When the New York Times highlighted the ribs, brisket, pork, and sausage at Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, it called the feast a "life-changing experience." That's just one press mention from a veritable briefcase full of articles that vouch for the barbecue destination's food. The menu isn't complicated: it catalogs 15 core barbecue meats as well as apple, blackberry, peach, and pecan cobbler. On the side, servers bring beans, corn on the cob, whole baked potatoes, or salad tossed into a bowl by a major league pitcher.
Just a touch crooked, the timbers that hold up New Braunfels Smokehouse's awning impart both a rustic and timeless look, which hearkens back to the smokehouse's 1940s beginnings. The Dunbar family bought five local ice plants including one in New Braunfels that formerly housed a brewery. With limited storage options, farmers brought their meats to the ice plant for refrigeration. Then employee Benno Schuennemann had an idea: he'd help the farmers preserve their meats even longer by curing and smoking them using old German recipes. As word grew of the smoked meats coming from the icehouse, the Dunbars found a whole new business on their hands. They added a restaurant in 1952, and by the 1960s, they fielded smoked-meat orders from across the United States.
Today, the Dunbars continue running New Braunfels Smokehouse from a new location, producing hickory-smoked beef, chicken, pork, and turkey using Benno's methods at their USDA-inspected facility. They also bake their own bread each day, plus insist that their chefs craft every side from scratch and smith every utensil by hand. The restaurant surrounds visitors in rustic style with decor that incorporates old-barn siding and knotty-wood paneling—many of the materials salvaged from the original smokehouse. After savoring meals ordered from the counter, visitors can peruse the country store for sausages and other packaged meats fresh from the smokehouse.
What's in a name? When it comes to The Green Mesquite BBQ & More, pretty much everything. As one of its gift-shop T-shirts will tell you, the restaurant has been "horrifying vegetarians since 1988," and that enduring success can largely be attributed to what's inside the barbecue pit: log after log of green mesquite wood.
Owner Tom Davis opts for that particular fresh-cut variety because of its slow-burning property, and because it gives meat a bold and smoky flavor. Davis and his team cook everything from beef and pork to chicken and turkey over the wood. They also make their own barbecue sauce and a signature rub for their baby back ribs, which Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives host Guy Fieri called "awesome."
It's not just the smoked meats that distinguish Green Mesquite's three Austin-area locations. It's also that the restaurants double as venues for live music?specifically of the bluegrass and country variety?and that the restaurants welcome dogs, provided they bring along a well-behaved owner.
The seasoned chefs behind MWS Catering (which stands for Most Wanted Smokers) make family reunions, holiday dinners, and outdoor events memorable with a spread of slow-cooked Austin-style barbecue. The caterers' food truck ferries moveable feasts of brisket, ribs, chicken, and sides to any quincea?era, wedding, fundraiser, or block party, captivating tastebuds with savory smoked flavors. In addition to dishing out plates of Texas-style 'cue to hungry customers, the chefs at MWS regularly compete in and win barbecue cook-offs throughout Central Texas.
Cuisine Type: Texas style barbecue and brewpub
Reservations: Not necessary
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 50+
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Brisket queso, brisket, house-brewed beer
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
What is one of your most popular offerings? How is it prepared?
Brisket queso. We infuse melted cheddar cheese with brisket and brisket drippings, top it with fresh pico de gallo and chopped brisket, and serve it with our house-made tortilla chips. Our brisket is also popular. We use USDA prime brisket dry rubbed with select spices and then slowly smoke it with a combination of hickory and pecan woods
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We have an enormous outdoor playscape for the kids and a large outdoor patio situated next to a canyon with a hill country view for the adults. We also brew our own beer in house, have multiple HD TVs in the bar area with the NFL Direct ticket. We also prepare and smoke all our menu items on site.
Do you use any family recipes at your restaurant?
The restaurant is family owned, and all our recipes are from our pit master who is part owner.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Our menu consists of unique and delectable BBQ infused appetizers and awesome smoked in-house Texas-style BBQ.
Chef John Haug knows that Louisiana culture is more defined by its food than by all of the region's jazz, Mardi Gras beads, and Huey Long bumper stickers combined. He showcases the tasty fruits of Cajun living at Cypress Grill, spotlighting the classic New Orleans dishes such as étouffée and jambalaya that help the restaurant consistently place as one of Austin’s top 35 restaurants in the Austin Chronicle's readers' poll. On Thursdays, live Cajun or jazz swing music enlivens the funky neighborhood joint, which is more than likely already filled with the aromas of the fresh Gulf seafood that populates plates of barbecued shrimp and crispy oysters. Chef John also brings his down-home touch to weekend breakfasts, which combine Creole influences with locally-sourced organic eggs plucked from pasture-raised chickens. The restaurant also celebrates seasonality; during the spring, cooks haul in 300 pounds of fresh crawfish for the restaurant’s weekly boil.