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The Early Word on LeRoy & Lewis’ New School Barbecue

Read on for the good and bad news on the meat and sides

LeRoy & Lewis’ barbecue
LeRoy & Lewis’ barbecue
LeRoy & Lewis/Facebook

LeRoy & Lewis, the barbecue truck from chef, butcher, and pitmaster Evan LeRoy, debuted in mid-March with a rotating menu of non-traditional meats and cuts, behind the motto of “new school barbecue, old school service.”

The unusual cuts (e.g. beef cheeks, lamb belly, and wild boar ribs) underscores the trailer’s commitment to local sourcing and utilizing responsibly-raised whole animals. The barbecue trailer will eventually lead to a barbecue restaurant in the Hill Country next year. Read on for the early word on the a food truck that’s redefining what Texas barbecue can be.

The barbecue — The trailer has recently featured macaroni and cheese-stuffed quail, lamb meatballs, and rabbit legs on its menu. “A constantly rotating menu means frequent trips are in order,” explained Jess Pryles. She added, “Stick around for the signature specials like beef cheek, wild boar, lamb ribs, porchetta and lots of housemade sausage.” The Daily Texan highlighted the smoked pork belly as “delectably sweet and tender” and the “rich and smoky” duck boudin.

The beef cheeks from 44 Farms were a standout for the Texas BBQ Posse. CultureMap Houston food editor Eric Sandler agreed, "As anyone who's eaten traditional barbacoa knows, beef cheek can be every bit as tender as any brisket. LeRoy's had a salt and pepper rub that delivered lots of luscious, fatty flavor". He also noted the influences of Mexican flavors in some offerings, comparing LeRoy & Lewis’ approach to that of Austin heavyweight Valentina's Tex-Mex BBQ, “LeRoy seems to be pushing some of those ideas even further, with very positive results."

Still craving the familiar? Classic brisket, sausage and ribs are available on Saturdays alongside those other cuts. Though The Daily Texan pointed out, it is “a shame the brisket isn’t on the menu every day, because it’s smoked to absolute perfection”.

The sides and extras — The creativity doesn’t stop with meat. LeRoy & Lewis’ picnic-style sides have recently included creations like kimchi deviled eggs, bacon pineapple fried rice, pulled pork dumpling, rabbit rillette, plus Texas red chili, mesquite cornbread, house-made pickles, and Frito pie. And yes, there’s sauce. Don’t be too quick to dismiss it, warned The Daily Texan. The smoked beet and kimchi barbecue sauce is “creative enough to make a Texan actually want to put sauce on their barbecue”.

Also, with choices like blueberry hand pies with strawberry gelato, Fire Box sweet potato bread pudding, and orange buttermilk ice cream sandwiches, saving room for dessert is the right move.

The priceTexas BBQ Posse cautioned readers about slightly steep prices: “The cheeks and brisket, when it’s available, each go for $24 a pound. Previously, the highest brisket price I’d noticed was $22 a pound at Franklin Barbecue.” Yelper Ryn B. concurred stating, “This is a highbrow food truck. The menu is small enough to ensure quality and diversity across dishes. That said, everything has a fancy twist to it (some ingredients I couldn't pronounce properly) and is what I consider pricey.”

The overall experience — Pryles, who recently included the truck on her list of the best barbecue spots in Austin, summed it up simply by declaring, “LeRoy & Lewis is breaking the BBQ truck mold”.

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