Linkdown: 12/19/18

Noble Smoke making progress:

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The story behind the Barbecue Wife line of cocktail mixers from Catherine Stiles, the wife of Shane Stiles of Stiles Switch BBQ in Austin

Our State Magazine interviews Chase Webb, third generation pitmaster at Red Bridges Barbecue in Shelby

Meating Street Barbecue closed this past weekend, citing lack of parking in downtown Roswell, GA

Barbecue Center will be featured on “Man Fire Food” on the Cooking Channel tonight at 9pm

From this past summer, Rodney Scott shares some of his secrets:

Interesting turn of events:

Linkdown: 1/10/18

– A small smoker has been stolen from the Durham restaurant It’s a Southern Thing

– Jelly: 52 weeks of barbecue in 2018 for the San Antonio Express News

– The recent cold snap in NC (as well as the rest of the eastern seaboard) is no thing for hogs and their modern climate controlled barns

– A new restaurant from the folks at Stiles Switch

– Fort Worth Magazine has the quintessential guide to Fort Worth barbecue

– Sadly, about a 100 employees were affected

 

Linkdown: 11/2/16

– This week in “that’s so NC” barbecue: a new barbecue joint called Redneck Barbecue Lab will take over a space that formerly housed a Dairy Queen attached to a BP off I-40 in McGee’s Crossroads

– NY Times’ 13 essential barbecue stops includes Lexington Barbecue

– Speaking of Lexington, the city’s marketing campaign is apparently paying off

– Photos from last week’s 87th Mallard Creek Annual BBQ

– Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew in Austin is expanding but the new location won’t simply be “Stiles Switch 2” according to its owner

– New York Times writer Ethan Hauser: I Hopped a Plane Just for a Barbecue Sandwich. I’d Do It Again.

I can tell you with complete assurance that 532 miles is not too far to travel for a sandwich. That is the distance between my home in Ridgewood, Queens, and theSkylight Inn in Ayden, N.C., where a man in a black apron fills the cutout between the kitchen and the cash register and wields cleavers as if they were weapons from “Game of Thrones,” one in each substantial hand.

Linkdown: 11/11/15

-In honor of our veterans, TMBBQ checks out MRE BBQ

– A great article from the Greensboro News & Record, “If traditional barbecue dies, part of North Carolina dies with it”

– Speaking of NC barbecue, Daniel Vaughn tries to play mediator between True ‘Cue and Corey Bringle of Peg Leg Porker with regards to barbecue smoked using “gas assist” rotisserie smokers like Ole Hickory or Southern Pride

In praise of tortillas, the other white bread

– A day in the life with the pitmaster of Stiles Switch BBQ

– Avett Brothers celliist Joe Kwon is a lifelong barbecue fan and will be cooking his second whole hog in Mebane for the Wild Yonder’s Friendship Feast and Cookout on November 21-22

– The latest two reviews from Marie, Let’s Eat!: Zeb’s Bar-B-Q in Danielsville, GA and Smokebelly BBQ in Atanta’s Buckhead neighborhood

– In duh! news, Cheerwine named the official soft drink of the National Barbecue Association

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew – Austin, TX (RE-REVIEW)

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Name
: Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew
Date: 8/5/15
Address: 6610 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78757 (Link to menu)
Order: ½ pound of smoked prime rib, 1 jalapeno cheddar sausage, side of potato salad and creamy cole slaw.
Price: $17.00

Rudy: Speedy and I had previously visited Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew but they were advertising their smoked prime rib, which they only offer on Wednesdays, and the idea of barbecue smoked and flavored prime rib drew me in. I won’t go into a full review, since Speedy and I already covered most of it, which hasn’t changed.  

I opted for the meat and two sides combo, plus added a jalapeno cheddar sausage.  I had big expectations for the prime rib, and was pretty much let down. Maybe the piece I had was overcooked for my liking, but I expected so much more. The outside had a little bit of flavor, but the smoke and seasonings never made it inside the meat, leaving the bulk of the meat pretty flavorless. The outside bites were fine, but did not make up for the lack of taste on the inside.  

The sausage, same as last time, was grea Juicy and plenty of flavor, and sure made me glad that I added it to my order. The potato salad was really good and worth getting in the future. However, I was not a big fan of the creamy cole slaw. That is not that big of a problem, because Stiles, unlike many Texas barbecue restaurants, offers multiple side order options other than just beans. So there are plenty of other options to choose from in the future.  

Stiles Switch is still a very good and above average barbecue place (as noted by their top 50 ranking by Texas Monthly) but in the future I will stick to their brisket, sausage, and their beef ribs.

