AUSTIN | Micklethwait Craft Meats is owned and run by barbecue lover turned baker turned barbecue pitmaster Tom Micklethwait (the “th” is silent) and run out of a 1960’s era Comet trailer. It’s built up a reputation as being one of Austin’s best barbecue spots amongst those in the know without the lines that some of the other players in the game attract. For us, Micklethwait is probably our favourite barbecue place that we’ve been to anywhere, and there are many reasons for this.
Firstly, and most importantly, the food is good. Of all the barbecue we’ve tried in Austin and elsewhere, Micklethwait comes the closest to nailing everything. This can be traced back to the fact that Micklethwait has a complete approach to the food that he serves – sides and dessert are given just as much attention as the meat, and everything is made from scratch, on site where possible, using the best possible ingredients.
Another thing that set Micklethwait apart from the crowd is the willingness to try different things. Depending on when you visit, you might find lamb or duck sausages or pulled goat on the menu for example. And as a further boon to those solo diners who might want to try a few things and not pay by the pound, Micklethwait offers plates – your choice of 1, 2, or 3 meats and 2 sides for a very reasonable $11.50, $13.50, or $15.50 respectively).
While all of the meats are good here, the standout for us are the sticky, peppery baby back pork ribs with meat that falls right off the bone and has the perfect succulent texture and rich flavour. The springy, juicy, rich sausages are another highlight here, and sausage is usually our least favourite item on a barbecue menu. The use of post oak in the smoking process provides that familiar Austin flavour.
As for the non-meat choices, well the potato salad is great, but the real superstar is the jalapeño cheese grits which are hands down the best barbecue side we’ve had in a long time – tangy, light and full of flavour. The moon pie, a steal at $3.00 is sizeable and tasty too. Even the bread that’s served with the barbecue is more than an afterthought. Micklethwait buts his baking knowledge to good use in baking a light, springy white loaf.
There might be better examples of each of the individual meats elsewhere in town, but we’ve not been anywhere that gets this much this right, all without the massive lines. There’s even free beer (proper craft stuff, not Lonestar like many others) available to enjoy.
Micklethwait Craft Meats
1309 Rosewood Avenue
Tue – Sun: 11:00am until sold out