El Grandpa Mexican Barbecue ~ Austin TX

May 28, 2024

El Grandpa Mexican Barbecue montage

The Vitals:
the spot: El Grandpa Mexican Barbacoa 150 Haverland Dr, Georgetown, TX 78626
the eats: Lamb barbacoa by the half pound or pound
the bucks: $15 for half a pound
the full nelson: Hidalgo style lamb barbacoa cooked in a custom oven

One heck of a name: El Grandpa Mexican Barbecue

Turns out this lamb barbacoa weekend popup had to go down a bumpy road by the way of cease and desists just to have a name per this story from Texas Monthly. It all worked out in the end and now those in the greater Austin area have a real deal Hidalgo style lamb barbacoa spot. On the weekends at least.

El Grandpa Mexican Barbecue sign

The road to El Grandpa Mexican Barbecue

Is thankfully marked with a straightforward sign. Pro tip: get there by 9am if you want to eat more than scraps. I’m told folks line up by 7:30am, just like some of the more coveted Central Texas style barbecue joints around town.

El Grandpa Mexican Barbecue menu

Tacos, meats by the pound and even a whole head

The menu at El Grandpa Mexican Barbecue is best enjoyed with a group. I went solo and I still opted for meat by the pound versus just getting individual tacos. When I go back, I’m bringing a crew and ordering the head baby!

El Grandpa Mexican Barbecue pit

El Grandpa Mexican Barbecue pit full of lamb

The pit at El Grandpa Mexican Barbecue

While I was waiting in line, a gentlemen came out and asked if we wanted to take a gander at the pit. I leapt at the chance. It was a sight to see to say the least. I’ve had lamb barbacoa before in similar settings but have never seen a pit like this. The oven is custom made by a custom smoker company in Texas and apparently weighs 3000 lbs, pretty much meeting the definition of heavy duty bbq.

El Grandpa Mexican Barbecue plate 1

The perfect order for one

I got a half pound of lamb barbacoa at El Grandpa Mexican barbecue which was just enough for one. You must get the consommé as well: a broth made from the drippings of meat as it cooks for hours. It comes with tortillas and salsa bottles are served at the tables.

El Grandpa Mexican Barbecue plate 2

Order the ribs

Because they are cooking whole lambs, you have the choice of any cut, but not all cuts are equal. Aim for the richest cuts like the costillas(ribs). If you are like me, you know the fattier the cut, the richer the lamb experience.

El Grandpa Mexican Barbecue plate 3

Build your taco

Grab that tender lamb and put it in the tortilla. The meat is the star of the show but you still want to relish each bite with a little crunch of raw onion, a sprinkling of cilantro leaves and salsa for heat and acidity. The most important thing to do is chase each with bite with a sip of consommé.

Honestly as I recap this meal, I realize I need to make plans for my next visit. And it takes planning too. Because beyond the 25 mile drive, getting there by 9am and you know, like wanting lamb for breakfast, it is best done with a group.

When I go back, I’ll be rolling deep and getting the cabeza aka the head. We just might be the reason they sell out early.

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