Freedmen’s owner Cuatro Kowalski’s interest in smoked meats has taken him out to the Hill Country. The Austinite recently opened Texas 46 BBQ at 2 Sun Valley Drive in Spring Branch, about 12 miles from Canyon Lake.
The kitchen is run by chef/pitmaster Austin Fry, who menu includes traditional post-oak smoked barbecue brisket, beef and pork ribs and housemade sausage, along with dishes like a chicken-fried steak burger and a smoked salmon burger.
Fry, whose resume includes serving as executive chef and general manager at La Condesa in 2009, spent much of the past eight years living in Asia, where he worked as executive chef at Blue Smoke in Hong Kong, among others.
The original bar and burger joint was owned for about 30 years by Gary Stebbins, who passed away last year. Kowalski purchased the restaurant and bar last spring. The space maintains much of the roadhouse aesthetic of its previous incarnation and includes a covered front patio and lawn with picnic tables and washer pits. Texas 46 has a full bar and features 20 draft beers.
“We are not trying to reinvent the barbecue restaurant,” said Kowalski. “We just want to do barbecue well—and create a meeting place for the neighboring communities to gather, whether for a beer, a meal, or a celebration.”
Texas 46 BBQ is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.