Woodpile BBQ

Since moving to Texas I’ve become smitten with barbecue. I know, nothing special, but it’s true nonetheless. I’ve had my fair share, ranging from the disappointing to the divine. With a brand new barbecue spot opening (a trailer, no less!) in Southwest Austin I rallied the troops for a day of fun starting with a visit to Woodpile BBQ. Hope you’re hungry!

The “Establishment”

As we arrived, before anything I noticed the owner, Levi, out of the trailer greeting customers and getting personal feedback. Even on opening day he was out making sure everyone was happy. This was going to be good.

We walked up to the window and noticed a few things were already erased off the menu board. They had sold out of ribs and baked beans, which was fine be me. Ev and I shared a plate tray of brisket and sausage. One very nice touch is serving a free piece of jalapeño cornbread to each person (not just each plate tray). We paid and headed over to the umbrella-covered picnic tables.

After getting your food at the window you walk past the pickles, onions, and Igloo cooler of BBQ sauce. Yes, a 10-gallon cooler dedicated to dispensing Woodpile’s homemade sauce. It’s a good a time to say that the sauce is a little tangy and a little sweet and just the right consistency, something like a mustardy vinaigrette. By no means is this some commercially produced “BBQ flavored” sauce. It’s all about striking a balance, which I’d say they did wonderfully. I thought it went really well with the sausage and brisket and ice cream without overpowering any of it.

The Sauce

But the whole reason for visiting Woodpile BBQ is for the meat. Like any self-respecting barbecue place they ask if you want lean or fatty moist (in reference to the brisket), to which I always say “both please”. I’m not sure how much she gave me, but it seemed to be a lot more than the half-pound of brisket and couple of links of sausage we agreed on. How thankful I am for that heavy-handed serving.

The Goods

The brisket was incredible. The lean slices prove there really is a sweet spot between dry and fatty. The moist slices grant a brief pardon to indulge in melt-in-your-mouth luxury. All of the brisket is encased in one of the most amazing barks I’ve ever tasted. Salty and smoky and a little bit chewy, exactly how it should be. The burnt ends on the brisket make for a super concentrated, deep, juicy piece of meat candy. It’s the pièce de résistance.

The Pièce de Résistance

To go along with the killer brisket was the jalapeno cheddar sausage. It had a big task to stand up to that brisket, and I’d say it prevailed heroically. I don’t know how they got the casing to snap so perfectly without drying out the inside, but I’m glad they do. Spicy and packed with flavor, I had to know where this magical sausage comes from. To my surprise and absolute delight, it’s from Central Market, the closest grocery store to my house! Win!

The Sausage

Everyone in the group was incredibly impressed by the food. One friend even mentioned it was probably the best BBQ she’d ever had. There wasn’t much leftover, not because we ordered the right amount, but because everyone stepped up to the challenge to eat everything on the table. Team work!

The Crew

To finish off the meal Woodpile BBQ offers slices of pie and scoops of Amy’s Molasses ice cream! I’d be remiss if I didn’t brag a bit to say I was the matchmaker who put Woodpile and Amy’s in touch to spark this relationship. You’re welcome, Earth.

And so it was done. I indeed collected my finder’s fee free sample and then added barbecue sauce as recommended by Levi. The combo isn’t as weird as everyone at my table thought it would be. For me it tasted exactly like an orange creamsicle, which is to say refreshing and a great finish to a meat overload.

The Ice Cream

Before leaving I had to get a picture with the man behind the magic. The food was out of this world, ranking in the top echelon of barbecue in Austin — so he’s playing with the big boys and holding his own.


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p>After the epic meal we caravan-ed the short trip over to visit Thirsty Planet Brewing for some free beer before calling it a day. Can’t wait to get more of this barbecue in my belly!

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