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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lunch Report: Augies Barbed Wire Smoke House...

We finally got off our butts and made the short trip down to North St'Mary's and East Mulberry, so we could dig in to some outstanding "old school backyard BBQ". I guess when literally dozens of different people tell me I need to eat someplace, I should pay attention a lot sooner.Fair warning: Put on your eatin' pants and come hungry; you are in for a Tasty Treat! Augies Barbed Wire Smoke House is my new favorite place for BBQ.From the minute we pulled into the parking lot, we were already enjoying the atmosphere. I just like the look of the place mixed in between some office complexes and the Brackenridge Park area. You'd think it would stick out like a sore thumb, but really, it's a perfect fit for the area.From the minute we stepped inside, we were greeted by staff who made taking the order more of a friendly conversation than a visit to a restaurant. I'm usually pretty discrete about taking pictures of the places I eat - you never want someone to think you are collecting evidence for a finger in the chili type lawsuit, but the guy taking the order seemed pretty comfortable with our curiosity about Augies.He even suggested I snap a picture of the coveted 1st Place Trophy of the 2008 Final Four BBQ Cook Off. There's only one 1st Place.Augies is pretty small on the inside with limited seating - that is a drawback for visiting at about 1PM, because my wife wouldn't even consider sitting outside, but we did find a seat with a great view of Brackenridge.
I like a place with lots to look at and Augie's has it.

We were eager to try as much as we could and not have to be rolled out on a gurney, so we both got two meat, two side plates and got a bunch of different stuff to taste from.

My wife got the chicken and pulled pork, and for sides, mac 'n cheese and the honey baked beans. I recall once yammering on about how good the chicken at McBee's in Hondo was (and it is good), but if you like chicken at all, you will simply love Augie's. You do not require the sauce on this chicken, but it certainly won't ruin it if you use it.

Get ready, because the pulled pork is even better than the chicken. If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'; grits an't groceries, eggs ain't poultry, and Mona Lisa was a man! I'd take a bath in it. I don't think pulled pork is a regular menu item at most local BBQ places (or I guess I'm not used to seeing it), but friends, at least, at very minimum get the pulled pork. The honey baked beans were good and so was the mac 'n cheese - very cheesey and good.

I went with the brisket and sausage (regular, not jalapeno) and for sides I had the green beans and potato salad. First, potato salad is a mandatory side with any BBQ. This was good and creamy, and both my wife and I agreed that it was right up there with the best we have had. The green beans are my department (my wife is not a fan). I use the Bill Miller's recipe for green beans as my standard. I simply love them. Augies has gone above and beyond to serve up some well seasoned, excellently cooked green beans. And I appreciate that in any restaurant. I even got my wife to try them.

The sausage was standard, good quality and very tasty, but honestly, it has to be tough to be the sausage link when you share a plate with awesome brisket. I now get why everyone was telling us to try Augie's. A lot of folks are turned off by any fat whatsoever on the meat, and our server asked if I'd like to have all the fat removed. Not on your life! Call me unhealthy, but I love the taste. But thanks for asking. And thanks for the extra pickles and onions. Pure Heaven!

Okay, for those of you wanting to try it out - and I highly recommend it - you should know a few things. As mentioned earlier, the seating on a hot day could be an issue. Every year several days before Easter, people flock to Brackenridge Park and stake out picnic tables to make sure they can get one for their entire family. People have been known to put yellow crime scene tape up, chain ice chests to tables and do all sorts of things to save a table. Apparently, this is acceptable just across the street from Brackenridge Park, too.
Just as we sat down, a couple took over fully one fourth of the dining area by placing a purse on one table, a beer on another, a pair of glasses on another table, then the two sat at different tables to save enough seats for their party of about eight or ten, who in the end, didn't show up until we were done. In other words, the people holding all these tables hostage didn't even order their food (though they did have a beer) during the entire time we ate. I'm sorry, but that is a foul. Either everyone shows up at once, or you take one table and hope for the best.

The only other issue I had was that the iced tea does not come with free refills. Granted, I would probably go through a bucket by myself if it was free so they have to watch out for people like me, but still, c'mon.
The outdoor beer garden is probably a real hoot in the late afternoon and evenings. Even in the heat of the day, it wasn't really that bad - they have fans running and there are plenty of sunshades. They have a big screen and apparently on the weekends show movies or sports events.

Bottom line: If you even think you might like BBQ, you simply must go down to Augies Barbed Wire Smoke House. While you are there, why not slip by the newly remodled Japenese Tea Gardens, located right next door, or the Witte Museum just a block or two away.


Maureen said...

Popular place today....word on the street is that majormadmax and Paka from C-D ate lunch there as well. Hmmmmmph. I didn't get the memo. :-[[[

Oh well, I've been there and LOVED the pulled pork sandwich. It's a cool little place and I think we may be planning a C-D meet and greet there.

Glad you both liked it!

Lorelei said...

you should be a food/restaraunt
critic for the SA Express News or the Current.

Dave said...

"you should be a food/restaraunt

Would it involve free food? Sign me up!

M2 said...

Yep, went there Saturday with a few buds after the gun show and ran in the Mr & Mrs Paka. It was a chance encounter, but glad we got there early as the place filled up quickly! The limited seating would be my only concern with a CDSA M&G, but maybe the outside tables could accomodate us all. Augie's is definitely the best place for BBQ in SA!

Cheers! M2

Anonymous said...

Looks like next time i make a trip home, I'll have to try it. It's bad enough i'm here cravind Bill Millers and Papa Murfy's.

K Burkholder said...

great post. i completely agree with everything. pulled pork should have its own everything.

i borrowed a couple of your pictures for a review i am posting on friday (10/24/08). somehow, i went to augie's three days in a row and never got the courage to take photos in front of business mates.

i made sure to link to your blog. keep up the great work.

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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