What Michael Symon's Favorite BBQ Restaurant Has To Offer

If barbecue is practically a religion in Texas, as has been noted by the Washington Post (among others), then pitmasters are the earthen vessels who deliver this sacred offering of smoked meats unto the hungry masses. So, perhaps it should come as no surprise that chef, restaurateur, TV personality, and author Michael Symon's favorite BBQ restaurant is located in the Lone Star State.

In an article for the Food Network, Symon pegged Austin's La Barbecue as his top pick for the food category. Symon heaped on effusive helpings of praise, calling it "as good as barbecue can possibly be," and serving "brisket that will make you weep."

Nearly every barbecue restaurant slow cooks the staples of pulled pork, brisket, ribs, sausage, and chicken or turkey, but the differences in taste and texture arise from how they develop their unique approach to things like wood variety, rubs, and smoker time and temperature. La Barbecue owner LeAnn Mueller eschews sweetness in favor of salty and savory rubs. What you will find at her restaurant is a simple, straightforward menu that draws barbecue enthusiasts in droves.

La Barbecue's menu highlights

The melt-in-your-mouth brisket that brought the star of "Burgers, Brew & Que'" to tears is cooked low and slow over Texas post oak for 14 to 16 hours, according to La Barbecue's website. One satisfied Google reviewer and local guide gushed about his experience: "Now I know what brisket is supposed to be like."

La Barbecue also touts the significance of using hormone-free meats from local ranches where the cattle are grass-fed. The menu is no frills, shining a spotlight on the succulent meat selections. In addition to weep-worthy brisket, they sell pulled pork, pork ribs, turkey by the pound, and sausage by the link. You can get any of the meats piled high between buns, as well as several different variations of sauced and chopped sandwiches, including one topped with chipotle coleslaw.

Symon isn't alone in his praise of La Barbecue. Texas Monthly ranked them eighth on its list of the "50 Best BBQ Joints...In The World." If you're a true barbecue disciple but you don't live near Austin, then you might want to plan a pilgrimage to La Barbecue.