I pulled in to Giddings just after noon on a rainy Saturday. It was only seconds after exiting the car that the distinctive post oak smell hit my nose. I was close to barbecue and I knew it.
The interior of City Meat Market was classic Texas. It was a long, narrow shop with a small meat market (think meat you cook at home) in the front, seating for maybe 50 people in the middle and pits/ordering area in the back.
The post oak hung very heavy in the air because the pit is right inside displayed in full glory. That’s one thing you’ll just never get in a city like Austin. All the pits here are outside and as far as I know there are zero brick pits.
My standard order, for those of you who don’t know, is a slice of lean, a slice of moist, a pork rib and sausage. Many times they want you to order at least 1/4lb of each and frequently I have to order a whole link of sausage. But, that’s fine. I’m happy to support Texas ‘cue.
I started with the lean brisket. It had been cooked to a state similar to jerky. Honestly, and I really do sincerely mean this, if I were in the mood for jerky I would have loved it. It had a ton of pepper but was just far too dry.
The moist was really smokey but just not tender and lacked that beefy, umami flavor I so desperately want in brisket.
I moved on to the pork rib and was pleasantly surprised. It was tender and smokey with a subtle, yet peppery bark. It was a very nice, classic Texas pork rib. Definitely a welcome change from the brisket.
They have a very interesting take on sausage at City Market. I would describe it as light, at least in terms of density. An almost 6 inch piece of sausage barely weighed 111g (3.9oz). It was an 80/20 beef/pork mix and an excellent amount of smoke and great flavor. I love black pepper and this sausage had a fair amount of it. In fact, it left me with a nice little burn.
My suggestion to anyone visiting City Meat Market in Giddings would be to stick with the pork ribs and sausage. Definitely take a peak at the brisket because I get the impression that it has some up days. If it looks great, has that nice jiggle and the lean doesn’t look too dry I’d definitely get a slice. Otherwise, let it be.