Freedmen’s is the most under rated BBQ spot in Austin to ME personally. While everyone talks about Franklin’s in the entire world, how many locals are eating Sir Aaron’s brisket as often as the breakfast tacos of Taco Deli or Vera Cruz? Where are these BBQ lovers finding their meat without waiting in line? Well, they should be going to Freedmen’s BBQ located in West Campus. I went for a rehearsal dinner which was a REALLY good idea. They have a back patio with long picnic tables and did a great job serving family style for a nice event like this. Not to mention, everyone raves about their cocktails, collection of over 160 whiskeys, and I will say this is never a perk at any barbecue spot that I know of in Austin. Another plus is that they are open for dinner, so they do not run out and you do not have to wait in a line like it’s a cronut.
What wow’d me the most was the juicy and flavorful bark on the brisket. I love this fatty part. Those of you who might be afraid of fat, calm down. This is not like the tendon fat in a chicken or a steak, but the best flavorful fat in a brisket that melts your tongue away. The ribs also fall straight off the bone which is my style. I’m not into the chewy ribs like I recently found at Stiles Switch. Anyway, get your ribs here, ya heard?! This is also a great place for guys to just BRO OUT. Meats, whiskey, cocktails, beers, and right around the corner from the fraternity houses. If only this was here when I was in college. However, it’s a good excuse to head back to this area for once.
The sides and desserts are also what really rounds out this joint. While I do think Franklin’s meat is unbeatable, the mac ‘n cheese, beet salad, and slaw really outdo them here. While the Buttermilk Pie is awesome at Mickelthwait (my other favorite Rib place in town), the Salted Chocolate Mousse cups at Freedmen’s run them over. Although I guess you can’t compare salted chocolate with buttermilk pie…
It’s nice to start the palate off with some smoked beets when you know the meat sweats are on their way. The mac ‘n cheese is standard macaroni noodles and yellow just like mom used to make, and the grilled cabbage slaw helps to cleanse the palate. If you are a Banana Pudding Fan, you can order one of those, too. My guess is that you will fill up on all the meats and sides, but I’m telling you just get either of these puddings placed in front of you and use your second stomach!
Freedmen’s also has brunch with a Barbecue Benedict on a Buttermilk Biscuit, of course.