Texas BBQ Spring Break

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TimF
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Texas BBQ Spring Break

#1 Post by TimF » January 7th, 2019, 3:11 pm

It took a while to settle on a spring break destination this year. I’ve got a 13 year old daughter and 14 year old son. London concerned me with that being the week of Brexit and a trip to Cuba with the kids seemed too complicated. So we’re going to spend a week in Texas. I’ve barely ever been. But I do love BBQ. The initial plan is to hit Austin and San Antonio. Possibly Houston. What would be your ideal week? We’ll want to hit major attractions in addition to BBQ places.
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Sc0tt F!tzger@ld
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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#2 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » January 7th, 2019, 3:17 pm

March can be hit or miss with the weather. Usually more hits though, but waterparks are still too cold (Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels is a blast when it’s warm).

I like Austin and San Antonio. Riverwalk and Alamo in SA are worth exploring. While I went to school in Austin, I’ll leave it to others to weigh in. If you make it to Houston, great museum district and side trip to NASA is worth it.
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Michael O'Brien
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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#3 Post by Michael O'Brien » January 7th, 2019, 3:23 pm

TimF, visit the CT board and reach out to oskiwawa and sourdough. They both live in Austin and I believe sourdough has also lived in San Antonio and Houston. Those two would know just about anything you would want to know.
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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#4 Post by mseeber » January 7th, 2019, 6:47 pm

We just spent Christmas - New Years at The Woodlands Resort and had a great time. We went into Houston one day and ate at The Pit Room and it was a great BBQ experience. Rendered Brisket fat in the tortillas was worth the eventual angioplasty. Lots of good restaurant choices in the area, although largely standard wine lists with normal markups. Museum district has a ton of options depending on interests.
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RyanC
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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#5 Post by RyanC » January 7th, 2019, 7:36 pm

I'm biased, but I would not miss Houston. It's the most exciting city in Texas right now and one of the most vibrant in the US. Here's what I'd do:

Austin - 2 days. BBQ and La Barbecue and Louie Mueller (about 30 mins away in Taylor). Also consider Mickelthwait Meats (no lines). Skip Franklin's lines unless you want to burn an entire morning. Other than BBQ, see some live music, visit the capital building, and take advantage of the lakes. If you're passionate about BBQ, make it out to Snow's on a Saturday (perhaps the best in the state).

Houston - 3 days. BBQ is weaker than Austin but still strong. I would do Killen's (a bit out of town but worth it) and perhaps one or more of Gatlin's, Pinkerton's, or Pit Room. But Houston has excellent food across the spectrum, from the high end (BCN, Tony's, Da Marco), to some of the best Mexican (Hugo's and Xochi), interesting/progressive/contemporary (Theodore Rex, Nancy's Hustle), farm to table (Coltivare), Indian (Himalaya), Tex Mex (Ninfa's, El Tiempo, Pico's), steak (Pappas Bros., Killen's), Vietnamese (many), Sichuan (Mala Sichuan and others), and other ethnic food in the US. a'Bouzy has one of the best (and best priced) Champagne lists in the USA. For sights, I'd hit the excellent museums (Menil and MFA are particularly good) and NASA is worth the modest drive.

San Antonio - Not an expert here, but there is some good BBQ and history.

I would frankly probably choose Fort Worth (and Dallas) over San Antonio. I'd also consider non-urban places, like the Texas Hill Country, or a night at the Inn at Dos Brisas (about 90 mins from Houston and very lovely).
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TimF
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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#6 Post by TimF » January 7th, 2019, 8:07 pm

Thanks for the feedback so far. Keep it coming if others want to chime in.
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Bill Tex Landreth
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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#7 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » January 9th, 2019, 7:10 pm

If you make it to Dallas, hit me up and I can fire a brisket and some short ribs.

No corkage at mi casa.

And, I have a 12 and 15 year old son and daughter to entertain the yoots.
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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#8 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » January 10th, 2019, 8:51 pm

Ryan's recs are great above. Houston has one of the best food scenes in America due to our diversity - Latin American, Asian, TexMex, Cajun, African, Middle Eastern. We have many great spots for all of them.

I've lived in Austin too and think the food scene is overrated/inauthentic. Drive out to Lockhart (20mi away) for the real Texas BBQ joints that put the area on the map. Austin is a lot of fun and there's plenty to do though.

