Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew

Drove to “Northish” Austin today with Eric to try Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew.  We had both heard good things about it and that the pit master had come from Louie Mueller’s.  That’s a pretty awesome place to learn your craft, so we were understandable excited to get some good BBQ today.

Photos by Ray Pierce

The location is South of 183 on Lamar just past Airport Blvd.  The exterior has a good looking sign, but is pretty unassuming.  When you walk in, you can tell that they put some thought into the design.  Low lighting, large tinted windows looking out, and distressed brick for the walls.  Lots of Austin, Music and Car pictures on the walls.  Several LCD TV’s on the walls showing the game (it was a College Football Saturday).  It even looked like they stained the beams in the ceiling.

I ordered a beef rib (gotta have one to judge against JMueller’s and Louise Mueller’s), 1/4 lb fatty brisket, 1/4 lbs of turkey.  I tried a bite of the jalapeno cheese sausage from my buddy as well.  The turkey was pretty good.  It was moist when I got it, but over the course of the meal it lost a lot of that moistness.  Not enough to say that it was dry though.  The brisket was tender, had a good smoke ring on it, and tasted good.  You could tell that at some point during the day it was awesome, but it was dried out like the brisket had been cut for a while.  I think if we had shown up a bit earlier or gotten there for a freshly cut brisket it would have been different.  I tried a bit of the jalapeno and cheese sausage thanks to Eric.  Like i’ve said in previous posts, jalapeno sausage just really isn’t my thing.  This one had a good grind to it, but it felt a bit greasy and overpowering smoke taste mixed into that grease.  If that’s your thing, then by all means try it.    The beef rib was what I really came for though.  And I wasn’t disappointed.  It had a very nice crust on the outside of it.  It was moist on the inside, had a great smoke rings and flavor.  It was tender enough that you could use your fingers to pinch off pieces of the meat.

Stiles is open for dinner, so if you are wanting a Beef Rib you don’t have to get one for lunch like you do at Louie Mueller’s or JMueller’s.  Or wait in line like those places either.  They also had 6 (local) beers on tap, and fridge with a large selection of bottled beer as well as fountain drinks (with Big Red) and sweet and unsweet tea.  One of the other things I noticed is that their BBQ sauce is much like Louie Mueller’s and JMueller’s, thick and chunky.

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew on Urbanspoon

Chief’s BBQ

I tried Chief’s BBQ today since it’s close to my office. I’ve heard people talk about it and in general had good things to say about it.

I tried the two meat plate with Brisket and Pork ribs. The plate also cam with 3 sides, I chose Frid Okra, Potato Salad, and Corn on the Cob. when the plate came out it also had a couple of slices of Texas Toast, a cup of BBQ sauce, pickles, and onions. Not a bad quantity of food.

The brisket and the ribs both had a really tasty bark on them. The smoke ring penetrated pretty deep as well. The problem was that the meat was dry on both the ribs and brisket. It wasn’t tough per se, but it wasn’t tender either. It had a great smoke flavor though. The sides weren’t really anything to write home about either. They were all decent, but nothing outstanding. The BBQ sauce was good, and it seemed to have a cumin flavor to it. One thing of note is that they had sweet tea.

All in all, I’ll probably eat here again because of the proximity to my office, but I’ll probably just be ordering a chopped beef sandwich. The traditional BBQ staples are just “meh” to me.


JMueller BBQ in Austin

I finally got around to trying JMueller BBQ a few weeks ago.  I switched jobs and had some other things going and didn’t get around to writing up the post.  So never the less here it is.  I ended up taking all of the photo’s with my iPhone as well.

I have passed the location for JMueller BBQ almost daily since they’ve been open.  The problem was that I never knew it was there because I was looking at some restaurants across the street.  I knew it was in the area, but just didn’t realize it was where it was.  It’s a trailer after all and it just didn’t really catch my attention.  The sign is parallel with the street instead of perpendicular, which may have led me to miss it as well.

Photos by Ray Pierce

When we arrived it was about 11:15am.  The line was fairly deep, as you can probably tell be the photo.  It took us about 45 minutes to get through the line.  They had already started to sell out of things by the time we got to the window to order, specifically the Prime Rib.  Their prices weren’t as high as I had expected them to be.  It was still really affordable for a good bit of food.  Another big plus for me is that you get a small sample at the window before you order.

I wanted to get a bit of everything, but my body can only hold so much.  So I started off with the basics.  Brisket, Beef Sausage,  Pork Ribs, and a gigantic beef short rib.  Needless to say, it took be three meals to finish off everything because my eyes tell me that I can eat it all.  The sausage was very good, it had a great smoke flavor and a really good consistency.  I’m not sure if John makes it onsite, or just has it made for him, but it is good.  The pork ribs were very tasty with a good peppery rub on them.  The meatier end was fantastic, but the lean end was visibly dry and chewy.

Knowing that John grew up in the pits of Louie Mueller’s I couldn’t pass up ordering a beef rib.  And I was rewarded for it.  It’s a huge amount of meat on the bone, but it was so tender and flavorful.  I was able to just take my fork and do some light pulling on it for a bite.  The brisket was more of the same.  Fantastically smoked and super moist.  All I needed was fork to cut it/shred it in the bit sizes.

The BBQ sauce is something a bit different than you typical place.  It’s chunky, it has bits of onions in it.  It’s almost the consistency of chunky picante sauce.  It’s got a different flavor than most “Texas” BBQ sauces, but it similar.  Although you don’t need it for the meat, it’s still gives it a different experience.

JMueller BBQ also has a few sides if you are in the mood.  The potato salad was good, but nothing spectacular.  The side of note is the baked squash, it was really well done and you just don’t find it on many other BBQ menu’s.

So far this is in the top 2 for BBQ joints for me.  Everything that I had across the board was really good.

JMueller BBQ on Urbanspoon