Thursday, January 28, 2016

A pork chop too far

I've been hearing for years about how great the barbecue is at Cooper's in Llano, Texas, but I've never been able to make the trip there.  I was thus quite pleased to learn that Cooper's had opened a place in Austin.  Now, friends have cautioned me that the Austin Cooper's wasn't quite up to the original, but it was still supposed to be excellent.

Tonight, two of us headed downtown to find out for ourselves.

The name of the game at any good Texas barbecue joint is, of course, the meat.  We knew we had to try the brisket and the sausage, the king duo of Texas 'que.  When I saw beef ribs on the menu, though, I immediately decided a pair of them had to join our order.  At that point, we remembered our colleague and pal, Bruce, saying the pork chop was excellent, so we caved and ordered one of those.

Little did we know at that moment just how big that chop would be.

We quickly found ourselves with all of this meat.

Click the image to see a larger version.

What you can't tell from this photo is that chopzilla in the upper left was going on two inches thick.

Needless to say, we could not finish all of the food.  It truly was a pork chop too far.  We ended up leaving a third of the sausage, a fifth of the brisket, and all but a quarter of the chop.

That waste was the bad news.

The good news was that the brisket was the second-best brisket I've ever tasted, better by far than any other brisket I've enjoyed save for the all-time champ, the brisket at Franklin Barbecue.  Franklin's brisket is still the best, but Cooper's is mighty damn fine--and I could walk in on a Thursday night and order it after only a five-minute wait.

I will definitely return to Cooper's.

I was already downtown, so of course I had to head to the nearby Amy's for an ice cream dessert.

Tomorrow, I work in the morning and then journey home.

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