San Antonio has the Pearl Brewery area but isn't worth a special trip on your first Texas visit. If you're coming in March, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the biggest in the world I believe. It's our city'a month long party each year and the music is great. This year we have an incredible line up (it's not just country music) - https://www.rodeohouston.com/Visit-the- ... ert-Lineup.

Feel free to PM me for more specific recs.

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John Webber
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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#9 Post by John Webber » January 16th, 2019, 1:21 pm

The Hill Country (Fredericksburg, San Antonio, Bandera, Austin) and Big Bend (Marfa, Davis Observatory, the National Park, etc.) would be fantastic. A dude ranch in Bandera would be really cool for that age. Big Bend and West TX is as TX as it gets. Lots of cool eats all around these places.

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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#10 Post by Eric Ifune » January 16th, 2019, 4:36 pm

Lockhart, outside Austin is one of the centers of Texas BBQ. Kreuz and Smittys are there.

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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#11 Post by M. Dildine » January 16th, 2019, 7:37 pm

Damn I miss Texas!
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Marshall H
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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#12 Post by Marshall H » January 19th, 2019, 3:11 pm

In no particular order...

Austin: Mickelthwait (BBQ), Uchi (sushi), Odd Duck (farm to table), Snooze (brunch)

Houston: Irma's Original (Mexican restaurant with no menu, a personal favorite)
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Gus Johnson
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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#13 Post by Gus Johnson » January 21st, 2019, 7:27 am

If you happen to be in Austin Thursday-Saturday, I'd recommend Eden East for a dinner (https://edeneastaustin.com/). It is BYOB. Another local favorite is Lenoir.

+1 on Micklethwait (BYOB), Xochi and Nancy's Hustle.

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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#14 Post by TimF » January 21st, 2019, 7:56 am

Thanks for all the good advice and invitations. San Antonio isn't a must visit for me but my wife wants to visit. Her parents lived there when her dad was in the Army 50 years ago and her dad always talks about the place. My tentative plan:

Sat - Fly to Houston
Sun - Houston
Mon - Houston
Tue - Drive to San Antonio, stop in Lockhart on the way
Wed - San Antonio
Thu - Drive to Austin
Fri - Austin
Saturday - visit Snow's in the morning then drive to Houston for flight home in the evening.

I'm going to leave my plans pretty flexible but will schedule a tour of UT when we're in Austin. I'm also going to get us tickets to see Buddy Guy on 3/28 in Austin. I'm still torn about waiting in line at Franklin. I'd do it if it was me and a couple of my buddies but not sure I want to subject my kids to my crazy ideas. I might just do the pre-order/carryout to say we ate there.
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Dav1d S@wyer
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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#15 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » January 27th, 2019, 9:32 pm

TimF wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 7:56 am
Thanks for all the good advice and invitations. San Antonio isn't a must visit for me but my wife wants to visit. Her parents lived there when her dad was in the Army 50 years ago and her dad always talks about the place. My tentative plan:

Sat - Fly to Houston
Sun - Houston
Mon - Houston
Tue - Drive to San Antonio, stop in Lockhart on the way
Wed - San Antonio
Thu - Drive to Austin
Fri - Austin
Saturday - visit Snow's in the morning then drive to Houston for flight home in the evening.

I'm going to leave my plans pretty flexible but will schedule a tour of UT when we're in Austin. I'm also going to get us tickets to see Buddy Guy on 3/28 in Austin. I'm still torn about waiting in line at Franklin. I'd do it if it was me and a couple of my buddies but not sure I want to subject my kids to my crazy ideas. I might just do the pre-order/carryout to say we ate there.
Good itinerary. You could also stop at City Market in Luling between Houston and San Antonio. Lockhart is worth the trip but City Market is much closer to the highway. It's considered one of the best in the state. It'd probably be better to stop in Lockhart between SA and Austin.

In between Austin and Houston make sure to stop at a good bakery in Czech country. If you go 71 to I-10 (recommended), stop at Hruska's for the kolaches. You can't miss it because the speed limit slows down from 75 to 55 when you pass it due to the high traffic coming in and out. It's in the middle of nowhere so this gives you an idea of how popular it is.

