SLAB BBQ

The Notorious P.I.G. and Tony Montana sliders at SLAB BBQ are topped with smoked meats and homemade sauce.

The Notorious P.I.G. and Tony Montana sliders at SLAB BBQ are topped with smoked meats and homemade sauce.

Longtime Austinite Mark Avalos does not consider himself a country boy.

“I grew up with graffiti. I grew up with hip-hop,” he said.

Anyone who walks into SLAB BBQ will see it is not a typical country barbecue eatery. When Avalos and co-owners Raf Robinson, Chip Osbourne and Chip Gourley opened the brick-and-mortar location in August 2014, Avalos said he wanted it to reflect the culture he knew.

The walls are lined with graffiti art by Austin artist collective SprATX, and customers are more likely to hear Jay-Z over the speakers than Johnny Cash. Names of menu items, such as the Notorious P.I.G. and the Chicken W.A., are a nod to Avalos’ hip-hop idols.

SLAB’s focus on sandwiches instead of meat by the pound also sets the eatery apart from most Texas barbecue restaurants, Avalos said, and his recipes combine elements from Alabama, the Carolinas, Memphis and Texas styles.

“I’m self-taught,” he said. “It allowed me to learn about the different regions.”

Meats are cooked at a low temperature over a pecan- and oak-fueled fire for 12 hours. Sauces and dry rubs are made in-house.

“We show you barbecue in a different way, but it doesn’t mean the back-end traditions of it aren’t there,” he said. “We just present it to you differently.”

Avalos’ cooking career began in 2001 when he bought a grill for his new home. Later he bought a smoker and hosted backyard barbecues for his friends and family. The restaurant, he said, is a reflection of the atmosphere at his home on a Friday night.

In 2006, Avalos started a catering business called Sugar Shack BBQ, and he opened a food truck of the same name in 2008. He renamed it SLAB BBQ in 2013, and a year later opened the brick-and-mortar location.

“We were outgrowing the food truck,” he said. “This [location] completely fell into our laps.”

Because of his food truck following, business has been booming since the restaurant opened, Avalos said. The food truck still caters at special events such as weddings and corporate lunches. It has even catered to some celebrities and professional athletes, including musician Norah Jones and her crew during the South By Southwest Music and Media Conference, Avalos said. Jones ordered a Texas Two Step ($8), he said.



SLAB BBQ
9012 Research Blvd., Ste. C4
512-351-9977 • www.realdopebbq.com
Twitter: @slab_bbq • Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m.



MOST RECENT

The Austin Trail of Lights will open nighly from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31. (Courtesy Trail of Lights Foundation)
PHOTOS: Austin Trail of Lights returns to Zilker Park this week

The traditional holiday light show is open from Nov. 28 through New Year's Eve.

Commissioners on Nov. 22 voted to approve a density change to preliminary plans for The Preserve, a neighborhood that city documents said could include 565 single-family homes at the northeast corner of Teel and Panther Creek Parkways. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Neighborhood near PGA Frisco could see larger lots; ERCOT says Texas power grid ready for expected winter demand and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 24.

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. (Courtesy KXAN)
State, local officials react to Texas governor, Samsung joint announcement

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. 

Austin City Council will meet for a work session dedicated to housing affordability discussions Nov. 30. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Austin City Hall notebook: Council set for dive into housing, development after Thanksgiving break

A Nov. 30 work session could see city leaders work through a range of adjustments to city development code, rules and processes.

The new initiative will build the communities capacity to address homelessness along with collecting data from people who have increased access to those in need. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
ECHO, St. David's Foundation launch new program to build a community approach to homelessness

The program aims to address inequities in traditional homelessness response.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sits beside Samsung CEO Dr. Kinam Kim as he announces the company is brining a $17 billion facility to Taylor. (Screnshot via KXAN)
Samsung makes it official: Announcement from Governor's Mansion confirms $17B facility coming to Taylor

Nearly a year after Williamson County officials began pitching Samsung to bring a megafacility to the area, the electronics giant has made it official.

Santa Claus makes his entrance on the Westlake Hills fire truck. (Courtesy Westlake Chamber of Commerce)
5 events to kick off the holiday season in West Austin

From Westlake Wonderfest to Frank Sinatra, usher in the holiday season with these four festive events in West Austin.

Bill Curci is a chief operating partner for Shuck Me, a seafood restaurant in Fort Worth. (Bailey Lewis/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Fort Worth restaurant Shuck Me is fishing- and family-centric; a guide to Houston's 2021 Thanksgiving Day Parade and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 23.

Round Rock ISD will hold additional COVID-19 vaccination clinics on Nov. 29 and Nov. 30, per an email shared with district parents Nov. 22. 
(Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
Round Rock ISD to hold additional COVID-19 vaccination clinics for children ages 5-11

Round Rock ISD will hold additional COVID-19 vaccination clinics on Nov. 29 and Nov. 30, per an email shared with district parents Nov. 22. 

Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County health authority, discusses Thanksgiving safety at a news conference. (Darcy Sprague/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin health authorities remind community of COVID-19 risk ahead of Thanksgiving

Austin health officials warned of a high rate of community transmission ahead of Thanksgiving.

Lizzy and Brandon Simon are running the North Austin location. (Courtesy Lizzy Simon)
Operation Turkey to provide thousands in need with Thanksgiving meals

One local couple is running a North Austin site with the goal of serving 2,500 meals to those in need this Thanksgiving.