Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

401 W. 2nd
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: 512-494-1500
Hours: Lunch Mon-€“Fri 11-€“2:30; dinner Sun-€“Wed 5:30-€“10, Thur-€“Sat 5:30-€“10:30; brunch Sat & Sun 11-€“2
Twitter: @lambertsbbq

Opened 2006
Pitmaster Reid Guess
Method Oak; gas-fired smoker
Pro Tip Malbec pairs well with brisket.

TMBBQ Rating: 4.25

Texas Monthly BBQ Top 50

More Reviews

January 1, 2009

Downtown Austin is home to many new structures, many of them modern. In the midst of the building boom sits Lamberts, which is located in a historic two-story brick building with lofty ceilings and an open kitchen. On a Wednesday afternoon, there were no open tables during lunchtime, so we made our way to the concrete bar. Detractors generally chalk up Lamberts as “fancy barbecue” and insist that it does not belong in the discussion…

May 21, 2008

Can a place that cooks its meat in a gas-burning rotisserie make really great ’cue? Well, the brown-sugar-and-coffee-rubbed brisket was delicious, the maple-and-coriander-encrusted pork ribs were tender, the pulled pork was perfect, and the chorizo-ish jalapeño hot links were unforgettable. Sides and desserts were extraordinary. A jícama-and-carrot slaw, in particular, had plenty of cilantro and lime to cleanse the palate, and the hot blackberry fried pie prompted an “oh, my God.”


May 14, 2013

Some people may be turned off by the description at the bottom of the Lamberts menu: “Fancy Barbecue?” But there are so many outstanding dishes at this establishment, we urge you to put preconceived notions out of your mind. Plus, the restaurant (we can’t bring ourselves to call it a joint) is housed in a historic, brick-walled general store built in 1873, so at least it has an old-fashioned feel. The brisket, rubbed with brown sugar and coffee, has a good crust, and while the lean was a little dry, the fat on the moist slice was nicely rendered. It doesn’t have the powerful smoky flavor a wood pit produces, but executive chef (not, technically, pitmaster) Zach Davis does very well with his gasser. The pork ribs, crusted with a fennel and coriander rub and maple glaze, were a little overcooked but still yummy, and the jalapeño sausage had a decent kick. The chicken rubbed with achiote and lime was soft and flavorful. Three sauces were equally tasty: a thick house sauce with a good tang, a hot sauce that was similar to the house but with heat, and a yellow mustard with a light tang. Side dishes were out of this world. That’s usually a backhanded compliment but not meant to be one here—homemade mac and cheese came fresh-baked from the oven, the potato salad had a good snap, the collards were tender (with bacon!), and the slaw was lightened up with cilantro. We finished with bread pudding that was heavy on the whiskey, wishing we had more room.


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