Austin

Texas BBQ: Chopped beef sandwich

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Chopped beef sandwich from Austin, Texas.

You know that seriously slow-smoked brisket you’ve been eating all over Austin and Central Texas? The odd-looking, sometimes burnt bits and ends of that brisket get chopped up, doused in some BBQ sauce, and served on a simple white-bread bun—traditionally with pickles and onions—in what’s essentially an absurdly delicious BBQ version of a sloppy Joe: a perfectly balanced sandwich of wet, toothsome, smoky meat; crunchy add-ins; spicy, tangy sauce; and soft bread.

Where: Austinites pointed us to Ruby’s BBQ (512 W. 29th St., map) for a great spicy chopped beef sandwich, and man, were we grateful—even well after BBQ fatigue had set in for us, we couldn’t help but devour it with glee. UPDATE: Unfortunately, this wonderful family-owned spot closed up shop in Feb. 2018. Please see our "alternatively" section for more places to find this dish.

Alternatively: Most BBQ joints will offer this. We loved the “Tipsy Texan” sandwich (chopped beef + sliced pork sausage) at Franklin Barbecue (900 E 11th St., map), the excellent BBQ joint that grew out of a former highway-side trailer; it also offers regular chopped beef—for both sandwiches, the beef is doused with the kitchen’s espresso-laced BBQ sauce. (Note: Like Ruby’s, Franklin also uses all-natural brisket; see also: Texas BBQ: Brisket.) Or try your chopped beef with a side of live music on the patio of Green Mesquite (multiple locations including 1400 Barton Springs Rd., map).