As you probably already know, I love jerky. I’ll drive around Central Texas looking for it or even just 100 miles to a gas station that sells it. Growing up, my dad made homemade jerky from venison. Basically, you grind up the meat, put spices in it, get a jerky gun, make the strips of jerky, and then put in a dehydrator. That’s at least how we did it in Wisconsin.
Venison is much leaner than beef. I always wondered what my dad’s version of jerky would taste like with beef. When I was researching jerky places, ATX Homemade Jerky came up in the results. I read the story of one of the founders, Chris, who was originally from Wisconsin. The pictures of the jerky were similar to my dad’s jerky, but it would be the beef I always wanted to try!
I hopped in the car and headed to Elgin, where ATX Homemade Jerky is made.
When I went inside, I could see it was much more than a jerky place. It was a store full of locally made products (hence the Artisan Market part of the name).
They were even making pickles in the back!
When I went there, Chris was tending the store. I just showed up randomly, so it was a great coincidence he was there.
Chris and I talked a while about Wisconsin and why we both moved to Austin. He effectively moved to Austin for the same reason I did, the technology industry. He specifically came down for the video game industry, whereas I came down for the broader tech industry. Regardless, it’s tech that brought us both from Wisconsin.
The video game industry can be a tight industry in terms of jobs, so Chris decided to try his hand in making jerky instead. If you notice by the pictures I took above, his shelves are pretty bare in terms of inventory. I found out Chris is a hustler in terms of hitting up farmer’s markets and local festivals. He told me he does 18 different farmers markets a week! Talk about dedication.
There were also a few local festivals he recently attended and he was selling his jerky left and right. He literally couldn’t keep it on the shelves. He likes to keep 8 weeks worth of inventory, but was down to 1-2 weeks when I visited the shop. I knew this stuff was going to be good!
Besides the jerky, one huge thing I will give ATX Homemade Jerky and Artisan Market is their ties to the local community.
Everything in the store was made by someone local. In my opinion, this is amazing! I don’t need to read the labels like I would when seeking out local products at a normal grocery store.
With the jerky, I decided to get some salsa and coffee.
The coffee itself is smooth. I grabbed some decaf and it’s great to drink when I don’t need a pick up but I still want coffee.
The green salsa is actually tolerable texture wise! If you’ve read past blog entries, I’m not the biggest fan of green salsas because the texture is like phlegm. This actually didn’t have that texture and it’s one of the first green salsas I can say I really liked.
Now to the jerky!
The jerky was like my dad’s, except you could tell it was beef. It was a bit greasier, which is to be expected since beef isn’t as lean as venison. It has a good flavor to it and a little bit of a black pepper bite in the aftertaste. Overall, it’s really good stuff! I know there’s tons more flavors, so I’m going to have to start trying them all!
I personally think ATX Homemade Jerky and Artisan Market is really amazing overall. It really hits what I’m looking for in different ways. If I’m craving some Wisconsin-style jerky, it gives me a taste of home. It also serves me well in my quest for local products.
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