Former Freedmen’s pitmaster Evan LeRoy has returned to Austin’s barbecue scene with the food truck operation, LeRoy and Lewis. The operation is a joint venture with Sawyer Lewis, the former general manager at Contigo. The truck is at 121 Pickle Road off South Congress Avenue, just north of Ben White Boulevard.
While you’ll be able to find (on Saturdays) the brisket that helped put LeRoy on the map when he opened Freedmen’s, the truck focuses on cuts of meat not often seen on barbecue menus. Menu items will include beef belly bacon, duck ham, oxtail, duck confit and more. Saturdays will be reserved for more traditional items like brisket, pork ribs, sausage and turkey. The menu will also feature the kind of homemade side dishes, like creamed spinach with feta cheese and mesquite cornbread, and desserts that set LeRoy’s Freedmen’s menu apart from other barbecue restaurants in town.
“At this point, everybody knows how to cook brisket and pork ribs,” LeRoy said. “As our first venture, we’re really passionate about bridging the gap between barbecue and farm-to-table dining by focusing on sourcing from local ranches and farms. We will also change the menu up a lot by what’s in season and what we’re liking from the local and regional farms we are working with.”
The new barbecue truck will serve as a preview for an eventual brick-and-mortar restaurant, brewery and event space LeRoy and Lewis have planned for Southwest Austin.
Before serving as the opening chef at Freedmen’s, LeRoy, a native Austinite, worked at Hill Country Barbecue and got his start at Hudson’s on the Bend. He has been hosting pop-ups in Austin and around the country in advance of his new concept, which he calls “new-school barbecue with old-school service.”
- Austin360 Dining Guide 2016: Central Texas Barbecue All-Stars
- [From the archives, 2014]: Best barbecue in Austin