Linkdown: 8/24/16

– Buxton Hall is going to NYC in September as part of the Bon Appetit Hot 10 (believe thats their fried chicken sandwich in the photo)

– More coverage of the NC BBQ Revival from tv station WRAL and Eater

– The North Carolina 100 (which posts 100 word “stories”, but thats for another day) list of their favorite barbecue joints

– Barbecue man Evan LeRoy is leaving Freedmen’s Bar to start his own place

– Where to eat barbecue in Austin when you don’t want to endure the line at Franklin

– Also from Eater (I may have missed this from June, can’t remember), an Austin barbecue primer that includes a brief and incomplete history of barbecue in Austin

A seismic shift in Central Texas barbecue lore began in the early aughts with John Mueller’s spot on Manor Road 2001 (yes, related to the Taylor Muellers). He opened the restaurant with little fanfare, but drew loyal crowds and acclaim for five years despite battles with personal issues and middling profits. Mueller also famously employed Aaron Franklin at the register (not on the pit) and the prep station, leading to Franklin’s $1,000 purchase of Mueller’s old pit for what would become the Franklin Barbecue trailer.

– The new Midwood SmokeShack opened out of the blue last Thursday

Freedmen’s Bar – Austin, TX

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Name: Freedmen’s Bar
Date: 6/29/14
Address: 2402 San Gabriel St, Austin, TX 78705
Order: Holy Trinity Plate (Ribs, Sausage, Brisket) (link to menu)
Price: $18.00

Like Monk, I too decided the best way to celebrate Father’s Day was to enjoy some barbecue. Freedman’s has been getting some good publicity recently in town for having great brisket, so I figured this would be a great time to visit.

The biggest complaint that I have with Freeman’s is by far trying to find parking. It’s located in the West Campus area, which doesn’t have much parking, but this was a Sunday during the summer, it shouldn’t have taken almost 20 minutes. But once we got inside, the atmosphere was very unique and fun. They have very little seating inside, but it looks like an old school saloon bar. They also have plenty of outdoor seating in a brick-enclosed courtyard. It was built in 1869 and appears to have retained some of the original style.

I ordered the Holy Trinity Plate so I could try as much of what they had to offer as possible. The first thing I tried was their sausage. As far as taste goes, it was good and had plenty of flavor. But that’s as far as I can go. The casing had no snap to it, and it appeared as if the sausage had been boiled or maybe steamed to keep warm. The casing was weak, fell apart when cut, and was chewy.

The brisket was much better, but not great. In fact, it was just plain average. You could tell there was potential there with a decent crust and plenty moist, but it just never got great. I think there is also potential that the brisket was cooked the previous day and heated up for Sunday lunch. That would help explain why it is getting great reviews from others but my experience wasn’t great.

The last item on the plate was the ribs, which were pretty good.  They had a good amount of black pepper to give flavor. They were tender, but still had a good amount of tug. They were definitely the star of the plate. I could have eaten many more if given the opportunity.

Overall, Freedman’s was just average. Better than many of the places I’ve been, but nothing worth writing home about. Because they have had such good reviews from other people, I’m inclined to try them again, however there are several other places I would go before heading back.


Atmosphere – 4 Hogs
Brisket – 3 Hogs
Sausage – 2 Hogs
Ribs – 3.5 Hogs
Overall – 3 Hogs
Freedmen's Bar on Urbanspoon
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