I’m pleased to share my contribution to the Austin Food Blogger Alliance City Guide for 2015. It’s no secret that Austinites love meat. Here are my suggestions for meat-minded locals and visitors alike looking to satisfy their carnivorous cravings. Most restaurants and trailers on this list offer seasonal menus that are subject to change so be sure to check their websites for the most up-to-date offerings. Traditional steakhouses and chains were excluded.
There’s pig all over the place at the Salty Sow; it’s on the door, on pictures adorning the walls and windows, but best of all, the menu. The milk-braised pork shoulder is fork tender and the candied pork belly is a crowd pleaser. If the pork options don’t leave you squealing, there’s plenty of beef too. The filet is served bone-in to add extra flavor, and the sauce is fortified with bone marrow. The happy hour is known around town for high quality food and drink options at a palatable price, so arrive early for the drinks and stay late for the food.
- 1917 Manor Rd. Austin, TX 78722
- Sun-Thurs 4:30-10pm, Sat-Sun 4:30-11pm
Salt & Time
Salt & Time is an all-in-one butcher shop, salumeria, and restaurant supplying locally sourced, sustainable meat. The team takes a new approach to the old-school art of butchery by creating Texas-inspired salumi and cured meats like the coffee lomo and n’duja tejano, a spicy spreadable salami. Add it to their burger for an extra-meaty unctuous experience (you can thank me later). Although the dinner menu isn’t extensive, it features skillfully prepared meat dishes including rotating butcher’s cuts straight from the shop’s cases. For the more adventurous eater, try the daily odd bits offerings which are offaly good. Don’t forget about lunch and brunch, both of which are sure to please a carnivore’s desires with dishes like the cubano and ribs with waffles.
- 1912 East 7th St. Austin, TX 78702
- Tues-Sat 11am-3pm & 5-10pm, Sun 10am-3pm
Dai Due only opened late last year, but critics and patrons alike are raving. The rotating seasonal menu showcases locally sourced ingredients with an emphasis on expertly prepared meat. It’s obvious Jesse Griffiths is committed to utilizing the whole animal with menu items like pork neck steak, which I sampled on a recent visit. This is what pork is supposed to taste like! Dai Due also serves a Fred Flintstone-sized beef rib, and pork confit rumored to be porcine perfection. The day menu is bolstered by breakfast offerings like venison sausage, bacon and pon haus, a griddled pork and cornmeal cake. The butcher shop is at the front so pick up some meat to go on your way out.
- 2406 Manor Rd. Austin, TX 78722
- Tues-Fri 8am-3pm & 5-10pm, Sat-Sun 10am-3pm & 5-10pm
Easy Tiger is the perfect place to meet up with friends to share some beers and brats. The beer garden has long communal tables and a ping pong table to boot. Although the atmosphere is relaxed, Chef Andrew Curren is very serious about serving only the highest quality, all-natural proteins sourced from places like Broken Arrow Ranch and Tender Belly. There’s a selection of juicy grilled sausages that are perfectly paired with creative toppings like the duck and pork sausage with mustard and fennel marmalade. Chef Curren informed me he is partial to the pastrami and corned beef which are piled high on Easy Tiger’s famous bread. For those that can’t pick one item, the seasonal easy boards combine multiple house-made offerings onto one plate for sampling.
- 709 East 6th St. Austin, TX 78701
- Mon-Sun 11am-2am
Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile
Follow the herd over to East Cesar Chavez and the newly opened Jacoby’s Restaurant where beef is the centerpiece of the menu. The meat is sourced directly from the family farm and is aged to ensure flavor and tenderness. Enjoy a juicy grilled steak, burger or opt for the crispy battered chicken-fried steak while sitting on the patio overlooking the Colorado river. They also serve other farm-raised animals such as pig, goat and wild game when available. Chef Carlos Ysaguirre has also proven he’s a man who knows lamb, having just won best in show at Austin’s first Lamb Jam.
