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Kent Wang

The best Texas barbecue

263 posts in this topic

I second the motion on Robb's BBQ book. How could I have neglected to mention it. All you have to do is read the reviews in the Amazon link and you will see why it is an indispensible item for your library shelf, whether you smoke it, eat it, or both.


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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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)

Oh, I think most folks 'round these parts know what a smoke ring is. I don't know anyone who really gives much of a d*mn how deep it is, though.

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Heaven's to Betsy: talk of sides and sauce?!?!

Meat. Pickles or Jalapenos. Onion slices. And, beer or soda or iced-tea.

That's it.

Don't waste belly space...

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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)

Oh, I think most folks 'round these parts know what a smoke ring is. I don't know anyone who really gives much of a d*mn how deep it is, though.

And I even pass on the sliced white bread and go straight to the meat. That onion and pickle is what I consider my salad. lol.


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.

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I like to put the sauce into my coleslaw and potato salad -- but only on my second or third trip to that restaurant. First trip is all about the meat.

Salt Lick is also the best restaurant at the AUS airport. I never mind getting to the airport early.

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I like to put the sauce into my coleslaw and potato salad -- but only on my second or third trip to that restaurant. First trip is all about the meat.

. . . . .

Amazing . . . That is exactly my tactic. I find that coleslaw and potato salad often need the help. Why is that? And . . . OMG . . . Can't anybody make anything other than sweet coleslaw?

Uh . . . I consider pickled jalapeno a vegetable. And, if there is some carrot from an escabeche, so much the better. :raz:


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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Has anyone been to Clem Mikeska's in Temple? I'm going to be in Temple the week of Christmas and wondered whether it was worth going to. Although I went to high school with Clem's son, I've never been to their restaurant. Sadly, there are not many restaurants in Temple that are very interesting. I'll be in Austin only briefly.

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Rudy Mikeska's in Taylor.

74062829_5431b378ac.jpg

For reference, Louie Mueller's, right across the street.

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The photos are fairly color-accurate. Compared to Louie Mueller's, the color is not as dark, and has less smoke flavor. I had Mikeska's brisket side-by-side with Mueller's and Mueller's is the clear winner. Mikeska's brisket was a lot more lean, but I'm willing to forgive that as cuts can vary a lot day-to-day, but Mueller's greater oak flavor proves that their technique is superior.

Southside Market in Elgin.

74062657_ee94df627b.jpg

Very impressive. Brisket still not as smoky as Mueller's but the pork ribs were excellent. I think I finally understand Elgin sausage. It is a bit bland, but when it's properly cooked the sausages are so juicy there is more than enough flavor from the fat. The casing also has just the right amount of snap.

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Great analysis, Kent. You are right, briskets do seem to vary a lot in fat content IMHO. I am starting to like the look of those Elgin sausages, especially since your description carries them off.

Great picture, too BTW. The butcher paper. The fat in the meat. The grease on the paper. CLASSIC! :biggrin:


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 finally had a chance last week to take a day off of work, travel to Austin, and compare the Austin barbeque troika.

To get a fair sample, a buddy and myself decided to go to Louie Meuller's, Smitty's and Kreutz, and order the same thing at each to share. 1lb of fatty brisket, 1lb of ribs, a 1 sausage ring.

Since we were coming down from Dallas, Louie Muellers in Taylor was the first stop. Great atmosphere. We liked the sample while waiting, reminiscent of my trip to Katz Deli this summer. It was at this time that we first deviated from our plan. Mueller's had 2 types of sausage, regular and jalapeno. In the name of science, we tried them both. The jalapeno was very good. The brisket was good, nicely dark with the right amount of fat. The ribs were decent.

Back on the road towards I-35 and Lockhart....we decided we needed dessert already so we stopped at Roundrock Donuts and got 6 glazed and 6 chocolate glazed. Very yummy indeed. Still warm ever though it was 12:30.

We then proceded to Smitty's. Now this is what a barbeque place is supposed to be. You walk in, and are greated by smoke, a fire, and meat. We got 1 lb of brisket, 1 sausage, and instead of ribs, got a pork chop. This was, by far, the best brisket ever smoked by man. Back char on the outside, a layer of fat beneath that, that is almost liquid, not the tough chewy kind one would associate with a steak. The pork chop was dissappointing. We got an end cut chop, which was a little tough and dry. The sausage tasted decent, but nothing special.

Back north on 183 to Kreutz. By this time we were as full as ticks, but we soldiered on. As a concession, we only ordered 1/2lb of fatty brisket, 1/2lb of ribs and 1 sausage. The brisket cut was actually a little too fatty. I had to peel some of it off so as not to gag. But, that meant I wasn't able to eat the char on the outside, which left off some flavor. The ribs were real good, the sausge again decent, but nothing special.

All in all, it was a fantastic day of barbeque. If I had to rank them, I'd say:

atmosphere: Louie Mueller, Smitty's, Kreutz

brisket: Smitty's, Louie Meuller, Kreutz

ribs/chop: Kreutz, Louie Meuller, Smitty's

sausage: Louie Meuller, Smitty's, Kreutz

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Excellent comparison! I will print this off for my next trip out that way.

Please tell me that you hauled a lot home with you. I take it that there was you and one buddy. If you ate all of that you should have driven straight to your friendly neighborhood cardiologist! :laugh: Thanks for taking one for the team!


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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Where are Austinites going now that John Mueller's is temporarily closed? I'm thinking Ruby's which still uses wood. Anywhere else that hasn't switched to gas yet? When I asked him at the Texas BBQ Festival, Art of Artz said he's on wood.

