I am neither a food critic, nor a barbeque aficionado, but I do like good Q, and having smoked my own for a while now, I know what goes into making it good. After hearing lots of good things about Micklethwait Craft Meats, which opened in December 2012, I stopped by a couple weeks ago, and got some ribs and brisket, and brought it home for lunch. The brisket was excellent. The pork ribs were the best I’d had in a really long time. The memory lingered.
When trying to decide what to do for Father’s Day, I thought my dad would enjoy having some delicious Q brought to their house for lunch. So, I headed off to East Austin, to be there when they opened at 11:00.
Michlethwait is in a sweet yellow refurbished trailer, on Rosewood Avenue not far from East 11th. The smoker trailer sits next to it, which is a familiar smoker/trailer setup.
There is plenty of seating, in a park-like setting amongst the trees, should you desire to dine there.
The menu changes daily, at least the variety of sausages and some of the sides. I was expecting jalapeno mac and cheese, but was happy to find jalapeño cheesy grits today. I love good grits, as every Southern gal should. The sausage today was Beef and Pork Jalapeno Sausage. I have read rave reviews about some less traditional sausage combinations, but was happy to try whatever they had.
Since was was taking my order to go, I ordered a lot, so that my folks could have leftovers for a couple of days. I ordered pork ribs, brisket, sausage, grits, and coleslaw.
Once home with my haul, I took some, less than great photos. My parents’ kitchen isn’t well lit for food pics, but here we go.
I didn’t specify lean or moist, so cutter’s choice was a combination of both. The brisket had a nice smoke ring, good fat to lean ratio, and had retained its juiciness. I asked Mr. Micklethwait how long he smoked it, and he said generally about 14 hours. This is my magic time when I smoke a whole brisket at home as well. It was well seasoned, with a nice crust, and not overloaded with pepper. It had enough pepper to lend spice, but not overpower the meat. It was delicious.
The sausage was really tasty as well, with a nice grind, good seasoning and a casing that was just right. The texture was fairly firm but moist – I really dislike mushy sausages. Very flavorful.
My favorite, this time again, was the ribs. They were cooked perfectly, not sliding off the bone, but no longer clinging to it. Slightly sweet, a little spice, good smoke, and just delicious flavor and texture. They were very meaty, but not too fatty. I brought some home for dinner tonight, they were good enough to eat twice in one day.
My dad kept asking where they got their meat. “You can’t get ribs like that at the grocery store.” They were the bomb.
The jalapeno cheesy grits were delicious as well, creamy, with lots of cheese and good pepper flavor, that yielded not too much heat. I had to practice a little retraint on my helping, not to be thrown into a carb nap after lunch.
The cole slaw was really different from what I make or what I’m used to. It was light and lemony, with no hint of vinegar or mayo that I could detect. Very fresh and crunchy and refreshing in the hot heat of our late Spring.
Sauce is hard for me to talk about, because I don’t use it. I did taste it and it was very good; nice spice, a little sweet, a bit tart. BBQ sauce is not my area, so you try it for yourself.
The food here feels elevated, well thought out, and smart. I fear that a line will begin to form there, once the word gets out about how good it is. But, people should know that there is amazing barbecue on Rosewood Avenue on the East Side.