Whoa BBQ doesn’t have much of a foodprint on the interwebs, but after chatting with the fellow behind the counter, I learned that Whoa started several years ago at Circuit of the Americas and is now branching into Austin proper with an Airstream in south Austin and a brick-n-mortar in the former Hey Cupcake! location on Burnet Road. In a town lousy with excellent BBQ joints, it’s easy to question the why for the Whoa, but I give them props for pitching some surprises, such as a Whoa Bowl (rosemary cornbread waffle, smoked garlic mac-n-cheese, and Granny Smith apple coleslaw with your choice of chopped brisket, pulled pork, or chopped chicken; $12) or blueberry BBQ sauce. The Whoa bowl was a filling way to sample a variety of menu offerings. On a subsequent visit, I went with a simple pulled pork sandwich ($8) topped with the blueberry BBQ sauce where the slight sweetness of the blueberries talked down the mild sting of the jalapenos. The counter cowboy recommended the house-made, smoked reuben sandwich for a future visit, and it was fantastic, quite possibly the best Reuben I’ve had, a perfect balance of rye, Texas-smoked corned beef, and sauerkraut (sub that apple slaw if you’re not feeling krauty). While Whoa won’t be appearing in Texas Monthly’s top 50 BBQ spots (except maybe for that rueben…), it’s what they do with the Q rather than the size of the brisket that counts.
I wrote this review for the Allandale Neighbor.
web&where: 5530 burnet road
what’s the deal? BBQ with a twist; counter service
overall: ** (food**; drink**; atmosphere**; service***; instagrammability**)
– meh [think twice]
* OK [it’ll get the job done]
** good [solid neighborhood joint]
*** damn good [we’ll definitely be back]
**** yippity-yikes that was amazeballs [fantastic; one of the best]
***** holy sh!t [transcendental; best of the best]