City Meat Market

101 W. Austin
Giddings, TX 78942

Phone: 979-542-2740
Hours: Mon-€“Fri 7:30-€“5:30, Sat 7:30-€“4

Opened 1941
Pitmaster Gerald Birkelbach (since 1982)
Method Post oak; indirect-heat pit
Pro Tip For a living history lesson, just sit quietly and watch the old-timers.

TMBBQ Rating: 4.25

Texas Monthly BBQ Top 50

More Reviews

May 15, 2013

A welcome landmark on U.S. 290 between Austin and Houston is the boxy brick building of City Meat Market, in Giddings. The red painted sign reads “Bar-B-Q and Sausage”—sausage being one of their specialties. Walk through the main room, with its high ceilings, two rows of tables covered in plastic Christmas tablecloths (we last visited in late January), and aged cream-colored walls, and into the sooty back room, where you can order the famous links (80…

January 22, 2011

You may remember from the first review that City Meat Market, in Giddings, makes their own sausage for the market as well as providing it to Snow’s. After trying it at Snow’,s we wanted a good comparison of not only the sausage but the brisket as well. I enjoyed my first trip here enough to give it four stars, and they were kind enough to display the certificate I sent right next to their mention…

May 21, 2008

This friendly shop with blackened walls has been going strong for more than sixty years, and the locals swear by it. Though the brisket was average the day we went, everything else was excellent—pork, sausage, and chicken, all smoked with post oak in an iron-lined and tile-covered brick pit.


May 16, 2009

Thousands of drivers a day pass through Giddings along Texas Highway 290 on their way between Austin and Houston. They would all do themselves a favor if they stopped right in the center of town to sample the fine meats smoked at City Meat Market. This is a true meat market with cases full of steaks, ground beef, and sausage right inside the door. Walking back beyond the cases and through the small dining area, all the while drawn by the seductive smell of post-oak smoke, you find the entry door into the pit area simply labeled “IN.”

All that now separates you from the smokers full of meat is a short counter and the friendly pit boss, Gerald. He was happy to slice my order of brisket, pork ribs, and sausage and curl it up on a pile of butcher paper. The ribs and sausage were taken straight out from under the heavy smoker lid, but Gerald pierced the brisket with a large carving fork and lifted it from a metal vat full of a deep brown liquid. He explained that instead of wrapping the brisket to keep it moist, he stored it in a vat of captured brisket juices—a smoky Central Texas au jus. No matter how it’s stored, all of the meats came out picture perfect and steaming hot.

The sausage was an enigma. City Meat Market supplies Snow’s with their sausage, and it was delicious and smoky just thirty minutes earlier in Lexington. This version had the same texture but was drier, far less smoky, and simply not as good in this reviewer’s opinion. The brisket was excellent with a nice smokeline, and the crust had not deteriorated as you might expect with it soaking in liquid. Another thing that you’d expect from soaking the brisket is that it would stay ultra moist, but this wasn’t the case. The tender slices were slightly dry, but the fat was well rendered and the smoky flavor ran deep. The ribs were the best and smokiest offering with a heavy salt-and-pepper rub over a deep-red crust. The meat was moist and flavorful but a little on the tough side. Overall, this is obviously a joint that pays close attention to their meat and takes great pride in the product they turn out, but they weren’t quite up to five-star standards on this day.

 (This review originally appeared on Full Custom Gospel BBQ.)


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