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The Early Word on Terry Black's Barbecue

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Photo: Robert J. Lerma/EATX

The long-awaited Terry Black's Barbecue finally opened on Barton Springs, and the early reviews are pouring in, not just on Yelp but on a lively Reddit thread too. Why the buzz? Twin brothers Mike and Mark Black are the fourth generation of Lockhart Blacks in the barbecue business, and they've struck out on their own in order to revive what they call their grandparents' traditions. Their uncle Kent Black plans on expanding the Lockhart Black's Barbecue to Austin in both brick-and-mortar and food truck forms later this summer, which means there's a battle of the Black's brewing in the Austin barbecue scene. Read on for the early word.

The OP News — Redditor ViseralMonkey took to the site to castigate the new restaurant: "The brisket was horrible. It was dried out and tasteless, utterly devoid of anything resembling taste or substance. The sausage was slightly better, but nothing unique...This place is a tourist trap, it makes Rudy's look like a BBQ epicurean experience." [Reddit]

The More Promising NewsRedditor the_dbc meanwhile thinks Terry Black's has promise: "I agree that they aren't in the top 5 or 10 right now but I'm going to give them time to mature and hold my final opinion for later. In the mean time I'm going to put them in the same category as Stiles Switch - not on flavor but on convenience. I like Stiles and it is my go-to spot on a work day or evening because you get fantastic bbq without the hours of waiting." [Reddit]

The Very Good NewsRedditor ahaley says, "Went on Friday with 3 friends and had brisket, sausage, and beef ribs. It was very good. I would say on part with most places in Lockhart. Hell, the original Blacks uses a Southern Pride smoker these days." [Reddit]

The Fed-Up NewsCaliforniaAsshole has not been to Terry Black's, but they are sick and tired of barbecue feuding. "Black's sucks. LA BBQ suck's. Franklin BBQ suck's. It all sucks? I don't think so. You people make it seem like you go there and what they serve you literally tastes like a 60 year old guy's ass. This Terry Black's place is probably pretty good." [Reddit]

The 6 Months' Probation NewsRedditor Mattmy is not convinced: "brisket and ribs had a good flavor to me but where dry and not broken down enough... I will give them 6 months to get used to their location and i am assuming new pits and try them again.... if they dont have it better by then I will not go back.."

The Random Trashing of Other Barbecue Places NewsRedditor mrwalkaway wants to take the conversation in a different direction: "Speaking of BBQ places that suck... Iron Works. Not because the food is bad, but the douchebags who run that place. They are the epitome of scumbag food service workers in Austin who think they're doing us a favor by letting us in their restaurant. Snooty, self righteous assholes." [Reddit]

The Contamination NewsYelper Felice S. is grossed out: "They cut the meat right in front of you on a wooden block. Kind of a cool idea but then, they put the meat on a scale by the cash register where people breath on it and other meats have previously been. They don't clean the scale in between meats and they put the meat directly on the scale." [Yelp]

The Extremely Thorough NewsYelper AC breaks down every single thing they ate. On the brisket: "soft, moist (to the point of melting) - beautiful marbling and good flavor. I'd say a very solid brisket - but doesn't quite have a big bark punch. Nice smoke ring, but would love to get more flavor."

The No Smoke Ring NewsYelper Andy M. was underwhelmed: "The turkey was mediocre. The sausage was good, and the only standout thing I tasted. The brisket, what any Texas BBQ restaurant is judged on, was severely lacking. It had almost no smoke ring, zero bark, no smokey flavor, and not even the slightest hint of salt or pepper." [Yelp]

The Cursed Location NewsYelper Pat L. enjoyed the food and service. "In the decade I've lived in Austin nobody has been able to make a restaurant succeed at this spot. Could Terry Black's break that trend? I'm thinking they have a good chance." [Yelp]

The Sides NewsYelper Jen J. has some concerns about the sides: " While the brisket was tasty, we found the Mack and cheese , coleslaw and potato salad badly in need of flavor. Even salt and pepper were needed. This possibly was the last of the nights offerings and maybe they rushed to prepare them , forgetting the spices and A few extra minutes to boil the potatoes." [Yelp]

Stating The Obvious NewsYelper Mike C. just wants to make one thing clear: "Guys, guys, guys......This is not Black's from Lockhart.....REPEAT this is not Black's from Lockhart." [Yelp]
· All Terry Black's Barbecue Coverage [EATX]
· All Good News Bad News [EATX]

Terry Black's Barbecue

1003 Barton Springs Rd Austin, TX 78704

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