Sunday, October 19, 2008
Well, it was bound to happen eventually: a consensus disappointment. Man Up's visit to Iron Works Barbecue (following my first time watching the bats take flight from the Congress Avenue bridge) wasn't a screaming success. Heck, it wasn't even a non-screaming success. The few positives--kitschy decor, outdoor-deck seating option, and smoked turkey--were not enough to balance out everything else. (But it was great to have Brad's parents and two friends of theirs join us.)
The only item I enjoyed was the turkey, which was very good. The brisket was dry as a bone, and the pork loin was drier than a bone. Service was not their strong point.
Fresh on the heels of his first Man-Up outing earlier in the day, Mark took part: "Brisket - Way too chewy. Not kept at a good temperature and probably overcooked. Little flavor. Turkey - Pretty good, actually. Just the right amount of pepper on the crust, a decent amount of moisture, and very flavorful. Don't know if or how it was cooked on the same grill as the brisket. Saint Arnold Root Beer - Loved it. Very unique. Only try it if you don't mind a slight black licorice aftertaste (which I am a big fan of personally). Ambiance - Very chill. A little hokie and not quite a genuine country BBQ chill, but as good as can be done for downtown Austin. The back porch (which seats quite a few) offers seclusion and looks over a small wooded meadow. Overall - The customer service is poorer than most family-owned and operated BBQ joints. I would have no problem going there again to spread out and relax with good people and enjoy a root beer, but there are several other places in town I could do the same thing. The point of going to a BBQ place to do those things is to enjoy good meat in the process - particularly red meat, in my opinion. If I went back, though, I'd probably only get the turkey, which I consider more of a deli item and not as essential to the BBQ experience."
Mark's rankings: Brisket: 4.5; Turkey: 8.5; Root beer: 9.25; Ambiance: 8.5; Sauce: 8: Service: 3; Overall experience: 6
Ashley's rankings: Chopped beef: 6.5; Beans: 6; Potato salad: 3; Ambiance: 3.5; Service: 5; Overall experience: 6
Drew's rankings: Brisket: 5; Pork loin: 4; Turkey: 9.5; Ham: 7; Chopped beef: 6.5; Service: 4; Sauce: 5.5; Overall: 5.25
Brad's rankings: Beef rib: 7.5; Brisket: 5.25; Sausage: 6; Potato salad: 5; Beans: 5; Service: Sucked; Company: Perfection; Overall: 5.79
Mr. Istre's rankings: Beef rib: 8.95; Potato salad: 4.8; Beans: 3.79; Overall: 8.69
Mrs. Istre's rankings: Beef rib: 8; Potato salad: 3; Beans: 3.5; Overall: 8
Mr. Burgan's rankings: Beef rib: 8; Potato salad: 5; Beans: 5; Sausage: 9; Miller Lite: 10; Overall: 8.5
Mrs. Burgan's rankings: Beef rib: 8; Potato salad: 3; Beans: 3; Overall: 6
Overall Man-Up Ranking: 6.77875