Where there's smoke
New barbecue joint boot scoots into Southwest Austin honky-tonk
Tired of have nothing to do while waiting for brisket? A new Austin barbecue joint is taking care of that problem by allowing patrons to boot scoot up the line.
Gabrick Barbecue opened on March 29 inside dance hall 290 West Club, located at 12013 Highway 290 between Oak Hill and Dripping Springs. Serving a combo of smoked meats and bar snacks, the concept offers plenty of fuel for a night of two-stepping.
Pitmaster Mark Gabrick hails from Sarasota, Florida’s Brick’s Barbecue, which he started as a farmers market pop-up in 2014. A combination of having family in Central Texas and hurricane weather convinced him to sell the brick-and-mortar version of the concept and move to Austin in 2018. After answering an ad for a food vendor from the honky-tonk, he decided to jump back in biz.
Gabrick tells CultureMap that his offerings are based on what he calls the “Golden Rule of barbecue — serve to others what you would like to be served.”
“I try to keep it simple and humble,” he says. “I’m keen on the idea of bringing people and families together.”
The pitmaster is still tinkering with the menu. Currently, he offers a variety of post oak smoked meats like pulled pork and sausage by the pound and sandwiches, supplemented with sides like coleslaw; baked beans; and Fire and Ice pickles, a dill-based recipe with “silky sleekness” he borrowed from a barbecue colleague.
Pub grub includes smoked fried chicken wings and bacon burnt ends. Gabrick says the latter are very time consuming, but have proven to be so popular that he’s keeping them on the list. Occasional specials will also be made available, like a Wagyu brisket served on March 20.
Keeping with his simple philosophy, he has decided to nix the tacos that were part of the original lineup. “People want solid, consistent, barbecue,” he says matter-of-factly.
Eventually, Gabrick plans to find a small stand-alone space for a brick-and-mortar, but he is in no rush. For now, he enjoys the natural traffic from the 290 West Club revelers. For those who don’t live in the area, he reminds that the eatery is just “few minutes to the west” of downtown Austin, and a natural stopping point on the road to Texas Hill Country breweries, wineries, and distilleries.
With food he says can “rival Texas Monthly’s top 50 list,” he should have no trouble convincing locals to make the drive for Friday and Saturday service between 5-11 pm.