ATXReview

photo credit: Richard Casteel

 LeRoy And Lewis Barbecue review image
8.7

LeRoy And Lewis Barbecue

$$$$

121 Pickle Rd, Austin
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

While other barbecue spots in town are busy competing for the coveted Brisket Belt™, that’s not the case at Leroy and Lewis. This truck located at Cosmic Coffee in South Austin smokes other things like barbacoa, pork sausage with citra hops, and some beef cheeks that are so good, you’ll forget all about brisket for a little while.  

These beef cheeks are to Leroy and Lewis what brisket is to Franklin Barbecue—genre defining, line-generating, and the reason why you’re here. They’re smoky and rich, with a thick bark and an intense beefy flavor—they should be the default first choice on a two meat plate. But deciding on your second meat feels like choosing one wish granted to you by a very generous pitmaster genie. The citra-hopped pork sausage packs in some earthy and citrus notes that remind us of an IPA, and the pulled whole hog comes topped with housemade chicharrones that add a bit of crunch to the tender pork below. This is Central Texas barbecue with a twist. But if  our beef cheek soliloquy didn’t move you enough, and you really want some brisket, you can get it here on the weekends. And it’s excellent—minimally seasoned with salt and pepper and slow cooked to smoky perfection—but you should be here for the stuff you can’t find anywhere else. No matter the meat, you’ll be able to plunge it all into a sweet and peppery beet barbecue sauce. 

 LeRoy And Lewis Barbecue review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

The sides are just as creative as the meats, swapping out standard potato salad and baked beans for house-made kimchi and kale caesar slaw, both of which provide balance to all those rich meats you’re eating. But you can also order more substantial Southern staples that we don’t often see next to smoked meats, like braised cabbage with sausage or pork hash and rice. This is also one of the few places in town where our vegan friends aren’t stuck trying to make a meal out of white bread and pickles, because the cauliflower “burnt ends” with a sweet and tangy, mustard-based rub, are worth a meal of their own.

Austin has no shortage of great barbecue, and if it’s your very first time trying Texas-style smoked meats, we’d encourage you to start somewhere a little more classic. But the second you’re finished there, make your way to Leroy and Lewis and see that there’s so much more to Austin barbecue than brisket.

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Food Rundown

 LeRoy And Lewis Barbecue review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Smoked Beef Cheeks

The beef cheeks here are as good as they come. They’re incredibly tender, with a short rib-like texture inside, and a dense, chewy bark on the outside. Brisket who?

 LeRoy And Lewis Barbecue review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Barbacado

Half avocado, half barbacoa, this is the mashup of a lifetime. The meat is soft, shredded, and savory, and the avocado adds a creamy touch. It comes topped with queso fresco, cilantro, and a jalapeño salsa that brings brightness to an otherwise heavier plate.

 LeRoy And Lewis Barbecue review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

L&L Cheeseburger

The patty is made of ground brisket, rolled in black pepper, and then slowly smoked until the outside is dark and crispy while the inside remains warm and tender. It’s served on a springy potato roll, with chopped grilled onions that sweeten each bite. This is one of our favorite burgers in Austin.

Brisket

We talked a little smack about brisket earlier, but if you really want some, Leroy and Lewis offers it on the weekends. They do brisket exceptionally well—and they stick to the classic salt and pepper minimalism—but you should really commit to the stuff you can’t get anywhere else.

Cauliflower Burnt Ends

A play on the chewy, barky end pieces of the brisket, these bite-sized pieces of cauliflower get covered in a mustard-based rub before undergoing their smoke treatment. The end result doesn’t quite capture the same texture of its meat-based counterpart, but they’re sweet, tangy, and delicious. And they’re vegan.

Sides

Anyone who’s eaten barbecue in Austin has probably had their share of baked beans and potatoes. We love them both, but we also love when a place ventures away from all that. At Leroy and Lewis, you can expect to find a mix of lighter sides—like kimchi, braised cabbage with sausage, and a kale caesar slaw—plus a few heartier ones, like Texas red chili frito pie. It’s worth making a couple visits to try them all, but we especially love the kimchi and kale caesar slaw for the way they add a refreshing balance to the meats.

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