Worth the Wait at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q
April 9, 2011
AUSTIN, USA- Some things in life are worth waiting for. Entrance to a sample sale, the new season of Mad Men, a table at Osteria Mozza. And after a recent visit to Austin, TX I uncovered another gem on this list- the smoked brisket at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q.
Stubb’s is a Texas legend known for its juicy meats that are slow-cooked for up to 15 hours, but it’s also notorious for their absurdly long lines at dinnertime. Such was the case when Team Purple recently made a visit, but we were determined to get a table. Its reputation alone whetted our appetites (and the delicious scent coming from the smokehouse didn’t hurt either).
After putting our name on the (incredibly) long list we settled down at the bar and enjoyed one of the locally made brews on tap. The dining rooms had the warm feel of a cozy local joint- exposed brick walls, wrought iron light fixtures and railings, and grainy wood floors, the kind that creaked when your dusty Frye boots walked over them. And after what seemed like a fortnight (well…a pint and a half later), we were finally walked out to a covered patio and sat at a small table with a red and white checked tablecloth. As soon as I saw the menu I knew exactly what I wanted- the beef brisket. There are other options of course (pork ribs, chicken, pork loin or sausage), but there was something about being in Texas, sitting a few feet away from an iron smoker, that had me craving this local specialty.
And my oh my did this little slice of anticipation live up to its rep. The meat was crispy with dry rub spices on the outside, and juicy tender on the inside. The woody smoke filled the air around my plate and each bite was like wrapping yourself in an old favorite blanket of aroma, flavor, and warmth. Along with my comfort food sides of fried okra and pinto beans this was the perfect Southern plate.
But this meal isn’t the only thing Stubb’s is famous for. In a town known as the “Live Music Capital of the World” Stubb’s fills its social calendar with up to 6 concerts a week. Everyone from Guster to Adele and Lauryn Hill to Weezer stops by this historic stage to rock the mic (theses shows are almost as legendary as the Bar-B-Q itself). Don’t forget to check their website for up-coming gigs and tickets, though beware, lines for the shows run around the block, too. Add to this the delicious bbq, and you’ve got yourself a hit.
Of course, there are other great choices for food-on–the go in Austin too, but when it comes to this town, it may be worth your while to take it slow for a meal. I think Mr. Stubb’s said it best himself, “Barbecue is eternal, like the Mississippi River. It’s big and it’s simple and it takes its own sweet time.” And after relishing in his beef brisket, I’ll always be happy with the 1 hour wait (16 if you count the time it spent in the smoker!).
Post by Tara Abell.