Going off my diet in the foothills of Austin — hello County Line

Austin, Texas, is known for music, the University of Texas, and, of course, Texas barbecue. Ribs, brisket and various sausages all are served as various barbecue spots in this beef-country city. That’s cold comfort for someone like me on a low-fat diet since my 2012 angioplasty.

My County Line Combo plate!
My County Line Combo plate!

So rather than torture myself every night I was there, I resolved to go off my diet one night to try some barbecue. My wife, who spends more time in Texas for work these days than at home, recommended a place she’d gone before, County Line. It’s nestled in the foothills on the edge of town and looks exactly like you’d want a roadhouse barbecue place to look. The one we went to apparently is the original location, there are others.

Scanning the menu with starving eyes, I wanted everything, and luckily there it was, sort of. You can get a combination plate here with different kinds of meats. That gave me a chance to get my favorite, giant beef ribs, and sample some brisket. I’m not a giant brisket fan, but it is classic barbecue material, so I wanted to try it.

County Line for barbecue in Austin.
County Line for barbecue in Austin.

The combo plate came with one giant beef rib and the brisket. In days gone by, I could easily eat three beef ribs at a barbecue place I used to frequent in Evanston where I live. Luckily for my diet, it’s gone out fo business.

So I initially thought I’d made a mistake with this combo plate. But then I thought no, one is enough for the taste on this trip. Even that one rib and brisket put me at more than three times my daily fat allowance of 40 grams, throwing my whole week into negative territory for me.

But that rib was soooo good. I enjoyed the brisket too, the sauce served was not overly peppery, which many people enjoy but I don’t. It was sweet and gooey and just so, so good.

Try County Line if you get to Austin and want a fat-splurge.

And, as a side note, we saw some great theater and met a dynamic young playwright there. The theater commune is known as Paper Chairs and it specializes in surreal dramas and musicals.  It says of itself, “we endeavor to bring theatrical astonishments to our cultural landscape while pushing ourselves as individual artists and as a company.” Kudos to founder Elizabeth for doing just that in the performance we saw.



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