Freedman’s: Austin, TX150
with Mike Johnston
What a one-two punch to start my day in Austin. Freedmen's raises the bar when it comes to the complete barbecue meal. Meet Pitmaster Evan LeRoy (pictured below). This guy not only knows how to man a pit, he knows how to cook. Admittedly, I haven't tried a ton of sides so far on this trip, but when I sat down at the bar, looked to my left at the tray in front of the neighboring bar stool, and saw the slaw presented in a mason jar, I could tell the sides were something I had to try here. Evan and his team do everything from scratch...bread, sauce, slaw...you name it. To put it simply, my tongue was dazzled. And all the flavors worked in harmony.
Good as they were, the sides were surpassed by the 'cue. Salt and pepper is still the theme here when it comes to seasoning, but Evan isn't afraid to mix it up a little. The ribs are finished with a jalapeño glaze that take them to the next level without burning your mouth. Brisket, both lean and fatty, was moist and tender with a peppery bark. The pulled pork was right at the top of the ones I've tried so far. Dang, this man knows what he is doing!
Did I mention the brisket blossom cookie? Move over Hershey Kiss, there is a new sheriff in town! #chasingbbq
Note: Our new recipe for Smoked Beets with Balsamic Glaze and Herbed Chevre was inspired by the beets served at Freedman's.
|Freedman's pitmaster Evan LeRoy (right)
served Mike (left) some tasty 'cue in Texas.