It was 6pm on a Tuesday and I had just realized something: I hadn’t a single bite of barbecue all day. Obviously that wasn’t going to work. And the sad thing was that my favorite joint, JMueller BBQ, was closed.
What’s a guy to do?
I started thinking about my options, then I remembered a name I had heard recently: Stiles Switch. Where had I heard that name? Hmm.
While doing research one day, I ran across a forum board somewhere that mentioned some controversy surrounding a recent restaurant opening in Austin. Apparently, the current pit master at Stiles Switch is a former employee of Louie Mueller Barbecue and somewhere along the way he allegedly named dropped his former employer. They got mad and shit themselves. Or sent a letter. I don’t know.
Anyway, I looked up Stiles Switch and saw that they are open until pretty late. So I yelled at Chris (my cousin and co-worker) to get it together and let’s go get some ‘cue.
Stiles Switch is located on North Lamar in the Violet Crown shopping center. In fact, it is located in a famous building. Remember the pool hall from Dazed and Confused? That’s the building it’s located in. Kinda cool, I think.
Their mascot is a pig in a coat, tipping his hat. Good day to you, too, sir. I shall now consume your flesh.
The exterior is slick, with some nice font work on the signage, big metal doors and tall windows so thou canst behold the wonders of post oak, beef, and beer contained within.
While Chris and I were outside being nosy and taking pictures, Shane Stiles (the owner) came out to see what we were doing and say hello. We chatted for 1.2 seconds before the bbq urge took over and we had to run in and get our fix.
The interior is awesome: plenty of tables, a few high tops, and in the back is the long bar where bbq and brew are obtained. Definitely one of the nicer joints in town, without a doubt.
For this barbecue tasting, we ordered brisket, beef ribs and pork ribs.
First of all, the brisket was very good. Nice peppery bark, very tender, smokey and a very pretty smoke ring. The fat was sweet and yummy. This is undoubtedly some of the best brisket in town. Very “Mueller-esque”.
The beef ribs were also excellent. They were a little less fatty than others I’ve had, which I actually really liked a lot. They had that nice, peppery bark and tons of beefy flavor. These are not those phony beef ribs you get at second rate joints. These are the real deal.
The pork ribs departed completely from the Louie Mueller style of barbecue. And I gotta say, they were better. Tender, smokey and fall off the bone. Y’all can’t get much better ribs than this in Austin. I highly recommend.
Lastly, let’s discuss the sauce. It was kind of a sweeter, Kansas City style sauce but, it was pretty good. I’ll probably go without next time. I tend to prefer a very thin sauce if it’s tomato based, but I really like mustard and vinegar sauces the most. (That may not go over well with the purists here in Texas)
Overall, my experience at Stiles Switch was top notch. If you’re in Austin, it is a must for the barbecue and beer lover.
Next time I go, I’d love to see the smoker and get some face time with Lance Kirkpatrick just to hear about his technique and so on. He obviously knows what he’s doing.