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Jess Pryles

Freedmen’s barbecue in Austin, Texas.

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You are about to read all about the most underrated barbecue joint in the State of Texas. Possibly the country.

Located in a stunning heritage stone building in the Wast Campus area, Freedmen’s somewhat of a victim of it’s location. See, because it’s a little too far for tourists, or the parking is a bit shitty, hundreds of people a week are missing some of the best BBQ they can get their mouths around.

There’s too many awesome things about this place, so I need to break it down into simplified points lest I get carried away:

  • The barbecue is classic Hill Country style Tx BBQ, and pitmaster Evan LeRoy is quite the bark master. His barbecue sauce is also exceptional.
  • LeRoy is a trained chef. He’s respected the classic techniques of the barbecue and not attempted to “chef it up”, but his culinary prowess comes into play with the side dishes. He changes the menu seasonally, with dishes liked smoked beets with dill chevre highlighting local produce. He also makes the bread in house – a focaccia, so chosen to mop up all of the goodness from the tray.
  • There is no oven in the kitchen, any cooking for any items is done on the smoker. Including their mind blowing smoked salted chocolate mousse.
  • They have a pretty amazing bar, too. Like, they make their own tonic in house and everything.
  • But perhaps the most important part… they take reservations!

Quit dawdling. Get to Freedmen’s. Thank me later.

Evan LeRoy pitmaster at the smoker
Evan LeRoy pitmaster at the smoker

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By Jess Pryles

Jess Pryles is a full fledged Hardcore Carnivore. She’s a cook, writer, and TV personality specializing in red meat, with penchant for grilling and bourbon. She's also a respected authority on Texas & competition style barbecue. Born in Australia, she now resides in Austin, Texas.

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