Recently Daniel Vaughn (best known as @BBQSnob) posted his suggestions for BBQ road trips in the Central Texas region. For the Austin Tour he suggested Franklin, JMueller and Stiles Switch. Obviously I’ve already visited Franklin and JMueller and loved both. Since Daniel is my go to source on all things barbecue, I trust his word and had to make a visit to Stiles Switch.
Stiles Switch is located just north of the “triangle” area of Austin, in the Violet Crown Shopping Center which is apparently was the first shopping center to open in Austin. Other than the Stiles Switch space, the strip mall is old and not much to look at. On the inside Stiles Switch appears to be pretty new and has the look and feel of your typical bbq restaurant. My favorite sight when I walked into the restaurant: no line! But of course at the same time that could be a bit scary since Franklin and JMueller have huge lines due to their excellent reputation. We walked right up to the counter and ordered a pound of fatty brisket and half pound of beef ribs. It was actually our first time ever having beef ribs. I’m glad we ordered the beef ribs (often called brontosaurus ribs due to their large size) because they were great, I have been missing out. Both the ribs and brisket had the standard salt and pepper rub, which is simple and just works. The bark had a great flavor and the fat was well rendered. I wouldn’t go as far as to say the brisket is as good as Franklin’s, but it was tasty. As you could guess, with brew in the name they also serve beer. It was lunch time so I passed but it looked like they had a good tap selection of Texas beers. And they do have dinner hours which is another plus. The staff was very friendly and personable. One of the workers let us know that every Saturday night they have live blues music played at the restaurant.
Franklin remains my favorite bbq spot in town, but Stiles Switch has a lot going for it. The combination of good ‘cue, late hours and not having to wait in a long line ensures I will make more visits in the future.