There are just a few constants in the tribe we call motorcycling…
Scenery, great roads, and when it’s all done some good food (probably with some beer or Jack). Barbecue is not everybody’s cup of spices, but it seems to be a popular pursuit among the two-wheeled crowd. Texas Hill Country’s got all of the above in spades, so it seemed a perfectly good spot in need of some attention around here.
I did some research in the interest of furthering the knowledge of you all. Okay, really I was just after some barbecue, and got to do some riding while I was at it.
This isn’t the story of one trip or a couple of rides, this is a couple trips and closer to eight rides. I ended up trying 10 different barbecue joints in my jaunts around Austin (and the surrounding area), and fit in close to a thousand road miles trying to get a little digestion in between stops for more hearty helpings of meat. Not that that was all the rides were for.
The Hill Country of Texas is a spectacular place to explore on a motorcycle, and thankfully on two different occasions, Victory Motorcycles saw fit to loan me a bagger to take my fill of meat and asphalt. They even tossed in an out-of-print road map that helps to find all of the little gems of roads, called South Central Texas.
The big roads, while beautiful, are mostly pretty bland. You have to be following a watercourse (lake or river) or taking one of the many one-and-a-half lane farm roads to really get some fun riding in. The Farm to Market roads and Ranch Roads are the way to go. They’re all pretty well maintained and safe, while some of the smaller county roads are a little less so (more on that later).
I found out a few things about Texas Q that I was unaware of before. Firstly, and this should be obvious, Texans are all about the cow, specifically the brisket. So, to a Texan, the relative worth of a barbecue place starts and ends with how good the brisket is. The second thing I learned is about the brisket itself. Texans like it fatty, with good marbling, and super moist and drippy. Most Texan BBQ purists don’t even believe in sauce, reasoning that well-cooked meat should stand on its own, with perhaps a little white bread to sop up the fat. Unfortunately for me, I’m far more of a rib guy, and specifically a pork rib guy. I can appreciate a good beef rib, and I like brisket just fine, though I’m far from a connoisseur, so take all of my recommendations with a grain of salt if you’re a Texan, or like your meat like one.