In Texas, barbeque is a part of state history.
And all barbecue has its own unique story.
Since our boys were young, we made special road trips just for barbeque. Learning a little Texas history along the way would be a bonus.
Since my youngest son was in preschool, our family occasionally made the hour-long trip to Elgin, west of Austin, on Highway 290. This has been the location of the original Southside Market since 1992. Southside Market was my first introduction to Texas barbeque sausage, brisket, and ribs. And while we have had some great barbeque in other small Texas towns, in my opinion, Southside Market is overall the best.
Beginning in 1882, William Moon made his mark by selling his fresh, smoked sausage door-to-door by horse-drawn wagon. In 1886, Moon opened his own butcher shop on Central Avenue in Elgin, where he served customers fresh BBQ until selling his business in 1908.
The business changed hands a couple times since William Moon. In 1968, Earnest Bracewell Sr., a former U.S. Marine who served during the Korean War, purchased Southside Market. Previously a meat salesman for Armour, Bracewell expanded his business by selling to local grocery stores, which included H. E. Butt Grocery Company. Today, HEB still sells the famous Southside Market sausage in their stores.
Three generations later, the Bracewell Family still own Southside Market. In the last 10 years, other locations have opened in Bastrop, Austin, and Hutto. Yet, the well-worn, comfortable atmosphere of the Elgin store is why it’s my preferred location.
When to Visit
The Elgin location is open Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 8 pm, and Friday through Sunday from 9 am to 9 pm. (Check the website for hours of their other locations).
As for many BBQ locations in Central Texas, plan to visit early to avoid crowds! For lunch on holidays and weekends, lines get noticeably longer by 11:30 (including their drive-thru!).
What to Order
There isn’t anything you won’t like on this menu! Make it simple by choosing a meal plate, which gives you a choice of meat and sides, with generous portions. You can also order your meat preferences by the pound with the option to get singles or pints of a side. My 20-year-old son wholeheartedly recommends their mac and cheese, and I prefer their potato salad over other BBQ restaurants.
While there are many other choices for good barbeque in Central Texas and the Austin area, I’m confident that once you visit Southside Market, it will become your new favorite!