- 3235 East Cesar Chavez St. Austin, TX 78702
- Tues-Sat 5-10pm
Buenos Aires Cafe East
Owner and Argentinian transplant Reina Morris takes pride in sharing culture from her native country through the food at her restaurant. Argentinians know meat, and there’s plenty of it to go around at the Buenos Aires Café starting with the flaky beef empanadas. Can’t decide on a main course? Try the parrallida, a traditional mixed grill with charred short ribs, grilled steak and chorizo, but be prepared for the meat coma that ensues (it’s a good thing).
- 1201 East 6th St. Austin, TX 78702
- Mon-Thurs 11am-9:30pm, Fri 11am-11pm, Sat 12-11pm, Sun 10am-3pm
Raymond’s Three Little Pigs
Chef Ray Tatum of Three Little Pigs has translated years of high-end restaurant experience into a gourmet food trailer. Ray serves Asian-inspired meat dishes sold at an affordable price. The pork belly slider and cracklin’ meatloaf are menu staples, but he also offers rotating specials like venison sausage and pig cheeks too. Heck, for these prices you can sample a few items for what you’d pay for an entrée at most restaurants.
- 1209 Rosewood Ave. Austin, TX 78702
- Tues-Sat 5-10pm
Noble Sandwich Co
The Noble Sandwich Company garnered national attention after being featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2012. While famous for sandwiches like their namesake the Noble Pig, the restaurant also serves breakfast and dinner. They literally practice head-to-tail cooking with options like red chile braised oxtail grits and the beef tongue sandwich. A personal favorite is the oxtail waffle for breakfast, a savory potato and leek waffle topped with braised oxtail and a fried egg. You can even customize your mac and cheese with the addition of brisket or pork belly. Not enough meat? End the meal with a bacon-topped chocolate tartlet.
- Central – 4805 Burnet Rd. Austin, TX 78756; Northwest – 12233 620 N. Suite 105 Austin, TX 78750
- Mon-Thurs 10am-8pm, Fri 10am-9pm, Sat-Sun 8am-9pm
Melvin’s Deli Comfort
You can’t miss Melvin’s Deli Comfort, a bright red trailer located in a parking lot off 53rd street. The proprietor has no formal culinary training but turned his passion for food into a successful deli focused on simple meaty sandwiches done right. There isn’t a bad sandwich in the bunch. Amazingly, everything is cured and smoked “in trailer”
Sadly Melvin’s closed since this post was published. See the website for more details.
Odd Duck – Don’t expect to find a slab of steak on this menu. Rather Bryce Gilmore and team get the nod for using meat in creative ways like, pig head Parker House rolls, pig face cuban, beef tongue reuben and goat confit.
- 1201 South Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX 78704
- Mon-Thurs 11:30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-11pm, Sun 10:30am-10pm
Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden – Classics sausages like bratwurst and hot dogs are available but wildly creative choices like antelope and venison merguez or wild boar sausage are sure to satisfy the most serious meat eater.
- 79 Rainey St. Austin, TX 78701
- Sun 11am-11pm, Mon-Wed 4-11pm, Thurs 11am-12am, Fri-Sat 11am-2am
Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill – Moonshine is a reliable standby for down-home delicious, Texas-inspired comfort food that never disappoints. The menu features plenty of satisfying meat dishes like the grilled pork chop or jalapeño hangar steak.
- 303 Red River St. Austin, TX 78701
- Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 9am-2pm & 5-10pm
Republic of Sandwich – The roasted pork is reason enough to make it out to this unassuming sandwich shop. Its tender, juicy, well seasoned and has a rich roasted flavor. Try it on one of their signature sandwiches or it’s killer on their breakfast taco with egg and kimchi.
- 2320 Hancock Dr. Austin, TX 78756
- Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm
Din Ho Chinese BBQ– A side of crispy roasted pork belly hangs in the front window. Need I say more?
- 8557 Research Blvd. #116 Austin, TX 78758
- Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-9:30pm
If you’re visiting Austin for South by Southwest 2015 (SXSW) check out the official AFBA City Guide for even more delicious recommendations. Other meat-centric posts for this year include:
- Charcuterie by Bo from Three Diets One Dinner
- Burgers by Laura from Austinite Tips
- Barbecue by Jess from Burger Mary
If I’ve I omitted your favorite place to eat meat in Austin, feel free to leave a comment below.