Austin has better barbecue than Houston. At least that’s one way to extrapolate the small sample size of data collected at last weekend’s HOU-ATX BBQ Throwdown at the Saint Arnold Brewing Co. A panel of judges gave a pair of first place ribbons to co-champions LeRoy & Lewis of Austin and Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue of Pflugerville. And the judges weren’t the only ones impressed by LeRoy & Lewis, the barbecue truck helmed by former Freedmen’s pitmaster Evan LeRoy, as the team also took home the People’s Choice Award.
Both of the Central Texas spots brought a bit of Asian flare to the proceedings, with LeRoy & Lewis rocking Bacon Rib (bone in belly cured like bacon, smoked whole, sliced and smoked again) with brisket fried rice, kimchi and fish caramel, according to LeRoy, and Brotherton’s using smoked confit beef pate, Korean style brisket and pulled pork, kimchi, pickled daikon and carrot, Thai chili pomegranate gastrique, mango jalapeno coulis, & cilantro on crostini for a tricked-out play on a banh mi, according to one attendee.
The two blue ribbon winners topped a field that included Beaver’s, The Brisket House, El Burro & the Bull, The Pit Room, Tin Roof BBQ, 2016 Throwdown winner Killen’s BBQ, Ellis Brothers BBQ, and Gatlin’s BBQ of Houston and Austin-area joints Micklethwait Craft Meats, and Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ.
Looks like there’s a nice rivalry heating up between Texas’ top two barbecue cities.