Friday, July 14, 2017

A Revisit to Freedmen's BBQ (Austin, TX)  

Freedmen's Website, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter  

Scott, James, Mom, and I went to Freedmen’s Saturday. Mom wanted BBQ, I needed to revisit them to continue my BBQ Passport, and James and Scott came along for the ride (literally in James’ case, as he joined us after his 20 mile bike ride).  

We won’t go into as much detail about the place this time, as you can read it all in our earlier post. It is still sit-down, and still has a heck of a whiskey selection. We get moist brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, sausage, and turkey. 

Brisket: The brisket is still moist and tender, but not quite as much as last time. There’s a nice smoke flavor and some good black pepper (Mom thinks it is a bit much). Scott and I both agree it is good, but not quite as good as last time. Mom and Scott: 7.5/10. James and Tom: 8.0/10.

Ribs: The ribs are tender and juicy, with a nice crust. They have a great flavor, nice smoke, and lots of pepper. The flavor goes to the bone. We have a unanimous consensus. Mom, Scott, and Tom: 8.5/10.
Sausage: It’s still the jalapeno blend, so no score from Tom. It is juicy and tender, although the casing is somewhat tough and chewy (no real snap). However, for those who love the jalapeno, this one is excellent. Scott and Mom: 9.0/10. James: 7.0/10. (Tom: Ignoring flavor, I’d probably drop one point on whatever score I would give because the casing was extremely tough this time).

Turkey: The turkey is extremely tender and moist. There’s a lot of spice in here, not just pepper (although that is present as well). It actually has a bit of a burn, but the flavor is wonderful. They are definitely doing this right. Mom finds the pepper a hair much. Mom: 8.0/10. Scott, James, and Tom: 9.0/10.
 Pulled Pork: Tender and moist without being greasy There’s some nice spice in here similar to the turkey, but also a sweetness. This is good enough that it is worth getting extra to take home. James, Tom, and Scott: 9.0/10. Mom: 9.5/10.  
Scott and I finish with a shot of whiskey each (since this is my first meal of the day does that mean I had whiskey for breakfast?). They have a huge selection and our server seems knowledgeable, so Scott gets some advice before making a selection. I’ve heard that there are some good things coming out of Japan, so try a shot of the Hakashu 12 year. Both are excellent.  
Freedmen’s is definitely a worthy entry into Texas Monthly’s Top 50 list. It’s a great place to get some BBQ in a relaxed sit-down setting, and enjoy a good drink while eating.  

Let the Meat Coma commence!
Still worth both a visit and a trip.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Review of John Mueller's Black Box Barbeque (Georgetown, TX)  

Black Box Barbeque's Website, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter  
Jason Voorhees. Michael Meyers. John Mueller. What do they have in common? They never stay down for long. (Scott: No Godzilla on the list?)  With Black Box Barbeque, John (related to the same Mueller family who runs Louie Mueller’s in Taylor) is on his third business in six years. And he’s come out swinging. Scott and I headed there Saturday to see how this one compares to the others.  
Scott double-fists beer and coffee??
Black Box is currently a food trailer, which opened in late April around the Georgetown Red Poppy Festival, although there are plans for a brick and mortar. As he has in the past, John offers beer to those waiting in line. Lone Star is today’s offering (a good breakfast beer as my German brother-in-law calls it). But we aren’t here for beer (Scott: Officially). Scott and I order turkey, sausage, ribs, and brisket, and sit down to eat.  
Turkey: The turkey is extremely tender and juicy. There’s lots of smoky flavor, and a ton of black pepper adding a wonderful kick to it. It almost melts in the mouth. Scott sums it up thusly: “When the spice and the turkey got together, Barry White was playing in the background”. Tom, Scott: 9.5/10. 
Brisket: We get moist. It has a nice thick bark with a lot of the black pepper 9it’s a theme). There’s a good smoky flavor as well. Scott: 8.5/10. Tom: 9.0/10.  
Ribs: The ribs have a nice meat to bone ratio. They are tender and juicy. There’s a good smoky flavor. The pepper is present, but a bit more subdued than the other items, which works well. Tom, Scott: 8.5/10. 
Sausage: It’s a coarse ground beef sausage. There’s a nice snap, and it is moist without being greasy. It starts very smooth on the flavor and then the heat kicks in about 15 seconds later. Tom, Scott: 8.5/10.  
Note: Coarse ground pepper is a prevalent part of the rub on the meats.  It's presence in the meats is a theme, leitmotif - (checking a thesaurus or Wikipedia).
A few people had asked me what I thought about John opening a new place, and if it would be as good as his old ones. I could get nostalgic, or poetic, but I think paraphrasing a John Wick quote will sum it up best: 
“People keep asking if he’s back and I haven’t really had an answer, but yeah, I’m thinking he’s back.
Is it worth a visit? Absolutely.  
Is it worth a trip? Again, absolutely.