My father, brother and I meet one weekend a year in Austin, and on Saturdays, we have the most time to explore. This year, we targeted Elgin, a barbecue-haven known for their spicy beef sausage. Our first stop in a three-joint tour: Southside Market, the elder statesman of the group, dating to 1882. We knew we were in good shape when we pulled into the parking lot and saw a sign that read “Happy Sausage Mothers Day.”
Southside Market was originally in downtown Elgin. Ernest Bracewell and Rene Bracewell purchased Southside Market in 1968 and moved to their current location along Highway 290 in 1992.
Since we still had two more restaurants to eat at for lunch, we limited ourselves to sausage, brisket and pork ribs. The pitmaster sliced and hacked the proper proportions, wrapping meat in butcher paper, and we high-tailed it to a family-size table to gorge on ‘cue.
In Elgin, any barbecue discussion begins with peppery beef sausage, and Southside Market is the most famous sausage producer in town. At Southside, they’re known as “hot guts,” since the peppery mixture that fills the casing is unusually spicy. Southside Market smokes their meats using oak. Sausage takes a surprisingly short time: 45 minutes. We bought two links, which were over a foot long apiece.
We ordered a pint of cole slaw ($2.55), which was way too large. It featured julienned cabbage and carrots, and too much mayo. Not my favorite slaw of the trip.
On the way out, grab a gallon jug of sauce, and if you can make it to a refrigerator, swing by the meat market for smoked Elgin hot sausage, rump roast, boneless brisket, or many of the other fine cuts of pork and beef. They also sell T-shirts with catchy sayings like “I love their guts” and “We’ve got sausage, and stuff that goes good with sausage.”
There was an in-house ice cream counter selling several flavors of Texas’ favorite ice cream, Blue Bell, but we still had two more barbecue joints to hit.