Yes, people, it’s true: that’s $100 worth of Texas bbq right there in that photo.
3/4 lbs. brisket
1 beef rib
1 pulled pork sandwich
1 handful of pulled pork on the side
1/2 pint of coleslaw
1/2 pint of potato salad
6 bottles of water
My bromance Giovanni has been staying with us this week and on Tuesday I took him to Austin for some honky-tonking and a visit to one of my clients there.
Yesterday, we arrived early at La Barbecue — currently, Austin’s hippest destination for ‘cue — where we waited in line for an hour to get our food.
It was delicious. Definitely up there with some of the best bbq I’ve ever had. The smoke ring on the brisket was impeccable. The tenderness and flavor of the pork peerless and beyond reproach. The potato salad divinely classic and classically divine.
But $100 for three people? In my view, that’s an Oedipal reversal of what bbq is supposed to be about.
But then again, when you hear people talk about how they used to pay $6.99 for first-growth Bordeaux in the 1970s, you can’t help but see the parallels in the ways that the market (and marketing) can drive our perceptions of value.
To put it into perspective, uncle Marty treated Giovanni and me to lunch at Brisket House in Houston on Monday. It’s one of the best smokers imho in our city. Our bill for a similar amount of food was around $50 and our wait was 15 minutes.
As we drove back to Houston, I remembered how Snow’s in Lexington, Texas was all the rage back when I first moved to the state in 2008. It’s the first bbq destination (at least that I remember) where people bragged about lining up early in the morning to get their food before it ran out. Today, there are a handful (if not more) of similarly popular smokers spread out across Austin and Houston.
What’s the world coming to? I’m not sure but I know it’s delicious (and expensive).