Louie’s, a trailer joint on South Congress, wasn’t on the itinerary for the Posse’s recent tour of Austin-area barbecue places.
But then we met blogger Jason Salas at an early stop. He raved about Louie’s so we changed our plans.
We’re glad we did. Louie’s, run by Luis Vasquez and his wife, Amy, might just be the best kept barbecue secret in Austin.
The pork ribs were perfectly cooked with a nice rub that wasn’t overpowering but still had some oomph. The brisket was tender and flavorful. The jalapeño cheese sausage popped. And while the turkey was just o.k., a couple of sides — mac n cheese and street corn — were excellent.
“That could be the best rib of the weekend,” Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins said as we sat at a shaded picnic table near the serving trailer.
Normally on tours, we strictly pace our eating, especially early in the day. One rib. A bite or two of brisket. Some sausage. You gotta save room for later stops. But we broke the rule at Louie’s.
“Do you mind if I eat that?” I asked Wilkins, pointing at one remaining rib on the tray.
“No,” he said.
I quickly grabbed it and it was soon gone. We also ate our fill of brisket, sausage and the sides.
As we finished eating, Wilkins declared it the “best meal” he had on the trip.
“That brisket is just bathed in smoke,” he said. “Light smoke, not overwhelming. To me, if you can do that with brisket, you’ve nailed it.”
He said the mac and cheese was old school, “like your mom would have made for you.”
During our visit, customers steadily came and ordered, but there was never a line. So we had some time to talk to Vasquez.
He said he had been an insurance adjustor — autos — for more than 16 years. He has been cooking for about seven years, he said, mainly for family and friends in the beginning. He started catering in 2015 and did pop-up events until he had enough money to buy his trailer. He opened his joint in 2017 and has been in the South Congress location about four months.
“I designed the trailer and I designed the menu,” Vasquez said. “Art is my first passion.”
Another passion is pro wrestling. Think Hulk Hogan and the Von Erichs. One special on Louie’s menu is called The Sleeper, after a famous wrestling hold. It’s a huge baked potato with a couple scoops of mac and cheese, customer choice of double meats, sour cream, barbecue sauce, green sauce and more cheese. The heaviest he has served weighed 3.65 pounds, Vasquez said.
We didn’t have room for The Sleeper on this visit. Maybe next time.
Louie’s BBQ, 4329 S Congress Ave, Austin, 512-649-2727. Open Tues-Sat 11am-7pm. Website: http://www.louiesbbqtx.com