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Sam's BBQ's profile photo
Sam's BBQ
Barbecue Restaurant$$
Today 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
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2000 E 12th St Austin, TX 78702
2000 E 12th StUSTXAustin78702
(512) 478-0378
$$Barbecue RestaurantToday 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Monday 10:00 am – 10:00 pmTuesday 10:00 am – 10:00 pmWednesday 10:00 am – 10:00 pmThursday 10:00 am – 10:00 pmFriday 10:00 am – 3:00 amSaturday 10:00 am – 3:00 amSunday 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
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Review Summary
3.9
86 reviews
5 star
25 reviews
4 star
36 reviews
3 star
16 reviews
2 star
4 reviews
1 star
4 reviews
No-frills landmark covered in memorabilia serving brisket, ribs & mutton in a straight-up manner.- Google
People talk about mutton, pork ribs, chicken sausage, potato salad and rack of ribs
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Jimmy Ho's profile photo
Jimmy Ho
reviewed 3 weeks ago
I have been to Sam's BBQ a few years ago when I first started to work for Progressive Insurance. I remembered that was everything I got was just okay. This was before the barbecue scene exploded in Austin. A couple of summers ago, Sam's was involved in a scandal where they were caught buying stolen meat. They were shut down for a little bit of time because of the scandal. If they are trying cut corners with their main products, where else could they be cutting corners from? Sharing barbecue is the best way to try more items on the menu. Duh. We each ordered two meat plates and a half of a chicken. We got moist brisket, sausage, pork ribs, and mutton with sides of potato salad and beans. The brisket was mushy and bland. It was obviously cooked high and fast for a little too long. The ribs were falling off the bone and dry. They were boring with no flavor. The sausage was a commercial type made for them down the street. It was tasty but really fatty. What is mutton? I had to look it up before our visit. Mutton is sheep. The cut we got looked like a pork rib. It tasted very gamey. It was dry and just not good. Good thing we got the chicken based on a recommendation because it was the winner. It was tender and juicy actually had some flavor. Apparently the chicken is cooked differently every time. Strange huh? We did not eat all of the meat and had a lot of leftovers. I ate all of the beans and potato salad if it means anything. The sides were just okay. I did not have a whole lot of expectations in this visit to Sam's BBQ. Good thing I did not. I really wanted to get some good barbecue, but after leaving Sam's, my hankering was even stronger. There are better choices on the eastside. It seems like Sam's does not put any effort into their barbecue. If they do not care, why should I care to visit? They are open late though. Sam's slogan is shared by another BBQ joint in Austin. I am not so sure that "You don't need no teeth to eat my beef!" is a good thing.
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Marcelo Teson's profile photo
Marcelo Teson
reviewed a year ago
Sam's is a gem. Located on E. 12th street, in a neighborhood that's not nearly as bad as some people think it is, it's one of the premier barbecue joints in the country and has been for years. Only with the arrival of Franklin's epic brisket has Sam's been toppled off the top of the heap, and even then Sam's beats Franklin in every other category. For one there isn't a massively long wait. You can walk in, talk to the owner, order up a mountain of food, and sit back and enjoy it. Sam's doesn't sweat the arrival of a place like Franklin. They were here a long time before and they'll be there long after all those hipsters have moved to Cedar Park to put their kids into school. Sam's offers up so many things, all of which are fantastic. The ribs are the best in Austin for sure - chewy but not tough, with a ton of flavor. The brisket is great as well, and the sausage is probably the best around. As sausage is such an underappreciated part of TX BBQ, it's good to see it featured prominently here. Sam's also has a trump card, an item no one else has - smoked mutton. It's weird, to be sure, and I wouldn't order it as the only thing I'm eating, but if you're a first-timer it's worth a try just to say you tried it. It's smoky and lamb-y and has a lot of rendered fatty goodness that makes it unique and tasty. My favorite thing about Sam's is the owner and his attitude. You won't meet a friendlier guy than the guy serving you at Sam's. I took my LA-visiting friend here for lunch and the owner sat with us, talking shop about barbecue, happy to divulge secrets (post oak wood for smoking, for instance), and displaying such a laid back "ain't no thing" confidence that made us feel instantly comfortable. This isn't a high strung nerdy barbecue competitor, this is a guy who happens to be great at what he does without trying all that hard, a guy filled with quiet confidence and pride. He just wants people to enjoy their food when they walk into his establishment. I know I do. UPDATE: Since the "stolen meat" scandal I've been wary to go back to Sam's. I don't know if they'll reopen, but it just makes me sad that that happened since Sam's is such an institution. Just being there was half the fun.
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Liked: Food, Service
marcos molina's profile photo
marcos molina
reviewed 2 years ago
i brought a couple of california buds here on the 1st afternoon of their visit to austin. they were really hungry & since Sam's is so close to my house, i decided to give 'em a try. i also wanted to meet whoever approved the sign painted outside the building: "you don't need no teeth to eat my meat" the brisket was okay. good sauce. good portions.
Liked: Food, Service, Value
Disliked: Atmosphere
Jack McCord
reviewed a year ago
Onlyy go between 11:00 and 4:00 for fresh serving. Smaill parking lot. street parking scarce. If presence of 5 to 10 black men 6 foot ,250 lbs bothers you you will want to avoid. As a 5'7" white guy, I'm from texas and it doesn't bother me., biu I get my BBQ to go . Great mutton and meaty ribs. Mutton is sheep meat not lamb. As difference between beef and veal. Anyway I suggest you stay with the pork ribs or mutton. My wife is from gonzales County texas and bbq mutton is a staple there. Main entree for family reunions. Salt Lick in Bud/Driftwood still has the best brisket in Texas. Salt Lick has good pork ribs but Sam's are much meatier. Best beef ribs in Texas is County Line off 360..
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Ambria Rivers
reviewed 6 months ago
Great food! and very great service :)
Christy Horton's profile photo
Christy Horton
reviewed a year ago
Fall off the bone ribs, good fatty brisket, and ttender mutton. Sam's has seen better days but where else can you get brisket at 2am?
Liked: Food, Service