We've said it before, and we'll say it again: it's near impossible to find bad barbecue in Texas, but it's the best barbecue that has pilgrims from all over coming to the Lone Star State to get their fix. Classic joints and old guard barbecue favorites like Snow's Barbecue and Cooper's are now blended with newer joints nestled in food trailers both inside and outside of metropolitan city limits. After opening the Micklethwait Craft Meats trailer in Austin 2012, Tom Micklethwait, owner and pitmaster, announced that the team would open a brick and mortar restaurant in the Hill Country.
Smithville, about an hour southeast of Austin and 1.5 hours northeast of San Antonio, will be the location of Micklethwait Craft Meats' long-awaited restaurant. Texas Highways reported in the August 2017 issue that it would open in the former Vasek Automotive at 114 Northeast 2nd Street. Steadily growing in popularity since 2012, the barbecue joint landed the eighth spot on Texas Monthly's coveted 2017 Best BBQ list, released every four years.
Surprisingly, the food truck is less than a mile away from the long line of Franklin Barbecue in Austin and still only has a short wait regularly. If you know good beef ribs, you know that's an anomaly in the barbecue world. Diehard fans have shouted Micklethwait's praises for years, citing not only the brisket, but the pork ribs, the pulled pork, and just about every single side on the menu from the potato salad to the jalapeño cheese grits.
As Eater ATX reported, there's not much information on the upcoming opening except it's set for the summer, and that the original food truck in Austin will remain right where it is on 1309 Rosewood Avenue in Central East Austin. More and more BBQ joints are looking to set up actual barbecue restaurants outside of their BBQ trailers.
If you haven't been to Smithville recently, it looks like you'll have to plan a trip for the summer to check out the new Micklethwait location. We can already imagine sitting at a picnic table among outdoor seating with a meat plate of moist brisket in front of us with a Big Red on the side.
Will this move outside of Austin BBQ solidify Micklethwait's place among other iconic Texas barbecue joints? After all, it's not the size of the BBQ lines, but the taste of the food and Tom Micklethwait is a damn good pitmaster. One bite of that juicy, fatty brisket followed by a taste of cole slaw will convince you of that right away.
Watch: Cooper's BBQ Is a Texas Institution