Thief steals 20 briskets from famed Austin barbecue joint

la Barbecue is frequently featured in ‘best of’ lists

la Barbecue owners said their restaurant was broken into again on Aug. 4. (Google Maps, la Barbecue)

AUSTIN, Texas – A meat thief stole 20 briskets from a famed Austin restaurant last week.

An unidentified person broke into la Barbecue on Thursday, Aug. 4, around 4 a.m., according to a Facebook post from the restaurant.

KVUE spoke with the owner of la Barbecue who said a man jumped a side fence, cut off barbecue pit locks and loaded more than 20 full briskets into a nearby SUV.

“We’re kind of speculating that he’s been watching. You know, somebody that used to cook for us possibly. We haven’t had turnover in our house since we’ve been here, so it wouldn’t be current. So that’s also kind of strange that he knew,” General Manager Alison Clem told FOX7. “One of my strongest guys back there, can barely lift ten briskets in a box, and [the thief] lifted them over his head. So, I really just think that it was planned.”

A Ring video, obtained by KVUE, shows the suspect in action:

Clem told FOX7 the brisket, seasoning and labor costs bring her estimated loss to around $3,000 but that’s just for raw materials — not retail.

The la Barbecue website lists brisket for $20 a pound or $10 for a brisket sandwich.

It’s not the first, second or even third time the barbecue joint has been broken into but Clem said it’s the first time someone has stolen meat.

“I can only speculate that he possibly works for a food truck or a restaurant I don’t know, even throwing a party. I have no idea,” Clem said.

la Barbecue is located at 2401 E Cesar Chavez in East Austin. The eatery is frequently mentioned in “best of” lists and made the cut for top barbecue joints in 2021 by Texas Monthly.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.