBQ

So Ben is back. No gimmicks, no glory, just good, old-fashioned barbecue. With an unrefined simplicity, this 25-year-old Eastside gem, located on 11th and Branch, knows how to keep it real. Nothing flashy. Just handmade, wooden condiment holders with children’s sketched writings, an easygoing staff that remembers your order when you come back in, paper plates, plastic forks, Ben’s coveted secret recipe so confidential even the cooks don’t know what’s in it, and beer bottles you pop yourself. (Be sure to return the opener to the register.) Though things are kept simple, a new renovation and a new deck have begun to draw a new crowd, in addition to the regulars who know and love Ben. "You can come out in the summer, sit outside, watch TV, and eat yourself a plate of barbecue," said manager Roderick Allen. "We even have a small view of the Capitol somewhere around here."

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