Second Helpings: More Local Barbecue Joints

More local barbecue joints in this week's Second Helpings.


The weekly Chronicle feature "Second Helpings" offers readers the opportunity to sample tasty, bite-sized restaurant listings compiled from new and previous reviews, guides, and poll results. This week's entries were compiled by Chronicle Cuisines editor Virginia B. Wood. When you need quick, reliable information about Austin eateries, check here.

Artz Rib House

2330 S. Lamar, 442-8283

Daily, 11am-10pm

Some folks love Artz because they offer live music and great charbroiled burgers. We like to think of Artz as Rib Heaven. We start with a platter of Country Style Pork Ribs, luscious meaty wonders cut from the loin so as to resemble thick pork chops. From there, we move on to a rack of lean, sweet, and tender Baby Back Ribs and finish with the gargantuan Beef Ribs with juicy beef and great crusty ends. Don't forget to wipe the sauce off your cheeks.

Ben's Longbranch Bar-B-Que

900 E. 11th, 477-2516

Mon-Thu, 10:30am-7pm; Fri-Sat, 10:30am-11pm

Ben's has been serving up smoked meats to Austin barbecue lovers for nearly 18 years from this unassuming cinderblock building just a stone's throw east of I-35. While Ben's offers the standard array of brisket, sausage, chicken, beef, and pork ribs, the real star of the menu has got to be their mutton. The meat is coated with Ben's special spice rub and smoked until it's crispy outside, deliciously moist and juicy inside. If you're looking for lean meat, go with his brisket, but if you don't mind having a little grease on your chin, give that mutton a try.

Bert's

610 W. MLK, 474-2613

3563 Far West Blvd., 345-2378

2521 Rutland, 837-4165

1200 S. Hwy. 290W, 288-7879

Hours vary

This friendly local chain started with one outlet in the campus area in 1970 and now serves good barbecue from the north end of the city all the way to the far southern suburbs. Campus and Northwest Hills diners alike rave about the chopped beef sandwiches as well as the hefty T-Man, a big pile of tender brisket topped with spicy beans and a thick blanket of sauce. Bert's is also one of the few places that serves a genuine Frito Pie, with extra Fritos on request. The Dripping Springs location is known for its breakfast tacos as well as good smoked meats.

Bongo BBQ

1004 W. 24th, 478-7427

Daily, 11am-10pm

West Campus residents are very loyal to Bongo and why not? It's a barbecue joint/beer barn that's open every day serving up hefty plates of smoked meats, with cases and kegs of beer right next door with which to wash it all down! In addition to barbecue by the plate or the sandwich, the Bongo menu also offers a selection of burgers, burritos, and tacos at very student-friendly prices.

Buster's Bar-B-Que

303 N. RR 620, 266-3926

Tue-Thu, 11:30am-7pm

Fri-Sat, 11:30am-8pm; Sun, 11:30am-3pm

Owners Tim Cook and Joe Britt smoke Texas-style brisket and Elgin hot sausage, but their real specialty is smoked pork: dry-rubbed pork chops, pork shoulder stuffed with garlic and jalapeño, and Carolina-style pulled pork sandwiches. All meats are available by the plate, the sandwich, or the pound, and the side dishes are just fine. When you're in the Lake Travis area, we suggest you go to Buster's early, go hungry, and buy plenty of pork to take home.

House Park Bar-B-Q

900 W. 12th, 472-9621

Mon-Fri, 11am-2:30pm

This venerable barbecue shack has been serving good smoked meats to central city folks since 1943, with Clarksville native Joey Sullivan running the show for as many years as we can remember. The sign outside says "Need no Teef to Eat My Beef" and it's no brag, just fact. House Park is famous for fall-apart tender beef brisket and delicious pork loin. Grab a sandwich and a spot at one of the picnic tables outside and you'll see just what we mean.

Lewis' Bar-B-Q

1814 Harvey (at Manor), 473-2225

Mon-Thu, 11am-8:30pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-10pm

The bright pink building that houses Lewis' Bar-B-Q used to be one of our favorite places to stop on the way home from Mueller Airport. Now that the airport has moved, we still sometimes make the trip across town for the opportunity to stand at the tiny takeout window and order brisket, sausage, mutton, or pork chops by the pound to take home. Meats are also available by the plate and the sandwich with mounds of white bread or crackers. Seating is strictly outdoors at the nearby picnic tables.

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