Our second stop on the Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour took us to Lamberts Downtown Barbecue in the heart of Austin. Our previous stop at Franklin Barbecue was going to be a hard act to follow.
The dining room had just closed for lunch, so we took over the bar in the historic Austin building that dates back to 1873, ordering up a round of frothy cold beverages. Looking over the menu, the crispy wild boar ribs jumped out as must-sample bbq tour fare, described as "Honey & Sambal, Cabrales Blue, Celery & Daikon Slaw. Though not exactly sure what that meant, we ordered three plates of ribs and jumped in. I can't precisely describe the sophisticated mix of sweet and sour, hot and cold, but what an amazing dining experience.
Next, we ordered sampler plates of brisket, pulled pork, sausage and ribs. Nothing that touched Franklin BBQ, to be quite honest. Fortunately, posse member Libby Jacobson is an Austin local and knew about Lambert's famous mac & cheese, so we talked our way into servings for the group, despite the fact that M&C isn't on the bar menu. Another Posse favorite was born, some of the best we've sampled.
Bottom line, these are two "can't miss" dishes. The next time you find yourself near the corner of Guadalupe & 2nd Streets in downtown Austin, belly up to the bar and enjoy!
Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, 401 W. Second, Austin, (512) 494-1500. Open Daily 11am-11pm.
(Photos by Chris Wilkins)