We weren’t sure what to eat on our first night in Austin, but I knew we wanted BBQ. Franklin’s has crazy lineups, and Mueller’s is a bit far away, and often runs out in the afternoon. The others were a bit far of a walk since we were just travelling all day. We asked our concierge which she recommended. She said Iron Grill is a popular one and really close, pretty good. But she preferred Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue, but it’s a bit higher priced.
We chose Iron Grill first and walked over but found that it was sadly closed on Sundays! So we made the trek over to Lambert’s in the hot muggy weather. I was building up a sweat, and we were both really hungry.
The menu was pretty cool, with lots of dishes that were really tempting. The prices didn’t seem too much at the time, but for the portion size it is quite expensive (especially after comparing to what we got at Mueller later in the trip). We started with the Veal Sweet breads. They were grilled, and slightly seasoned. I liked how it didn’t have a gross livery flavour that sometimes comes out (at least when deep fried). It was nice and tender, and the mango slaw that it came with was really nice in cutting the fattiness.
For our mains we ordered the Beef Brisket, and Short Rib with a side of Mac n Cheese. The Beef Brisket serving was really small. Seriously like 6 or so small slices with a mix of fatty and lean. It was good, but so little! The fatty meat was so awesome. I could definitely eat a lot this. It was nice and smokey and tender. The leaner meat was good too, but a lot drier. Still good flavours though. It came with a side of pickled cauliflower. Why do people like the leaner, tougher brisket?
I liked the Whole Black Angus Short Rib more though. It was huge, but then my coworker reminded me of the $31 price tag. It was so tender, and easily came off the bone. It came with a delicious cilantro topping. It reminded me that I love cilantro. The meat was smokey and fatty and delicious, the cilantro and green onions just added an extra layer of freshness. It came with a bit of a spicy sauce and a fennel and caper chimichurri which we didn’t notice too much. It lay on a bed of their spicy sauce too.
The mac n cheese was mediocre. It kind of tasted like it had a bit of processed cheese. That or the macaroni just got really soggy, but it was quite gummy. It was rich though. But the gummy texture of the pasta and cheese sauce was not good.
For dessert we ordered the Pecan Pie with Whiskey sauce, and Dark Chocolate ice cream, and a warm banana bread pudding with Rum hard sauce.
The pecan pie had a lot of whiskey flavour still in the pie filling. It wasn’t very sticky, and I really wished it came warm. The whiskey was quite over powering, but only came about after a few chews. The crust was probably the best part of the pie.
The bread pudding was a bit better. Came warm and soft, maybe a bit too soft for me. Wished the top came a bit crispier. It was probably the banana that gave it a bit of a soggier texture. It was comforting though.
The food was good, but pricey. The other BBQ joints are just as good, and cheaper. Our concierge did say this was a bit of a higher end place.
P.S. The sazerac was not good here as it was very syrupy, and didn’t have a strong lemon scent. They do have live bands though.
Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue
401 W 2nd St