Second Helpings: Barbecue in Town

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.

BBQ World Headquarters

1519 W. Anderson, 407-9893 Monday-Friday, 11am-7pm 6701 Burnet Rd. (in the Travis County Farmers' Market), 323-9122 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.

County Line

5204 FM 2222, 346-3664 Monday-Saturday, 11am-2pm, 5-10pm; Sunday, 11am-3pm, 5-9pm
If you have the appetite, the all-you-can-eat platter 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.

John Mueller's B-B-Q

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.

Ruby's BBQ

512 W. 29th, 477-1651 Daily, 11am-12mid
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. Nonbeef people can enjoy smoked turkey or chicken and vegetarians can sate themselves on Ruby's generous (and inexpensive) black bean tacos.

Rudy's Country Store & BBQ

11570 Research, 418-9898 Sunday-Thursday, 10:30am-9:30pm; Friday-Saturday, 10:30am-10:30pm; 2400 N. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-2936 Sunday-Thursday, 10:30am-9:30pm; Friday-Saturday, 10:30am-10:30pm
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. Good-quality smoked meats (brisket, sausage, turkey breast, pork loin, baby-back ribs, prime rib, chicken) are available by the pound, along with all the light bread, pickles, onions, and peppers you need.

Sam's BBQ

2000 E. 12th, 478-0378 Sunday-Thursday, 10am-3am; Friday-Saturday, 10am-4am
This East Austin institution has long been an obligatory stop for hungry music fans after the clubs close. Sam's serves up wonderful slow-smoked brisket, chicken, mutton, and hot sausage (made on the premises) topped with a spicy, tomato-based barbecue sauce that makes the meat sing.

The Iron Works Barbecue

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. Their huge beef ribs and supertender brisket have both won accolades nationwide. Other menu items include smoked chicken and spicy sausage. Perhaps the best testament to the barbecue is the number of diners in suits willing to risk a lunchtime mess.

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