The best Texas barbecue
Posted 30 May 2006 - 04:48 AM
This time however, was borderline awful. In my experience, you have to work hard to screw up ribs as badly as they did: they were tough, rubbery, and flavorless. One of the pieces they gave us was I guess the end cap and it had no meat, and was all gristle, bone, and veins.
So, what's happening? I think it may be experiencing growing pains from franchising out so rapidly and they're unable to do quality control. This was all teenage kids running the place this time.
Posted 10 June 2006 - 06:28 PM
Posted 13 June 2006 - 08:14 AM
Posted 22 June 2006 - 01:43 PM
Dale Rice at the Statesman has an article about the barbecue joints in Lockhart and Taylor. No real analysis and criticism, just quotes from local customers. Not the most reliable source of objective information but an interesting look at how the locals feel about barbecue.
Great link! I'm going to have to make a special Saturday road trip with my wife to Lockhart, hit all four places up and write back here about it!
I've been reasonably unimpressed with the Q around here (San Antonio), though I did really enjoy BBQ Station off of 410 NE. Sides are inedible, but all of the meat was divine.
Posted 11 August 2006 - 06:46 PM
Before I give you my impressions of each restaurant's barbecue I'd like to quote a great explanation by Jaymes in another barbecue thread:
You're dealing with so many uncontrollable variables -- organic product, fire, skill of the pitmaster, carver, etc. Especially when it comes to brisket (which seems to be the most difficult of all of the traditionally barbecued meats to cook properly), it might be great one day, and dry and tough the next. Pork chops are next on the difficulty scale, I think. But ribs and sausage and the pork butts and whole pigs of those southeasterners seem to be much easier to do consistantly well.
I can only comment on the meat that I was served but you really need a much bigger dataset to scientifically declare which restauarant is the best. Take my opinions in consideration with the experiences of the many other barbecue enthusiasts on this forum and elsewhere.
That's my friend Chuck standing in front.
I've only seen this setup with the meat kept in the pits at Cooper's in Mason, but all the places we went to in Lockhart did this.
Brisket - Big cap of fat but dry insides suggests their technique may be off and let the meat lose too much moisture.
Pork ribs - This was one of the ribs towards the shorter end and was very tender, with the bone easily pulled off, which is overcooked by Central Texas barbecue standards. I can only speculate if the ribs on the longer end were better or not.
Sausage - Nice give on the casing, but not as incredibly juicy as some of the sausage in Elgin that I've had though.
Brisket - We got lucky with the cut with a great strip of fat running straight across the center.
Pork ribs - Lacks smoke flavor, otherwise average.
Sausage - The skin was too tough and the stuffing too dry. This is apparent just from this photo.
No, the flame wasn't really supernaturally purple, just a quirk of the camera.
Brisket - Dry and flaking apart, consistency similar to roast beef.
Pork ribs - Terrific, prodigious amount of black pepper in the rub, heavy smoke flavor.
Sausage - Juicy, better casing than even Smitty's.
We had planned to go to Chisholm Trail but were way too full. I'll be sure to go next time.
Best brisket: Black's, Smitty's, Kreuz.
Best pork ribs: Kreuz, Black's, Smitty's.
Best sausage: Kreuz, Smitty's, Black's.
It's hard to name a best overall of these three as the restaurant with the best brisket, the most important meat, Black's, had rather inferior ribs and sausage. Kreuz, which had the best ribs and sausage, had the worst brisket. In the end though, I have to give the tip of the hat to Black's; the brisket was the clincher.
My current favorites:
1. Cooper's (Mason)
2. Louie Mueller's (Taylor)
3. Black's (Lockhart)
Tied for 4: Southside Market (Elgin), John Mueller's (Bastrop, temporarily closed)
Tied for 5: Smitty's (Lockhart), Kreuz (Lockhart)
Posted 11 August 2006 - 06:59 PM
Posted 11 August 2006 - 07:04 PM
Posted 11 August 2006 - 09:01 PM
Haven't been. It's at the top of the to do list, for sure.