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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#16 Post by Joe Dulworth » January 28th, 2019, 8:19 am

Dav1d S@wyer wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 9:32 pm
...stop at Hruska's for the kolaches.
David, did you see Hruska's has a location in Salt Lake City now? Apparently a couple of the kids went to college there and decided to stay and open a Hruska's Kolache Shop there. DDD visited there in Friday night's show.
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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#17 Post by Scott Jameson » January 28th, 2019, 5:44 pm

TimF wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 7:56 am
Thanks for all the good advice and invitations. San Antonio isn't a must visit for me but my wife wants to visit. Her parents lived there when her dad was in the Army 50 years ago and her dad always talks about the place. My tentative plan:

Sat - Fly to Houston
Sun - Houston
Mon - Houston
Tue - Drive to San Antonio, stop in Lockhart on the way
Wed - San Antonio
Thu - Drive to Austin
Fri - Austin
Saturday - visit Snow's in the morning then drive to Houston for flight home in the evening.

I'm going to leave my plans pretty flexible but will schedule a tour of UT when we're in Austin. I'm also going to get us tickets to see Buddy Guy on 3/28 in Austin. I'm still torn about waiting in line at Franklin. I'd do it if it was me and a couple of my buddies but not sure I want to subject my kids to my crazy ideas. I might just do the pre-order/carryout to say we ate there.
With 3 nights in Houston, I'd go to at least one of Hugo Ortega's restaurants, https://www.chefhugoortega.com/restaurants/. These are true Mexican, and not Tex-Mex. We love both Caracol, near the Galleria, which is seafood focused, and Xochi, in downtown, for Oaxacan cuisine. The moles, and they offer several, are amazing. These are also a nice break from BBQ and beef, although I'd also recommend Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, both in the Galleria area and downtown. Pappas has a great wine list, at prices you'd expect in a high end steak house. Caracol and Xochi have a more adventurous list, with lots of bottles you normally wouldn't see, but the somm has made some great choices at reasonable prices. I'd also strongly recommend one of Chris Shepard's restaurants, see http://www.underbellyhospitality.com/ One Fifth's current incarnation is eastern Mediterranean/north African, and just delicious. Georgia James is a steak house based on a previous concept at One Fifth, and outstanding. UB Preserv is today's version of Chris' original concept.

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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#18 Post by RyanC » January 28th, 2019, 6:28 pm

Scott Jameson wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 5:44 pm
TimF wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 7:56 am
Thanks for all the good advice and invitations. San Antonio isn't a must visit for me but my wife wants to visit. Her parents lived there when her dad was in the Army 50 years ago and her dad always talks about the place. My tentative plan:

Sat - Fly to Houston
Sun - Houston
Mon - Houston
Tue - Drive to San Antonio, stop in Lockhart on the way
Wed - San Antonio
Thu - Drive to Austin
Fri - Austin
Saturday - visit Snow's in the morning then drive to Houston for flight home in the evening.

I'm going to leave my plans pretty flexible but will schedule a tour of UT when we're in Austin. I'm also going to get us tickets to see Buddy Guy on 3/28 in Austin. I'm still torn about waiting in line at Franklin. I'd do it if it was me and a couple of my buddies but not sure I want to subject my kids to my crazy ideas. I might just do the pre-order/carryout to say we ate there.
With 3 nights in Houston, I'd go to at least one of Hugo Ortega's restaurants, https://www.chefhugoortega.com/restaurants/. These are true Mexican, and not Tex-Mex. We love both Caracol, near the Galleria, which is seafood focused, and Xochi, in downtown, for Oaxacan cuisine. The moles, and they offer several, are amazing. These are also a nice break from BBQ and beef, although I'd also recommend Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, both in the Galleria area and downtown. Pappas has a great wine list, at prices you'd expect in a high end steak house. Caracol and Xochi have a more adventurous list, with lots of bottles you normally wouldn't see, but the somm has made some great choices at reasonable prices. I'd also strongly recommend one of Chris Shepard's restaurants, see http://www.underbellyhospitality.com/ One Fifth's current incarnation is eastern Mediterranean/north African, and just delicious. Georgia James is a steak house based on a previous concept at One Fifth, and outstanding. UB Preserv is today's version of Chris' original concept.
Excellent advice, all of this. Of Ortrga’s places Xochi is probably my current fave but they’re all great and unique. Of them, Caracol has the best list and it’s quite good indeed.
C@ughey

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Re: Texas BBQ Spring Break

#19 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » January 30th, 2019, 7:55 pm

Joe Dulworth wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 8:19 am
Dav1d S@wyer wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 9:32 pm
...stop at Hruska's for the kolaches.
David, did you see Hruska's has a location in Salt Lake City now? Apparently a couple of the kids went to college there and decided to stay and open a Hruska's Kolache Shop there. DDD visited there in Friday night's show.
How random/funny!

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