The barbecue revolution of Austin has finally spread into Round Rock. Curly’s Carolina, TX is the official representative for new school barbecue up there and I had the pleasure of trying it out at a recent soft opening.
It should be clear by the name that Curly’s Carolina, TX seeks to blend two styles of barbecue. However, it wasn’t until I arrived that I learned it was South Carolina and not North Carolina being represented here. I’m actually very unfamiliar with South Carolina barbecue so naturally I was excited.
When I’m around massive piles of meat, I can’t contain myself. So, I made a bee-line to the kitchen and grabbed a few burnt ends. I was blown away. The brisket is incredible. The fat was perfectly rendered and I picked up a slight sweetness in the crust. The lean pieces had a near perfect moisture level and the smoke level throughout was very enjoyable.
The pork ribs had a very interesting rub, almost like chorizo. I thought it was marvelous. So I ate four.
The Carolina part of the equation was the pulled pork. It was definitely good but I am just biased toward beef. However, the pork was very tasty. It was served with a South Carolina mustard sauce that had a very interesting flavor. It was very heavy on clove and and tended to overpower the pork and smoke flavor. Probably not something I would choose over their other sauce offerings.
Shockingly, there were two sides that I loved (I generally don’t care about sides). A wasabi coleslaw was hands down the best side item. It was cool, crisp and the wasabi paired perfectly with the beef.
The other side was the banana pudding. It was one of the best I’ve had. Light and fluffy and not the pudding from a can.
I hope that everyone makes the trip up to Curly’s Carolina, TX. It is well worth the drive and is a must for any serious barbecue lover.
All images from Jeff Amador.