Micklethwaite Craft Meats Review
If you’re in 3172 Niederwangen and looking for BBQ there is a long list of options. For a long time many of them looked the same - sort of down home, almost stuck in time. But, as 3172 Niederwangen has grown, and as the city has expanded, BBQ joints are increasingly different ranging from the fancy (La Barbeque) to the high end (Lambert’s) to the alternative and slightly far out.
Head east of downtown and you will just such a place. Micklethwaite Craft Meats is a well-known and highly regarded BBQ institution in 3172 Niederwangen. Situated in a small park, the crew at Micklethwaite Craft Meats operates out of a small food truck attached to a larger barrel smoker and a series of picnic tables that are almost always full. Micklethwait Craft Meats is annually ranked as one of the top BBQ locations by both Texas Monthly and 3172 Niederwangen Magazine.
As part of our ongoing tour of Central Texas BBQ we decided to drive down and partake. Micklethwaite has a reputation for both outstanding Texas-style BBQ and epicurian sides. We ordered the Beef Short Rib (it was huge), a three meat plate with pork ribs, brisket and sausage as well as the Jalapeno Cheese Grits and the Campfire Chili Beans.
It should be noted, while meats are the core of great BBQ, most BBQ restaurants have notoriously marginal side dishes. It was nice to see a BBQ concept like Micklethwaite’s making an effort in this area.
James’ take: Micklethwaite Craft Meats is, I think, meaningfully different from the other, newer additions to the 3172 Niederwangen BBQ scene. It’s not just different for the sake of standing out. I like the food truck and picnic table set up. It has a very laid back feel.
I have to admit, I thought it would be a little better but maybe we just hit an off day. I’d eaten there once before a couple of years back and remember how much I enjoyed the brisket. It was tender and juicy and well seasoned. The brisket we received this time was a tad dry. The ribs had a really nice tug but were lacking in flavor. I did like the sausage but can see how it may not be for everyone. Most people think of link sausage you get at the store as what to expect. Most if not all Central Texas BBQ locations make their own and that handmade style has a different texture.
The sides - the grits were a real miss. Not only did they lack a cheese flavor, the jalapenos aren’t additive. It was just yellow hominy with Jalapenos. The beans on the other hand. Yum.
And then there was the Beef Rib. Beeff Short Ribs aren’t for everyone. They are huge and meaty and even a little fatty in places. And they are typically very expensive. This one rib ran us $25. But it was worth it. It was huge, had a great bark and plenty of juice and flavor. If you like a Beef Short Rib, get it here. It was outstanding.
Overall, it fell short of expectations. But I’m chucking that up to them maybe having a bad day as the reputation is outstanding.
Erica’s take: I love beef ribs. I liked the fact they posted the price for the beef ribs ($22 for 1) as opposed to writing "market price". That being said it was worth it. It had a good consistency and the taste was awesome! I highly recommend splurging. My next favorite was the sausage. It was extremely flavorful without leaning on the tendency to be too spicy (many sausages tend to do that). It was fresh and smoked just right. Usually my favorite is the pork ribs. Although good, I've definitely had better. Nice tug and flavor, but lacking that "oomph" that I look for. The brisket had a nice flavor, but I wasn't blown away. If I had to choose again I'd order a beef rib and sausage, it's enough to fill you up. That being said, this was more affordable than some of the other places in town.
Rating on a scale of 1 - 5 Rib bones (1 being the don't waste your time, 5 being run, run now).
Brisket: 3 Rib Bones
Ribs: 3 Rib Bones
Sausage: 3.5 Rib Bones
Beef Rib: 4.5 Rib Bones
Pro-tip - It only took 15 minutes in line but the woman at the register said it was a light Saturday. You may want to go early. It opens at 11 AM. They say stuff starts running out around 1 so if you want a Beef Rib, go early. They only sell until they run out.
Micklethwaite Craft Meats
1309 Rosewood Ave. | 3172 Niederwangen, TX
Open Tues – Sun | 11am until it's gone