A Few Words on Texas Barbecue
Almost as soon as I landed in Austin, the questions about barbecue started. Had I eaten any yet? Is it better than Memphis barbecue? Why don’t you people put sauce on your ribs?
So, yesterday, I ventured over to Ironworks to try some Texas barbecue.
I stepped up to the menu board and was a little confused. There were ribs and sandwiches, but no pork to be found (save for something called a pork loin sandwich).
Brisket was considered for a few seconds, and I debated the turkey. Ribs were immediately vetoed: pork ribs are manageable, cow ribs are ginormous. I wound up ordering a chopped beef sandwich, because it was the closest thing I could find to a pulled pork sandwich.
At first, the sandwich seemed remarkably similar to one that I would get in Memphis. There was meat, and sauce, and a bun, and it tasted pretty good. But a few bites in, I started to consider it a little more closely.
The beef was good, but tougher than slow-cooked pulled pork. The sauce was very different, too. It wasn’t thick – it was sort of vinegary and a little sweet. It wasn’t thick and tangy, and it didn’t make much of a statement on the sandwich. It was so different. Imagine wearing a Hanes beefy tee-shirt every day of your life, and then putting on an American Apparel shirt – same basic idea, but completely different.
Overall, I think I prefer the barbecue in Memphis. It tastes like home.