When you get to City Market, please take some photos of the inside.....especially as you enter into the pit room.
City Market was one of my favorites....I thought the sausage was unique .
the photos of the pits are great....
Posted 26 September 2006 - 11:40 PM
Posted 28 November 2006 - 02:19 AM
Stopped in at Kreuz while on the way to the Valley.
Pork chops were nice and smokey, though a little too salty around the edges. Brisket was very dry, just like last time. Sausage was good, nice snap, not as juicy and fatty as Elgin sausages though.
Went to City Market in Luling on the way back.
Sweet, well-carmelized crust on both pork ribs and brisket. Brisket was on the dry side. Pork ribs were some of the best I've had. Unfortunately, they were out of sausage.
My updated rankings (number in brackets indicates number of visits):
1. Cooper's (Mason) 
2. Louie Mueller's (Taylor) 
3. Black's (Lockhart) 
4. John Mueller's (Austin, temporarily closed) 
5. City Market (Luling) 
6. Smitty's (Lockhart) 
7. Southside Market (Elgin) 
8. Kreuz Market (Lockhart) 
9. Crosstown BBQ (Elgin) 
10. Sam's BBQ (Austin) 
I believe this is the last major Central Texas barbecue joint that I'm crossing off my list. The question now is where to next? Maybe Cooper's in Llano, House Park in Austin (right under my nose) and of course lots of return trips to "gather more datapoints".
Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:09 AM
1. Williams BBQ on Wheatley in Acres Homes area. Great ribs, good brisket and very good sides.
2. Thelmas on Live Oak for HUGE portions with very good briskett and smokin good fried catfish.
3. Goode Co. on Kirby for overall good que from brisket to sausage, turkey, and ribs, they do it all good. Also probably has the sides hall of fame and great pecan pies as well.
4. Burns on De Priest for good solid que.
5. There are a couple area bbq trailers like the one in Dickinson, the one in cleveland and the one in Washington on the Brazos near College Station.
Posted 02 January 2007 - 02:04 PM
I have always said previously that for fatty and lean you must stand in line at Kreuz's, but for chops, rings and the best prime rib it is better to go back to the fire at Smitty's.
NOW, after having a holiday brisket from Luling City Market, I have to reconsider my opinion and say for the record that you should only have lean or fatty from those good folks there. I tip my winter felt to anyone that can make me and mine step away from the Lockhart BBQ and know the real winner. Can meat be so, ambrosia-ish, or am I too far gone in the carnivore way? tsk! C'est la guerre.. ...
Posted 07 January 2007 - 04:04 PM
The meat wasn't very good though. Both the brisket and ribs were too chewy, probably cooked at too high heat, doesn't fall apart the way slow-smoked meat does.
Posted 07 January 2007 - 06:09 PM
Posted 22 July 2007 - 05:26 PM
I got some in a store 7 or 8 mo ago..They looked just like pork"spare ribs"
I did them just like pork ribs. Pull the silver skin, dry rub, and smoke at 250 for 4 hrs or so and then the foil wrap for a couple hrs more...
They were spectacular.....I have never found beef ribs like this since....
Any idea what they were??????I Got some that were from the prime rib, that were not it, and beef back ribs were not it ...
so I would be open for suggestions...
Posted 22 July 2007 - 07:00 PM
Posted 25 July 2007 - 02:37 PM
Going or coming from Houston Hinze's Barbeque & Catering 2101 Highway 36 S Sealy, TX 77474, right off I 10 is the place for pork ribs. They are usually out of this world.
They are going to build one on 290 also-I saw the sign a couple days ago. Seems like it was between Brenham and Giddings, which, btw, is home to one of my faves, the Giddings Meat Market, on 290 @ Hwy 77.