Ratings:
Atmosphere – 4.5 hogs (half hog bump for the free beer)
Prime Rib – 2.5 hogs
Sausage – 4 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 3.5 hogs
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Stiles Switch BBQ – Austin, TX

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Name: Stiles Switch BBQ
Date: 5/11/13
Location: 6610 N. Lamar, Austin, TX, 78757
Order: Speedy: ½ pound brisket, 1 link Thorndale (mild) sausage, 1 link Switch original (spicy) sausage, lemon vinaigrette coleslaw
Rudy: Combo plate with brisket and jalapeno cheddar sausage, corn casserole, mac & cheese, beef rib (link to menu)
Bill: Speedy: $20, Rudy: $20

Speedy: A bit of news in the Barbecue Bros family, as Rudy welcomed a new junior Barbecue Bro into the family and Monk welcomed a new junior Barbecue Bro-ette. Congrats, Bros! So I used meeting Rudy’s new son as an excuse to go visit Austin and eat some barbecue Texas style.

Monk: Thanks! Of course, with a 2 month old I unfortunately wasn’t able to make the trip with Speedy to Austin for a Barbecue Bros reunion but at least I get to live the trip vicariously through this review.

Rudy: With Speedy in town I had to try and show off our great selection of barbecue, so the pressure was on to choose a good spot and I think that I picked a winner. When choosing the right place, it came down between LA BBQ and Stiles Switch, which I had seen some really good reviews of lately. I would have taken him to Franklin, but a 3 hour wait with a little one was not a good choice. Also, LA BBQ (which I hope to visit soon) is a food trailer, and you never can really tell about the wait. So we went with Stiles Switch.

Speedy: I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to eat Texas barbecue, so I was definitely excited to visit Stiles Switch. My excitement only grew when I got out of the car and could smell the wood burning smoker working its magic. Walking inside, my excitement did not wane. Stiles Switch has a great atmosphere. You order at the counter, and the food is cut and weighed for you then and there and you go down almost a cafeteria style line to get your sides and drink. There’s plenty of seating indoors, but also an outdoor patio with several picnic tables.

Rudy: There were so many options, especially with the sides, that I had a hard time determining what I wanted. I always go with brisket because that is what every place should be judged on, and I also typically go with a sausage. I had not tried a beef rib yet, even though I have been dying to, because it is usually hit or miss if a place will offer a beef rib (also known as dinosaur ribs at some places because of the size). Since I saw it on the menu here, I figured it was as good a time as any to dive right in.  

Speedy: I decided to move away from the combo plate, mainly because none of the sides really excited me.

Monk: So this is like basically the opposite of going to a barbecue restaurant and ordering a salad a la Mrs. Monk, right?

Speedy: Exactly. I wanted to try the spicy and mild sausage, as well as the brisket, of course. As we all know, white slaw is my biggest pet peeve at a barbecue joint, so I was happy to see that Stiles Switch offered lemon vinaigrette slaw as well. And to top it off, of course I had to have a Lone Star!

Monk: Man, I could go for one of those right now…

Rudy: I thought the brisket was pretty good and had a great rub which provided a great bark. The only issue that I had with it was that I thought it might not have been prepared that day because the bark was not crisp, but instead was a little mushy. It still had great flavor though. I was not a huge fan of the sides that I got or the sausage. In the sausage’s case, I think it was because I was getting full on all the rest of my order, so I am not going to knock it too much. The best part of the meal was the beef rib. It wasn’t as big as I had seen in other places, but the flavor was amazing. The bark on it was crispy and melted in your mouth.  While the taste was great, the only deduction that I will make is because of the size of the rib.

Speedy: To me, the brisket was good, but not great. It had a good pull, but I didn’t really like the sauce that came with it (on the side). It tasted more like gravy than barbecue sauce to me. The sausage I thought was very good – particular the Switch original link. It had a definite kick and great flavor. To me, it was just the right amount of spice. The slaw was good, though I still prefer true red slaw.

Rudy: Overall I thought it was a great place that served excellent barbecue, and now with a little one in tow, the shorter lines and the inside dining make it a great place to go.

Monk: I can fully appreciate that concern now when picking a place to eat, barbecue or not. I’m not trying to waste time standing in line when there are potential dirty diapers to change and feedings to be given.

Rudy: A couple of days later, my selection was confirmed when Switch Stiles was named one of the Top 50 Barbecue Restaurants in Texas by Texas Monthly magazine. I’m glad Speedy was able to come and experience some of the best we have to offer.

Ratings:
Atmosphere/Ambiance: 4.5 hogs
Brisket – 3 hogs
Sausage – 4 hogs
Beef rib – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hogs
Overall – 3.5 hogs

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