Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

On a recent trip to Austin, I found some time to dine at Lamberts Downtown Barbecue.  Lamberts has been on my barbecue destination"wishlist" ever since Texas Monthly included it in it's Top 50 Barbecue Joints in Texas.  In the new barbecue capital of Texas, Lamberts is quite a bit different from many of the other barbecue joints in Austin and is said to serve "fancy barbecue."  Lamberts was only a half mile from my hotel, so some work colleagues and I took a short stroll to see what the restaurant had to offer.
Trio of Barbecue Sauces
Our group arrived hungry and we started with a trio of appetizers that included Crispy Wild Boar Ribs, Broiled Oysters, and Deviled Eggs.  The ribs were much smaller than I had anticipated but had excellent flavor that reminded me somewhat of buffalo wings.  They were basted in honey and sambal, which gave it both a nice kick and a sweet aftertaste.  I did not try the deviled eggs, but the oysters were fantastic.  I am not usually a fan of oysters, but these were exceptionally good.  The restaurant also gives each table a plate of jalapeno corn muffins and butter, which were quickly devoured by our group.
Clockwise from top left-Crispy Wild Boar Ribs, Broiled Gulf Oysters, Deviled Eggs, and Jalape├▒o Corn Muffins
Our waitress told us that Lamberts was well known for their steaks, but I was here to eat barbecue.  I ordered the Black Angus Brisket with pickled escabeche.  Other members of my party also ordered the brisket and one person ordered the ribeye  The brisket plate included both lean and fatty slices.  I was impressed with the quality and flavor of the bark, but I found the brisket lacking in the smoke department.  The member of our group that ordered the ribeye said it had terrific flavor, but was cooked closer to medium rather than the rare steak he ordered.
Brisket with pickled escabeche
For sides, our table ordered the baked mac and cheese, the mashed potatoes, and the fried okra with spicy remoulade.  All the sides were good, but the mac and cheese was outstanding.  The fried okra and remoulade was also worthy of praise.  The okra was long cut and had a fantastic batter.  
Baked Mac n Cheese and Mashed Potatoes
Even though I was unsure if I could take another bite, I went ahead and ordered the banana bourbon pudding for dessert.  The pudding was above average, but I was unable to finish it because the portion was larger than I expected.  Two other members of our group shared the coconut cream pie and they both gave it a thumbs up.
Banana Bourbon Pudding
We all enjoyed our visit to Lamberts and the service was outstanding.  I really wished they would have had a three meat plate available on the dinner menu, because I would have liked to have sampled some of the other smoked meats as well.  Although the brisket had decent flavor, I was much more impressed with the appetizers and sides at Lamberts.  If you are going to dine at Lamberts, I recommend that you make reservations because it tends to get packed quickly at dinner time.

Lamberts Downtown Babecue
Livin the Good Life Rating=3
Lambert's Downtown Barbecue on Urbanspoon