|4109 Capital of TX Hwy. Ste. #100-R
Austin, TX 78704
9828 Great Hills Trail
Austin, TX 78759
1000 E. 41st St.
Austin, TX 78751
|2121 Parmer Lane
Austin, TX 78727
1202-C N. IH-35
Round Rock, TX 78681
PoK-e-Jo’s BBQ is a locally-owned Austin BBQ group that has positioned itself among aficionados of “Q” as a go-to kind of place. The name derives from the two founders (one of them named Porky and you can figure the rest out) who made BBQ that they would like themselves on the premise that loyal customers would follow. Well, after 32 years in business, I would say that that they took care of that first generation of customers, and now a 2nd generation as well.
The fundamentals of any good Texas BBQ joint can be boiled down to brisket, ribs, sausage and chicken. And PoK-e-Jo’s delivers on all four counts. The regular and moist brisket has singular flavor and an easy-going texture. I’m more partial to the moist brisket but that’s just me. The Pork Ribs have a bit more kick to them than in years past and that’s fine. They are still very tender but that little extra zip in the sauce really ratchets these up. The sausage at PoK-e-Jo’s is house made and that’s huge: because to me sausage is the Holy Grail of BBQ. I like mine with thin casing, great flavor and staying power. Oh yeah, and a little bit greasy and very tasty. Man, that sums up the sausage here.
The Chicken is another keeper. I like brown meat and PoK-e-Jo’s delivers tender, juicy and aromatic chicken with a nice, smoky flavor. You can easy separate the meat from the bone with a fork or pick it up and give it a good gnaw. Works either way for me!
The Pork Loin is another recommended plate. The requisite demand on this dish is tenderness and PoK-e-Jo’s makes it work. It’s cut with a fork smooth and very flavorful. They have two sauces here: one that’s spicier and one that’s a bit more traditional. I love the newer spicy sauce, especially with the sausage and moist brisket.
One thing that lifts PoK-e-Jo’s over many central Texas BBQ joints is the quality and variety of the sides. The Broccoli Salad is a blast: crunchy and full of healthy veggies. The Green Bean Casserole is another must: everything made in house and it shows in the taste. And you have to love the Jalapeno Cornbread Casserole. Again, there is an authenticity here that you’d never find at some chain. The Cole Slaw is another keeper. Not drowning in liquidy mayo but crisp and full of flavor. Likewise for the Potato Salad: this is one of the better versions of a BBQ necessity, again, because of the taste. It’s not all tricked up and I like that. I haven’t been able to have the Baked Potato in a while, but I hear from readers. They still love it and it looks extremely palatable.
PoK-e-Jo’s has five locations in Austin and we’re here today at the one on Parmer Lane east of Mopac. The people who work here care about this store and they care about pleasing you. Add that to some killer “Q” and you have the ingredients for long-term success.