Second Helpings: Local Barbecue

You're here for SXSW, but you're also here for barbecue, right?

BBQ World Headquarters
BBQ World Headquarters (Photo By John Anderson)

Sam's BBQ

2000 E. 12th, 478-0378

Sunday-Thursday, 10am-2:30am; Friday-Saturday, 10am-4am
This East Austin institution has long been an obligatory stop for hungry music fans after the clubs close. Snackers can order a sandwich, but the real eaters will opt for a combination plate or meat by the pound.

Ruby's Barbecue

512 W. 29th, 477-1651

Daily, 11am-midnight
Nowhere will you find a better combination of Austin's latent hippiedom and Texans' lust for beef. Ruby's serves a perfectly smoked, hormone-free brisket that goes quite nicely with their earthy greens and barbecue beans, hot enough to make you shed tears.

County Line

5204 RR 2222, 346-3664

Monday-Saturday, 11am-2pm, 5-10pm; Sunday, 11am-3pm, 5-9pm

6500 Bee Caves Rd., 327-1742

Monday-Friday, 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-9pm; Saturday, noon-9:30pm;

Sunday, 11:30am-9pm
If you have the appetite, the all-you-can-eat platter service is the way to go at County Line. They will bring you a big platter of sweetly sauced beef ribs, tender brisket, and peppery sausage along with bowls of potato salad, coleslaw, and beans until you tell them to please stop.

Iron Works

100 Red River, 478-4855

Monday-Saturday, 11am-9pm
Iron Works' historic building on the banks of Waller Creek is about as tranquil as our bustling central business district gets these days. Perhaps the best testament to the barbecue is the number of diners in suits willing to risk a lunchtime mess.

BBQ World Headquarters

6701 Burnet Rd. (in the Travis County Farmers Market), 323-9112

Monday-Saturday, 11am-4pm
BBQ World Headquarters is the only certified Angus beef smokehouse in Austin. They serve a tasty sliced brisket sandwich of lean and marbled meat, as well as sausage, smoked chicken, baby back ribs, and pork roast.

John Mueller's Barbecue Inc.

1917 Manor Rd., 236-0283

Monday-Saturday, 11am-7:30pm
John Mueller's East Austin pit doesn't have the decades-old seasoning of his granddaddy's place in Taylor, but nonetheless, the scion of one of Central Texas' premier barbecue families is cranking out succulent brisket, sausage, and ribs that would make Louie Mueller proud. The all-you-can-eat Saturday lunch buffet has to be one of the best deals in town.

Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q

11570 Research, 418-9898

Monday-Thursday, 10:30am-9:30pm; Friday-Saturday, 10:30am-10:30pm; Sunday, 10:30am-9:30pm

2451 Capital of TX Hwy. S., 329-5554

Sunday-Thursday, 10:30am-9pm;

Friday-Saturday, 10:30am-10pm

2400 N. I-35 (Round Rock), 244-2936

Sunday-Thursday, 10:30am-9:30pm;

Friday-Saturday, 10:30am-10:30pm

All locations open at 6:30am for breakfast tacos
Rudy's handy roadside locations and gas station/convenience store amenities hearken back to the days when most small Texas towns had a filling station with a reliable smoking pit out back. Side dishes and desserts are also available, and you can buy their popular fiery "Sause" by the bottle.

Artz Rib House

2330 S. Lamar, 442-8283

Monday-Saturday, 11am-10pm;

Sunday, noon-9pm
Wood floors, checkered tablecloths, a lush patio, and the sumptuous smell of barbecue surround you. The burgers are incredible, the country-style pork ribs massive and divine -- great barbecue of all types, available as combos, plates, or sandwiches. Go there.

"Second Helpings" offers tasty, bite-sized restaurant listings compiled from new and previous reviews, guides, and poll results. This week's entries were updated by Erin Mosow. For quick, reliable info about Austin eateries, check here.

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