Preface- I'm new to Austin and to Chowhound. After having read this site for a few days, I decided it was incumbent upon me to eat my way across the city and then tell you all about it. Your welcome. I am starting with lunches (as this is most convenient for me) and I'm starting with the places closest to where I work. I may skip restaurants entirely (national chains, or stuff I just don't want to eat), and I will go in no particular order (I'm in a BBQ and Taqueria phase right now - deal with it!). I love feedback, and recommendations. I don't like ankle-biting or sniping. I'm not an expert on any particular cuisine, but I know good food and I know enough about cooking and ingredients to annoy those of you that are experts. Anyway, on with the show:
Green Mesquite - I felt like BBQ today. I had Artz Rib House on Monday (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/358266) and I drove by Green Mesquite (GM) to get there. I didn't feel like driving all around Austin looking for another place and even though I knew GM was not on many folks' top 10 list, I thought it was worth a visit. I noted to myself as I walked up that there was no smell! No smoke! Well, there is a breeze, maybe I'm upwind. I ordered my favorite three meat combo (brisket, sausage, pork ribs) with a side of cole slaw (also standard for me) and fried okra. The brisket looked like it had been steamed (explains lack of smoke in the air). The meat was tender, but very little flavor away from the crust, which just tasted like burnt fat. The sauce made it workable (and still better than BBQ in Los Angeles), but nothing to order again. On to the sausage. This was much better, though texturally it was a bit soft - like the innards had shrunk while the casing remained firm. Taste was good, and sauce complimented well (just a few drops). The pork ribs were utterly disgusting. Greasy, oily, fatty and completely tasteless. There wasn't enough sauce on the table to doctor them up. I stopped eating them.
Cole slaw was ok - lots of dressing which lacked tang, but good hand-cut cabbage which appeared fresh. Fried okra was good - freshly fried and came out hot and crispy.
I'd go back to order off their non-bbq menu. They have "bakers" which are baked potatoes stuffed with various ingredients. Also like to try their chicken fried steak and catfish dishes.
Their dessert menu reads "Same recipe since we started in 1988". My opinion is you reserve the "...since xxxx" title for things that have been around for 50 years plus. I had a slice of pecan pie that was quite good, though I could have used a dollop of real whipped cream!
Overall, I would recommend AGAINST GM for BBQ. Jury's out on the rest of their menu.
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