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Dining Guide

Stiles Switch

Photograph by Wyatt McSpadden

Only a year after taking over the corner of a little shopping center, pitmaster Lance 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.

City: Austin

Cuisine:

Method: Post oak; indirect-heat pit

Pitmaster: Lance Kirkpatrick

Pro-tip: Ask for your Thorndale sausage "dry," meaning smoked longer.

Price: $$

Rating: ★★★★

Address: 6610 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX, 78757

Hours: Sun & Tue-€“Thur 11-€“9, Fri & Sat 11-€“10

Phone: 512-380-9199

Website: stilesswitchbbq.com

Year Opened: 2011

Last updated: May 3, 2013

Reviews

  • Ben

    Wasn’t there a Stiles Switch BBQ that opened, and closed within a few months, in Carrolton a year or so ago?

  • Ben – Close, but that one was called “Cobb Switch”, and was named after a fictional railroad stop. This one is named after Stiles Switch just outside of Thorndale, and Stiles is also the owner’s surname.

  • I had a similar experience. Loved the Original sausage. The brisket and pork ribs were good but fould the heavy black pepper rub a little tiring after a while. Reminded me of J Mueller but fell short.

  • I’ve only been once since they opened (first week) and thought the brisket had potential, sausage was good, but pork ribs were pretty sad. I’m glad to have a decent BBQ option in the neighborhood. But it’s hard to compete in Austin when Franklin and JMueller are both dishing out exceptional BBQ.

  • I just went to Stiles last week. I started at Louie Muellers but got there about 15 minutes too late so ended up at Taylor Cafe for some decent Q although it is the first Texas BBQ place taht puts sauce all over the meat. After Taylor Cafe I went to Stiles to try it out. Stiles was very good. The beef rib was OUTSTANDING, rendered out perfectly with a thick crust. Brisket (a mix of moist and lean) was very good with a thick crusty bark and super tender and juicy…not as good as Franklins but top notch. Pork ribs were very good with lots of pepper in the crust but they were slightly cool so I don’t think I got the best they had to offer. I got an “original” sausage and it was very good classic Central Texas but I do prefer my sausages on the dry side and this one was fresh of the smoker and a bit wet still. I would say that Stiles is very similar to Lockhart Smokehouse up in Dallas. All in all it was worth a stop and is very similar to Louie Muellers and J. Muellers. Near the top of the Central Texas BBQ lists for me. Headed to Memphis and New Orleans next.

  • I went a few weeks ago and I felt like it was the same caliber as Louie Muellers, Snows, etc… in the Brisket department (mine was not dry at all), and the Beef Rib department (the one I got was huge and perfectly smoked). Thought the sausage was very high caliber (I think I had the Thorndale). The pork rib left some to be desired I will agree. Having been to many of your 5-star rated joints, I felt Stiles Switch was at that level myself.