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Kent Wang

The best Texas barbecue

263 posts in this topic

. . . . .

Beef ribs are one of my favorites. They're so huge, like brontosaurus ribs!

Beef ribs are so hard to find. Those look wonderful. When I was a little girl back in the early 50s, my grandfather used to go to Otto's in Houston on Saturday and bring BBQ home for lunch. He always brought me at least one beef rib. He told me they were brontosaur ribs. (I was into dinosaurs. Now they don't even call it a brontosaur anymore. :sad: ) I have looked for good beef ribs to put in my smoker and I can't seem to find any with meat on them like in that picture. I wonder where they find those.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Kent, what do you think about theTexas BBQ page list?

Those results are pretty much in line with everyone's opinions in this thread. I've decided that it is nearly impossible to crown a number one as so much can vary from one cut of brisket to another. Does a restaurant deserve the crown because the cut they served to the judge that day happened to be the most moist? It's reasonable to form a top five, but any less than that and you're just counting on the luck of the draw.

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My favorite is a place in Austin called Ruby's. While they dont smoke in sauce a la Salt Lick (I dont know what the fuss is about b/c Salt Lick has been terrible the few times ive been) they have some of the best que sauce ive ever had. The brisket is perfect (hormone free, all natural too) and you can walk right into the smokehouse and check out what is going on with the owner. I always buy a couple of full briskets (uncut) to bring home to NYC and they could not be nicer about some of my more ridiculous requests (like requiring the homemade, not bottled sauce for my briskets). Im really surprised no one else has mentioned this place. I was taken by my wifes family the first time i visited and while i always try to go to other que places when im in town i always find myself at Ruby's a couple time a trip (and Magnolia for migas but that is a whole different thread).

Link to Rudys: http://rubysbbq.com/

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I have been to Ruby's and to be honest, everything they do ends up way too dry. Next time you're in Austin, please check out John Mueller's. I introduced one friend of mine that was an ardent Ruby's fan to Mueller's and he was blown away.

Ruby's does make a decent crawfish etouffee, but still not as good -- or as cheap -- as Quality Seafood.


Edited by Kent Wang (log)

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I have been to Ruby's and to be honest, everything they do ends up way too dry. Next time you're in Austin, please check out John Mueller's. I introduced one friend of mine that was an ardent Ruby's fan to Mueller's and he was blown away.

Ruby's does make a decent crawfish etouffee, but still not as good -- or as cheap -- as Quality Seafood.

Kent,

Thanks. Ive never found that about Rubys but i promise that while im down for thanksgiving (so much better in TX then NY) I will go to Joh Muellers (my father in law told me last night that we have gone and i didnt like it but i think he was remember our trip to Arts Rib Shack) and then right to Rubys and compare the two in a post.

Glad someone has at least heard of the place.

RM

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Kent, I've had two people tell me recently that John Mueller's has closed. :shock:

The second person said that there's a sign saying that it will soon be opening as "JB's BBQ" (or something like that). The phone number is disconnected, so I called Information (hoping he had just moved). I got a woman who told me, "No, we're not John Mueller's, but we've been getting lots of calls recently."

I asked his father, Bobby Mueller, what had happened. Bobby said that as far as he knew, John was still open, but "I can't keep track of the boy." (I get the distinct impression they have NOT patched things up.)

I have not heard one word about this, however, on any media. I'm confused. :blink:

Do you know the scoop on this?

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NOOO!!! I will stop by tomorrow to investigate.

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As per Restaurant openings, closings and changes, I checked out John Mueller's today and it's definitely still open.

Well, that's real good news. Thanks, Kent.

However, these sources of mine are usually really reliable, so now I'm more confused than ever! :sad:

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I just want to clear up any potental confusion in a Bar B Que thread. I'm NOT that Bill Miller. I cook my own brisket and ribs at home--I'm pretty good too.


Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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I just want to clear up any potental confusion in a Bar B Que thread.  I'm NOT that Bill Miller.  I cook my own brisket and ribs at home--I'm pretty good too.

That's good; especially since the Bill Miller, founder of the chain of the same name, died years-ago. :smile:

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I just want to clear up any potental confusion in a Bar B Que thread.  I'm NOT that Bill Miller.  I cook my own brisket and ribs at home--I'm pretty good too.

That's good; especially since the Bill Miller, founder of the chain of the same name, died years-ago. :smile:

Whew!!! I'm usually not that lucky!


Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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Official Central Texas BBQ rankings (where I have eaten, of course):

Luling City Market - Luling 4 1/2

Louie Mueller's - Taylor 4 1/2

Rudy Mikeska's - Taylor 4 1/2

Kreuz Market - Lockhart 4 1/2

John Mueller's - Austin (Eastside) 4 1/2

Black's Barbecue - Lockhart 4 1/2

Smitty's - Lockhart 4 1/2

Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ - Llano 4 1/2

Crosstown BBQ - Elgin 4

House Park Bar-B-Q - Austin (Downtown) 4

Chisholm Trail BBQ - Lockhart 4

Meyer's Elgin Smokehouse - Elgin 4

Southside Market - Elgin 3/12

Ruby's - Austin (North Campus) 3 1/2

Sam's - Austin (Eastside) 3 1/2

Artz Rib House - Austin (Southside) 3 1/2

Gonzales Food Market - Gonzales 3 1/2

Cartwright's BBQ - Cedar Park 3 1/2

The Pit - Austin (Northwest) 3 1/2

Bert's - Austin (West Campus) 3 1/2

Railroad Bar-B-Q - Manchaca 3 1/2

Zimmerhanzel's Bar-B-Que - Smithville 3 1/2

Lewiss BBQ - Austin (Eastside) 3 1/2

Ben's Longbranch BBQ - Austin (Eastside) 3 1/2

Inmans Ranch House Bar-B-Q - Marble Falls 3 1/2

Fuschak's - San Marcos 3 1/2

Willie's BBQ - Austin (Eastside) 3 1/2

City Meat Market - Giddings 3 1/2

Branch Bar-B-Que - Austin (Northside) 3

Laird's BBQ & Catering - Llano 3

Sokkey's - Smithville 3

Chisholm Trail - Spicewood 3

Mann's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que - Austin (Northside) 3

Green Mesquite - Austin (Restaurant Row) 3

Crim's Central Texas Barbeque - Elgin 3

Southwest Market Barbecue - San Marcos 3

Oak Creek - Georgetown 3

Texas Rib Kings - Austin (Northside) 3

Iron Works - Austin (Downtown) 3

Buster's - Austin (Westside) 3

Salt Lick - Driftwood 3

County Line - Austin (Northwest) 3

Jim Bob's - Oak Hill 3

Dusty's - Manor 3

Donn's - Austin (Eastside) 3

Davila's Bar-B-Q - Seguin 3

Ray's BBQ - Austin (Eastside) 3

Benford's BBQ Stand - Hutto 3

Richard Jones - Austin (Southside) 3

Bbq World Headquarters - Austin (Northside) 3

Riley's Bar-B-Q - Blanco 3

Coupland's - Coupland 3

Rj Pitts Texas Road House - Austin (Southwest) 3

Jim Bob's Barbecue - Bee Cave 3

Dan's - Austin (Southside) 3

Frazier's BBQ and Grill - Hutto 3

Hamilton's Pit BBQ - Round Rock 3

Pok E Jos - Austin (Downtown) 3

Skull Creek BBQ - Wimberley 2 1/2

Ted & Garry's Bar-B-Q - Austin (Southside) 2 1/2

Dickey's Barbeque Pit - Round Rock 2 1/2

Vic's - Austin (Southside) 2 1/2

Texas Rib Kings Austin - (Northside) 2 1/2

Opie's Barbecue - Marble Falls 2 1/2

Stubbs' - Austin (Downtown) 2

Bill Miller - Austin (Northside) 2

Round Rock BBQ - Round Rock 2

Rudy's - Austin (Northwest) 2


Edited by BigboyDan (log)

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Wow, extremely impressive list Dan!

I've been to only a few of those, but gotta agree that City Mkt in Luling is my favorite also.

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Dale Rice recently reviewed Cooper's.

To be honest, I think this review is not very helpful at all. No shots of the meat cut open, no quantification of the depth of the smoke rings, no description of the rub used. The only thing useful about this review is that it summarized the menu. I could've learned the same thing by just giving Cooper's a call. BBQ is fairly standardized, there are only so many cuts of meat and only one way to cook it, as opposed to the variations in the menu of any two, say, Italian restaurants. The standard restaurant review just does not cut it for BBQ.

Anyway, whether the review was useful or not, I still have Cooper's on my to do list as so many of you regard it highly.

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I have been to Ruby's and to be honest, everything they do ends up way too dry. Next time you're in Austin, please check out John Mueller's. I introduced one friend of mine that was an ardent Ruby's fan to Mueller's and he was blown away.

Ruby's does make a decent crawfish etouffee, but still not as good -- or as cheap -- as Quality Seafood.

As I promised, I passed up a trip to Ruby's yesterday to go try John Muellers. I cant say I didnt like the brisket because I really did. It was juicy and smokey and and tasty and looked like Kent's pictures. I can admit that it is as good if not better than Ruby's in a vaccum.

I will say, however, I was less impressed with everything else they had to offer. The service was horrible (it was the day before thanksgiving so ill give them a pass), the sides inedible and the sauce (which I do care about whether or not that makes me less of a real que head) tasted like ketchup to me (even the hot had no bite in my opinion). No pickes and onions that were super super strong (to the point you could hardly eat them.

Environment and frendliness and ease of ordering and service do make a difference in my book. i like the people at Rubys. I like sitting outside. I like being able to walk in the smokehouse and check out the briskets. I love the sauce and the brisket without doubt stands up to JM's. Next time (or perhaps tomorrow) ill be back where i belong.

