Up in Central Texas
1 of 4
by Beau Been
talking about the barbeque of central Texas it
means two things, tradition and beef. The origin
of selling smoked meats out the back alley door
of a meat market or butcher shop is evident in
a couple of the places we will visit in the series.
In the early days the meat market would smoke
and sell some of the cheaper or less desirable
cuts out the back of the shops to the field and
farm workers with nothing more than a few saltine
crackers or a couple slices of bread, no sides,
no sauce. Later this became the the focus of the
business, birthing a strong barbeque tradition.
In other parts of the country you say "barbeque"
and this means pork cooked slow and low. Oh, how
I love these porcine delights but in the heart
of Texas beef reigns as king and pork takes a
back seat if appearing at all. In this series
we will visit the establishments in the barbeque
mecca of Lockhart, (Smitty's, Kreutz's and Blacks)
City Market in Luling, Sam's in Austin and Louie
Mueller BBQ in Taylor.
Mueller BBQ, Taylor, Tx
drive out to Taylor from Austin was a pleasant
45 minutes or so. I was excited with anticipation
because I had not yet paid a visit to Louie Mueller
BBQ and this joint has been given some of the
highest praise. Praise like "Best BBQ in
Texas" visits by the Food Network and other
food publications told me to start here.
you walk in the door you know right away this
is the real deal. The walls are stained with years
of smoke and the sweet aroma of the meat roasting
over the the pit is ever present. Beth and I walked
up to the counter and we receive a friendly greeting
and a bite of lean brisket. I quickly peruse the
board to see the offerings but I already know
that we will try most everything. We ordered a
chipolte sausage link , a half pound of brisket
(moist), two pork ribs and two beef ribs. Louie
Mueller BBQ does offer a couple of sides and we
decided to have the cole slaw. Add a beer each
and our total was $26.50. We each took our tray
and went out to the covered and screened patio
food is served on sheets of butcher paper along
side the standard pickle, onions and white bread.
The sauce that was served along side was more
of a barbeque broth. I have never seen this before.
It was good but not necessary. The sausage was
flavorful with a firm texture. It was not quite
as spicy as one might think but tasty none the
less. The German heritage of central Texas makes
sausage a mainstay so I have eaten a lot of good
sausage. I would not rank this sausage as elite
but certainly worth a try. The brisket is the
standard in which I compare central Texas barbeque
and was not disappointed. Most places serve sliced
brisket with two options, "lean" which
has little fat and will be much more dry or "moist",
which will have a ribbon of fat through it and
has much more flavor. I like both but I will take
the moist if picking between the two. I found
this brisket to be some of the most flavorful
I've had. It was not over smoked and the beef
flavor shined. The meat was tender and the fat
melted in your mouth. The pork rib I found unspectacular.
It was good enough but just not a flavorful as
I would like and a bit dry. But hey, were here
for the beef right? The star of the of show caught
me by surprise, the beef rib. I have been disappointed
by beef rib in the past and many places don't
offer it. Therefore, I rarely order a beef rib.
I had heard good things about the one they serve
here so I went for it. I am so glad I did. It
was amazing! The seasoning was heavy with black
pepper, which I love. The texture was everything
you want from a piece of barbeque. The outer crust
gives way to tender meat and and sweet bits of
fat that when melting in your mouth produce an
explosion of flavor that is nothing less than
barbeque bliss. I was truly blown away!
Mueller BBQ is deserving of the praise it receives.
It is well worth the trip. I look forward to returning
to Louie Mueller BBQ. We have some other places
to visit first!