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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Mon–Sat 11:00am–10:00pm
Sun 11:00am–9:00pm

Features Live music, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


South Lamar
2330 S. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX
(512) 442-8283
Artz Rib House
Want a side of ribs with that slice of Austin history, hon?

Aside from its well-deserved wins in local rib contests, Artz is also known for its scrumptious burgers; for its atmosphere, increasingly more run down but still pleasantly laid back; and for its live music. The place has the feel of the American South, with checkered tablecloths, sweet and sultry service (that verges on indifference), and the sense that you’re almost eating in a barn. If these weathered walls could talk, they could tell a lot of tales. They’d also ask for some remodeling.

There are some uninspired attempts on the menu to distract you from the ribs, but don’t be fooled. Order the baby back ribs, with their gently smoked flavor and lovely, charred fat rim. Go whole hog with a mixed barbecue plate, served with three meats. As the brisket can be underseasoned, stick with those ribs and the peppery and snappy smoked sausage. The surprisingly moist smoked chicken leg makes a nice third—it actually tastes like chicken and not just like smoke. The barbecue sauce is slightly sweeter and thicker than is traditional in the Hill Country, but with just enough tomato and vinegar. You’ll also get creamy potato salad, tart cole slaw, and pinto beans that are spicy and cooked just right, and healthier wheat bread instead of white. It is South Austin, after all.

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