I traveled there on business, but had time to stop by Stubb's BBQ. I've used Stubbs BBQ sauce puchased from the grocery store, and found it to be quite good. Unfortunately Stubb's was closed for a private party. The security guard suggested we try the Iron Works BBQ, about 6 blocks away at the corner of 1st and Red River. We did, and it was good. I had the sampler plate (a meaty rib, some brisket, and a sausage in my order of preference). I added a Lone Star beer and home made blackberry cobbler. It was all very good except for the sausage which was only just good. I guess I make exceptions about not liking lagers when they are ice cold and washing down delicious BBQ.
I didn't eat anything else until the next day when I was again served Austin BBQ at lunch! This time I had the BBQ chicken and brisket. The brisket was my favorite that time around. I ought to try some at home.
The local BBQ vernacular includes potato salad (mayo-based), a slice of bread (white, at the Iron Works, corn bread or roll at lunch the next day), and pinto beans. Tomato-based BBQ sauce is served on the side to supplement the sauce already on the meat. I think there was also coleslaw at lunch, but I didn't have any. The interesting Texas variation is that dill pickles and sliced onion (I had both mild white and red) are provided as a foil for the rich BBQ flavors. This works well. I had a feeling that the BBQ chicken was only an afterthought to the main feature of brisket and ribs.
We were able to walk from Iron Works BBQ to the Congress Street bridge and see the 1.5 million bats that live under the bridge leaving at sun down. We were on the wrong side of the river to see the mass exodus in detail. Near us we saw plenty of individual bats, but on the far side there were so many leaving at once that they looked like a thin wisp of smoke trailing up the and down the lake.
On our walk back to the car (parked near Stubbs) we travelled down 6th street, the heart of Austin's music scene. We were walking along about 8:00 and I felt that we were about an hour too early that evening and a decade too late. The next day, I was told that 4th St (? forgot the intersection) was more suited to my age. I also received recommendations of County Line BBQ and one other that I've forgotten, should I be back in town.