la Barbecue

Isabelle Palumbo of Austin shows off her beef rib at la Barbecue. (Photo ©Tom Fox)

The Posse has always liked — loved, actually — the food at la Barbecue. The Austin joint opened in 2012. Our first visit was the next year. And we’ve consistently ranked the place among the very best in the state.

So when Posse members Chris Wilkins and Tom Fox came to Austin recently, our first stop on a Saturday morning was the new la Barbecue, which moved out of its trailer location in August and into the Quickie Pickie on East Cesar Chavez.

The barbecue, cooked in pits on trailers in the back, remains outstanding. We ordered fatty brisket, pork ribs, turkey and sausage.

“The brisket is semi-extraordinary,” Wilkins said as he savored a melt-in-your-mouth bite. “The rib is really, really good.”

“I’m still occupied with the rib,” Fox said. “It’s so good.”

Wilkins said the ribs were cooked “perfectly.” Fox said they were “not underdone, but not overdone, either,” meaning the Posse mates were in total agreement.

Wilkins thought the turkey was the weakest of the meats we sampled. I thought it tasted fine, but not outstanding. The sausage was o.k.

La Barbecue is owned by LeAnn Mueller, of the famous Mueller barbecue family, and Alison Clem. Over the years, the joint has been a cradle of excellent pit masters, including John Lewis (now at Lewis Barbecue in Charleston, South Carolina), Esaul Ramos (2M Smokehouse in San Antonio) and Dylan Taylor (Truth Barbecue in Brenham).

la Barbecue

Our lunch of brisket, ribs, sausage & turkey at la Barbecue’s new location in Austin. (Photo ©Tom Fox)

We didn’t order a beef rib, but Isabelle Palumbo of Austin did and when she sat at a table near us, she assured us that it, too, was great.

On a visit to la Barbecue in 2016, we were hours back in line, until serendipity struck. Two Posse blog readers from California were near the front of the line. When they discovered that we were near the back they allowed us to order through them. We're still thanking them.

On our most recent trip, we arrived about a half-hour before service began and only 25 people were ahead of us. Still, we didn’t get served until almost 40 minutes after the 11 a.m. opening.

“Hey, I gotta criticize their work flow,” Wilkins said. “You can’t have a long line and only have one meat cutter. Hutchins has three cutters.”

Wilkins referred to Hutchins BBQ, which has joints in McKinney and Frisco.

At the new la Barbecue location, diners can sit at tables inside where it’s air conditioned, or outside at shaded picnic tables. We chose outside.

The previous day, Wilkins said, la Barbecue had tweeted a little after noon that there was a short line and lots of barbecue available. During our visit, we finished eating about 12:15 p.m. When we left, the line was out the door and down the street a bit, about 100-long.

We all agreed, as far as the food goes, the joint hasn’t lost a step in its new digs.

la Barbecue, 2027 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, 512-605-9696. Open Wed-Sun 11am-6pm.

la Barbecue

Diners wait in line at the new la Barbecue, located along with the Quickie Pickie convenience store on Cesar Chavez St. (Photo ©Tom Fox)

la Barbecue

Briskets on the smoker at la Barbecue. (Photo ©Tom Fox)

la Barbecue

Sausage links cook on the smoker at la Barbecue. (Photo ©Tom Fox)

la Barbecue

Diners eat lunch in front of a mural paying homage to Bobby Mueller, legendary pitmaster/owner of Louie Mueller Barbecue & father of la Barbecue owner LeAnn Mueller. (Photo ©Tom Fox)

la Barbecue

Diners line up at la Barbecue's new location on Saturday at noon. (Photo ©Tom Fox)

LeAnn Mueller

6 years ago

We can’t have multiple cutters bc im only allowed that tiny cutting space. At least no one is waiting out in the elements as much anymore. :):) Thank you guys for the article. I do want to clarify on thing Barbecue has only had one original pit master and that was John Lewis ... the rest were just cooks. And let’s throw some love to Ali and I who are cooking and we’re cooking from the beginning ... Ali can cook a brisket better than anyone I know. We kept our heads down bc I was taught by my dad to be humble. But truth is the truth ... Ali John Lewis and myself started la barbecue and only Ali and I are kept that legacy going years to date... it’s in my blood and I do it for my father. #inbobbywetrust

Gary Jacobson

6 years ago

LeAnn, many thanks for your comments. The "loved, actually" phrase in our first sentence truly describes the Posse's opinion of your place. Never-ending kudos to you and Ali.

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