Brown's Bar-B-Que

Customers line up to order at Brown's Bar-B-Que in Austin. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

Call it a continuing smoked meat puzzlement for the Posse: Why aren’t the lines longer at Brown’s Bar-B-Que trailer on South Lamar in Austin?

Owner Daniel Brown has been cooking and serving barbecue for more than a decade. His trailer started getting some serious buzz in 2013 and over the years has been touted by Eater Austin, Texas Monthly, even Bon Appetit.

Early this year, Conde Nast Traveler included Brown’s on its list of the 10 best barbecue joints in Austin.

Brown's Bar-B-Que

Daniel Brown Jr. slices brisket at Brown's Bar-B-Que. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

I first went to Brown’s Bar-B-Que in late 2015, after moving to Austin from Dallas. There were no lines. I was impressed by the food and told a few Posse mates about the place, including Sam Gwynne and Chris Wilkins.

Wilkins and I are convinced that we published an item about Brown’s Bar-B-Que back then, but we can’t find it in the archives. Nor can I find any drafts or beginnings of a story in old electronic notes and emails.

My bad. It certainly reinforces one of the most valuable journalism lessons I ever learned from one of my earliest editors. “Write it, don’t talk it,” he said.

It’s still great advice, so, we’ll write it now.

Wilkins and I went to Brown’s on a recent Friday with barbecue pro Mark Gabrick, who recently moved to Austin from Florida. We arrived at the trailer, parked in front of Corner Bar, a little before the opening time of 11 a.m. There was no line.

Since we were going to hit a second joint immediately after this stop, we limited our order to the Texas Trinity of brisket, pork ribs, and sausage, with a side of boudin. The place also serves beef ribs, turkey, chicken, pulled pork and beef shoulder, stand alone and in a variety of wraps and sandwiches.

“That’s great brisket,” Gabrick said, after taking a bite. “It’s a surprise to me because I drive by all the time and there’s never a line.”

Brown's Bar-B-Que

Our lunch of lean & fatty brisket, pork ribs, beef sausage & boudin at Brown's Bar-B-Que. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

Gabrick knows barbecue. He cooked and sold it at a farmer's market in Florida for years and helped start Brick’s Smoked Meats, a restaurant in Sarasota.

“That’s some of the better brisket I’ve had in the last six months,” Wilkins agreed.

It was tasty, tender and almost melted in your mouth.

The pork ribs were terrific, too, done exactly how I like them with just the slightest tug off the bone. Not mushy, but almost melt in your mouth.

We all liked the boudin, and thought the sausage was just o.k.

“I would definitely come back for that brisket,” Gabrick said.

We’d come back to Brown's Bar-B-Que for the ribs and boudin, too.

We finished eating about 11:30. There were eight people in line. The Posse’s puzzlement continues.

Brown’s BBQ, 1901 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, 512-517-8520. Open Thurs-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm.

Brown's Bar-B-Que

Daniel Brown Jr. slices our pork ribs at Brown's Bar-B-Que. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

Brown's Bar-B-Que

There were no leftovers to take home after our lunch at Brown's Bar-B-Que. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

Ed Torres

5 years ago

Probably there's already a strong competition in the area, if he move to North Austin, there's a good chance he'll make it good since there's not much choice here.

Greg Warner

5 years ago

The location on South Lamar is hard to get in and out of with tons of traffic and the seating is sub-par. You’re right about the brisket, though. It’s as good as you’ll find. I’ve been enjoying his pulled pork sandwiches for a couple of years now and the pulled pork is easily the best in town. Ask for the sandwich with all the fixings and he’ll pile on cole slaw, onions, jalapeños and pickles. Damn tasty. And you can get it for less than $10 with a drink. I doubt if there is anywhere else in town that’ll feed you that well for under $10.


4 years ago

My family has 7 generations in Texas born and raised so I know a thing or two about BBQ and these guys & gals have some of the best BBQ I've ever had. I've been to almost every BBQ joint in this town and these guys are hands down some of the very best!


4 years ago

The answer to your question is simple: it’s not good BBQ, so people stay away.

I ate there about two years ago because I was close by for business. I saw the guy at the the counter shopping the potatoes laced out of a tub. WTF? I asked him why it looked like he was scooping ore made potato salad out of a tub, and he sheepishly admitted that he bought it pre-made from a store.

I love BBQ so I came back. The second time, I asked to see his smokers. Tell ya what, have him show you his smoker next time you’re there. Then go over to Micklethawit BBQ or Franklin, where they do it old school BBQ and real. You’ll understand why there’s no line.

Bottom line, it’s not good BBQ. If it was good, people would show up.

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4 years ago

Great article. magliette calcio

Austin Top 5 plus Snow's

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