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Chronicle Critic Finds a Slice of Salty Southern Heaven at the Pickle House

Texas Monthly barbecue critic praises an upscale rib sandwich at Slab BBQ

Fried chicken sandwich from Pickle House
Fried chicken sandwich from Pickle House
Pickle House/Facebook
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

Chronicle critic Melanie Haupt reviewed the Pickle House near Dripping Springs this week, and found a slice of salty Southern heaven. The restaurant from Austin pickle company Pogue Mahone Pickles opened in February 2019.

Haupt enjoyed most of the classic Southern dishes offered, like pimento cheese which “put every Southern meemaw’s recipe to shame” and the tuna salad sandwich (“so delicious it disappeared practically on impact”). While the meatloaf dish was “far too salty”, and many dishes used the same cornmeal breading, Haupt still seemed mostly pleased.

A favorite was the fish sandwich with a “buttery soft bun,” despite the sides:

[...] the sandwich is so tasty that I wasn’t (too) bothered that the standard-cut fries weren’t made in-house, or that the green beans came from a can and were seasoned with bacon and onions (according to the employee who took our order).

She also enjoyed the key lime (“perfectly tart and creamy”) and “decadent” peanut butter chocolate pie, though she found the Mexican chocolate chess pie to be slightly off-balance.

Haupt’s downfall proved to be the all-you-can-eat pickle bar. Though she enjoyed pickled okra, carrots, and cucumbers, bloating the next day indicated that she had perhaps overindulged, which she admitted was “user error.”

Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn visited Slab BBQ to try its boneless pork rib sandwich, the McDowell. A 2015 addition to the barbecue sandwich restaurant’s menu, the McDowell is inspired by the McRib, but made with ribs.

Slab pitmaster Mark Avalos accomplished this by smoking the meat until it becomes tender and then slides the bones out, as shown on an episode of Guy Fieri’s famous show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives earlier this year:

The ribs are tender enough that there’s no struggle to make a clean bite through the sandwich. I tried it at both the north and south locations of SLAB, and I preferred the heartier bark up north.

Vaughn also praised the “excellent” banana pudding that accompanies the sandwich.

Slab BBQ

9012 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758 (512) 351-9977 Visit Website

The Pickle House

9521 US-290 W, Autin, TX 78737 (512) 351-8267 Visit Website