We had initially planned to endure the purgatory of the Franklin’s Barbecue line. However after a night out on Rainey Street, we found it impossible to drag ourselves out of bed to line up at 6AM. Our next best bet was la Barbecue, which fortunately was only a half mile from our Airbnb.
The restaurant is widely considered to be one of the best BBQ joints in Austin. Its founder, LeAnn Mueller, descended from a heralded lineage, as her grandpa Louie opened one of the first restaurants to ever serve Texas BBQ. Gaining fame from its opening in 2012, la Barbecue evolved from a pit, to a trailer, to its current brick and mortar kitchen inside the Quickie Pickie convenience store.
We read that the typical wait there was only 1.5-2 hours, a cakewalk compared to Franklin’s 5 hour line. Additionally, a few local Austinites recommended it over the latter. We arrived around 11:30AM and was met with a decent line that looped around the empty parking lot. Interestingly, the senior couple ahead of us had went to Franklin’s before, only to be shunned because the line had reached capacity well before its opening. They hurried over to la Barbecue right after.
The place seemed like a refuge for the more lazy or logical BBQ fans. Those who woke up too late or those who didn’t see the value of waiting that long for food. Many folks took advantage of la Barbecue’s residency inside Quickie Pickie, which had beers on tap to purchase. Passing on the beers, Rex killed time by trying to pinpoint where everyone in line was from.
The line progressively inched ahead. Luckily it wasn’t a hot Texas day because standing in scorching heat with no shade for a couple hours would be unbearable. It took about an hour and a half before we reached the building’s front doors, but to our disappointment, la Barbecue sold out of their coveted ribs, both pork and beef. We were in too deep, there was no turning back.
With stomachs growing, we finally hit the counter and ordered brisket, sausages, and pulled pork. After her first taste, Liz reached a level of bliss and proclaimed the brisket to be the best she’s ever had. Everything was delicious, including the bread slices. By the end of the meal, the plastic tray that once carried out mounds of mouthwatering meat was a sauce splattered relic of satisfied appetites. We waited a total of 2 hours. Would we do it again? Yes.
You can actually avoid the line completely by ordering ahead on la Barbecue’s website. You’ll just need to do it 3 days in advance of pickup. la Barbecue is located at 2027 E Cesar Chavez St in East Austin.