RM

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I am in your camp, rocketman. Sides and service matter. Goode & Company here in Houston does a good job. The BBQ is decent, sometimes very good, particularly at the original Kirby location but the one on I-10 isn't bad. They really do excell at sides and service. Otto's is the old stand-by here, my grandfather used to pick up BBQ there for a Saturday lunch when I was a little kid. Yes, there are better places in Houston but these are convenient to where I usually am when I am in town.

Last May, on a roadtrip to pick lavender in the hill coutry, we stopped at Luling City Market. I was disappointed. The brisket wasn't tender at all and it needed salt. :blink:


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Dale Rice recently reviewed Cooper's.

To be honest, I think this review is not very helpful at all. No shots of the meat cut open, no quantification of the depth of the smoke rings, no description of the rub used. The only thing useful about this review is that it summarized the menu. I could've learned the same thing by just giving Cooper's a call. BBQ is fairly standardized, there are only so many cuts of meat and only one way to cook it, as opposed to the variations in the menu of any two, say, Italian restaurants. The standard restaurant review just does not cut it for BBQ.

Anyway, whether the review was useful or not, I still have Cooper's on my to do list as so many of you regard it highly.

I'm thinking you're just expecting too much of a review. After all, reviews are largely for the public that know next to nothing about food... only that it goes in your mouth. Most people don't know and probably don't care anything about a rub, have no idea what a smoke ring is, and will go to a place because the picture in the paper looks good (hence they would rather have a pretty picture than an informative one)

Most of what the major food sections in the US give are a description of the place and atmosphere, a gauge of if the service is decent, a slight overview of the menu, and recommendations of what's good and what's not so good. Some do it in more flowery talk than other (Frank Bruni) some are quite straight forward (Bill Daley), but really, that is the standard of much of what's published. Actually, the person I think that goes most in depth with his reviews is Robb Walsh in Houston (which why I like reading his reviews) If you want something more in depth, I probably wouldn't be browsing food sections of major papers. There's plenty of bbq magazines, food-related magazines, and food websites such as this one and chowhound for you having to be frustrated at what the statesman publishes. If it doesn't help, then don't read it. Just know that it probably brings a lot of the general public to try out new places, promote the good restaurants in Austin and attract new customers to a lot of previously unknown places. If it does that, then it does its job.

Back to the BBQ, I like eating Rudy's in Austin just because the Turkey's good and I have a thing for their most-likey-sysco-from-a-powdered-form banana pudding with not-so-fresh out of the box vanilla cookies.

Whoever said that food professionals only like the good stuff must be out of their mind.

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I have to agree that Robb Walsh does an excellent job with in depth reviews. The good news is that he gets out of Houston from time to time and The Houston Press keeps articles available for a long time, unlike those annoying rags that insist on putting stuff in the archives to try to get you to pay for it. The search engine is pretty good as well so you can check to see if Robb has written up any places you might want to know about.

He has also hosted BBQ tours out of that big festival held in Austin each year. I don't know much about that but a search here may yield a report.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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1) Williams Smokehouse in Houston (especially for ribs)

2) The Swinging Door in Richmond (surprisingly good)

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Went to County Line today. A friend of mine's car broke down there, so it was a matter of convenience. Had the pork ribs, brisket and sausage platter. All the meat was smothered in a rather ketchup-y sauce. I don't want sauce on my BBQ, but if I had to have it I much pretty John Mueller's or Salt Lick's sauce. Pork ribs were nice and tender. Brisket was tender, but was low on fat and smoke flavor. I'm pretty sure they use gas. Sausage was decent.

Conclusion: If I wanted sauce, I'd rather eat at Salt Lick.

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Salt Lick's sauce must be an aquired taste . . . I find it too sweet and gravy-like. I like everything else about it though. Goode Co. used to have really outstanding sauce, I thought. Spicy, vinegary, peppery . . . perfect complement to their meat. Last time I went though, it was part of the big disappointment of that visit. Really seemed toned down and much more the "ketchup" style.

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. . .  Goode Co. used to have really outstanding sauce, I thought.  Spicy, vinegary, peppery . . . perfect complement to their meat.  Last time I went though, it was part of the big disappointment of that visit.  Really seemed toned down and much more the "ketchup" style.

DRAT! Though I don't use sauce much at all, I did like Goode's because it reminded me of the sauce Otto's used to make when I was a kid. I haven't been in a while and if they changed it I am gonna get a rope!


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I have to agree that Robb Walsh does an excellent job with in depth reviews. The good news is that he gets out of Houston from time to time and The Houston Press keeps articles available for a long time, unlike those annoying rags that insist on putting stuff in the archives to try to get you to pay for it. The search engine is pretty good as well so you can check to see if Robb has written up any places you might want to know about.

Don't forget that Robb Walsh wrote an entire book on Texas BBQ. :biggrin:

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