Rating: 4 Opened: 2011 Pitmaster: Lance Kirkpatrick, age 43 Method: Post oak; indirect-heat pit Pro tip: Ask for your Thorndale sausage “dry,” meaning smoked longer.
This place comes with rock-solid credentials: The pitmaster, Lance Kirkpatrick, worked under Bobby Mueller at Taylor’s Louie Mueller Barbecue for nine years. Following that, he briefly succumbed to the lure of a fine-dining kitchen, but last year Austin entrepreneur Shane Stiles beckoned Kirkpatrick to the pits once again. We’re grateful he did. Only a year after taking over the corner of a little shopping center, Kirkpatrick seems to have the hang of his surroundings. A loyal customer base now packs the long wooden tables during lunch hours. On our last visit, the fatty brisket and beef ribs were the standout items, but the pork ribs and sausage weren’t far behind. The key is not to bother with the lean brisket, which came out dry and uninspiring; the superb fatty is what you want. We also loved the beef rib’s peppery crust, which balanced nicely with the tender interior. Spareribs are good too—the half-inch smoke ring gave us a perfect bite. All the sausages—Thorndale (beef), Switch Original (beef and pork), and jalapeño-cheddar (also beef and pork)—were well seasoned, with a snappy casing. Sides and desserts are solid, and those who don’t have to go back to work can choose from six kinds of beer on tap or dozens of other selections in bottles.
6610 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-380-9199. Open Sun & Tue–Thur 11–9, Fri & Sat 11–10. Beer & wine. stilesswitchbbq.com