Also, I stopped in Mikeska's on I-10 in Columbus a few weeks ago, expecting the usual dried brisket, and was pleasantly surprised to have some of the best brisket I have had in a long time. Maybe it was an anomaly, but it was excellent. Perfect smoke ring(1/4"), and even the ends were moist and tender. I couldn't believe it. I will try it again soon just to make sure.
Posted 25 July 2007 - 08:51 PM
However, the very best BBQ I have ever put in my mouth was the Briskit from Kreuz Market. I still dream of it.
Posted 06 August 2007 - 12:56 PM
"The best BBQ in a long time was had in Elgin, Texas at Southside Market & BBQ on 290, which is part of Meyer’s BBQ; famous for their sausage…. The brisket and sausage was as good as I’ve had anywhere! The brisket was flavorful, tender and juicy. I liked their sauce, too; slightly hot and slightly vinegary. Everything was well smoked and flavorful. I have eaten Q all over the Hill Country and twice at Cooper’s in Llano. I think this brisket measured up to all of them!"
Every dog can have their day, and I have only eaten here about three times over ten years, but to me, it was their day on July 31. I and my brothers all cook Q and do a decent job of it. We have all eaten at prime "Q" joints in Austin, the Hill Country, and not to mention Ft. Worth and Dallas. We had a family get-together in Elgin (where I was born) and agreed that it was "some fine brisket"! All the meats had fantastic smoky flavors. We had the beef ribs, pork ribs, brisket and sausage and shared meat all around. The sausage had a little heat and was excellent.
The pork rib was quite large; as big as the beef rib. Pork is far and away my favorite and it was good. The beef rib had a thick and heavily smoked crust; way towards burned. A little too much smoking for my taste, but it was pretty tender inside and very flavorful. I think it should have been trimmed some.
I think that a one-time experience may not be indicative of the quality and flavor that a place may have to offer. Dry brisket is easy to do! So to all that rush to judgement I would say: try a place two or three times before either condemning it or deifying it.
If you`re not big enough to lose, you`re not big enough to win! Try this jalapeno, son. It ain't hot...
Posted 22 August 2007 - 03:40 PM
I am also hoping to go somewhere like Nubian Queen Lola's Cajun or Hoover's for southern food, perhaps for lunch.
I only have one day in Austin and my friend is not that into food, so I would feel bad if I dragged her around to places that are too far out of the way, especially since she's driving.
Posted 22 August 2007 - 04:37 PM
But if you just want to stay in Austin, Sam's BBQ is the place to go, and it's open very late. I'd say the Sam's is in my top ten, while Mueller's and Lockhart are in my top five.
Definitely do Lola's before Hoover's.
Posted 23 August 2007 - 04:01 PM
Posted 24 August 2007 - 08:53 AM
Posted 24 August 2007 - 12:58 PM
Posted 24 August 2007 - 08:01 PM
Schoepf's BBQ is in Belton, TX which is between Hewitt and Austin. Easy on, easy off of I-35.
Yes. I stopped there last Sunday and had pork ribs and sausage. They were out of brisket. The pork ribs were worth the trip. While I enjoyed the jalapeno sausage, they cook it but don't make it themselves, and I did not ask who did. The potato salad was okay, but a little bland in texture and flavor for my taste. I liked the coleslaw a bit better. Great jalapeno cornbread, too.
Posted 27 August 2007 - 05:30 PM
I believe Lola's the Nubian Queen is just down the street from Sam's!
WHAT?! Excellent news. I can hit two places for dinner! Or maybe Lola's for dinner, and Sam's at 2am after the clubs.
I might have time to get bbq at Schoepf's too!
My friend in Austin asked her husband where his favourite bbq was and he said Stubb's. Any thoughts on this place?
Posted 27 August 2007 - 09:22 PM
Stubb's is a famous music venue that also serves barbecue. Go for the music, not the food. When it comes to barbecue and tex-mex in Texas, everyone's got an opinion.
What's great about both Sam's and Lola's is the interesting character of the staff. Of course, the food can certainly stand on its own but both of these places are also terrific experiences.