Places to not get BBQ in Austin that nevertheless are endlessly hyped by the less knowledgeable: County Line, Pokejo's, Green Mesquite. Not to sound elitist, but BBQ and Tex-Mex are two cuisines that everybody in Austin has an opinion about. I think partly it's because BBQ is so Texas that they think it would be unpatriotic of them to admit that they don't know much about the subject so they convince themselves that the one they know has got to be the best. Rudy's is another popular "number one" joint. One of these days I'll try it for comparison's sake.

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Where are Austinites going now that John Mueller's is temporarily closed? I'm thinking Ruby's which still uses wood. Anywhere else that hasn't switched to gas yet? When I asked him at the Texas BBQ Festival, Art of Artz said he's on wood.

Places to not get BBQ in Austin that nevertheless are endlessly hyped by the less knowledgeable: County Line, Pokejo's, Green Mesquite. Not to sound elitist, but BBQ and Tex-Mex are two cuisines that everybody in Austin has an opinion about. I think partly it's because BBQ is so Texas that they think it would be unpatriotic of them to admit that they don't know much about the subject so they convince themselves that the one they know has got to be the best. Rudy's is another popular "number one" joint. One of these days I'll try it for comparison's sake.

My guess is that you won't like Rudy's, the pit isn't exactly the most authentic and I'm almost certain they don't use wood. The sau(s)e while good, probably won't "match your standards." Personally, however, I don't see what there isn't to like about some good company, a double dr. pepper, a half pound of turkey and brisket, the sysco-brand banana puddin that they have, and a beer afterwards. When I go to Austin, I go to Rudy's. I sit outside, enjoy the weather (hopefully), enjoy the food.

And do you really have to know about a subject in order to eat it and enjoy it? I'd hate to see your mind explode if you ever go eat at a place like Alinea or WD-50.

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And do you really have to know about a subject in order to eat it and enjoy it?

Absolutely not. But eG is about learning and discussion, right? Everyone has a finite budget (not just in terms of money but also time, stomach-space and dietary goals) so why not try to maximize your bang for your buck?

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My guess is that you won't like Rudy's, the pit isn't exactly the most authentic and and I'm almost certain they don't use wood.

And do you really have to know about a subject in order to eat it and enjoy it?

Ken said Ruby's not Rudy's. Ruby's is on Guadalupe at 29th. Also, Rudy's does infact use wood, they just use a rotisserie unit instead of a pit.

And, yes, the more that you know about a subject the better that you can enjoy it. Take women for example...

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Rudy's is another popular "number one" joint. One of these days I'll try it for comparison's sake.

That's what I was referring to, Dan.

And now that I know that they use wood, maybe I'll enjoy it more.

All I'm saying is that sometimes it's probably good to just sit down and not have to think and be meticulous in discriminating your food. If it's good, it's good. Knowing more about your food probably spawns from the fact that you do enjoy it so much, however.

But I guess that's probably like arguing about whether the chicken or the egg came first.

And I guess I'd better warn my girlfriend, because I'll never really understand women.

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No one understands women, but a little knowledge helps...

BBQ is a very aquired taste. The more that you eat it, and the more that you undestand about how pit barbeque is done, the better that will enjoy it. Ask a pit boss sometime to allow you to watch what they do, from the kitchen side, make a day of it. You will learn a lot about meats in general, as well as the history of how and why Central Texas BBQ is so good...

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Where are Austinites going now that John Mueller's is temporarily closed?

Why limit yourself to Austin, Lockhart is only 30 minutes away. But be careful, a couple of meals at Smitty's and nothing in Austin will be good enough.

I never think twice about the drive (I live in Marble Falls) and many times I keep going to Luling.


M. Schmidt

Cafe909.com

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My all time, #1 favorite:

City Market in Luling - best barbeque in Texas, but must be eaten with slice of wonder bread and a Big Red longneck.

I will stop at Mr. Cooper's anytime I am in the Llano area for the pork chop.

For everyday, around town barbeque, I like the Hickory Hollow in the Heights or Gabby's.

Fifi - have you tried Foodtown for the beef ribs?


If you can't act fit to eat like folks, you can just set here and eat in the kitchen - Calpurnia

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I just tried Sam's in East Austin the other week. It's not just good late night que, it's good que period. They use wood and according to the server, run the pits all day to satisfy demand. I'm a little skeptical about the "all day" bit and wouldn't doubt the meat you get at 3am has probably been sitting around since the afternoon, but it's still fine 'Q.

The highlights for me are the ribs and mutton.

On another note, Sam's is located in a scary part of town. Not that I can't handle myself, but it is definitely scarier than any other restaurant that I've been to in Austin. Much scarier than Juan in a Million, Arandinas or Tony's Southern Comfort.

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On another note, Sam's is located in a scary part of town. Not that I can't handle myself, but it is definitely scarier than any other restaurant that I've been to in Austin. Much scarier than Juan in a Million, Arandinas or Tony's Southern Comfort.

You should have seen the area in the late 60s. Just go during the day, be polite, and after a couple of visits the regulars will get to know you. that mutton is worth it.

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Where is Sam's located? I'd like to give it a shot.

Personally, my favorite bbq in Austin is Artz Rib House. Highly underrated in my opinion. Their country style pork ribs are unparalleled.


-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Is John Mueller's still closed?


Edited by dumpling (log)

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Made a nice BBQ discovery last week when I was home in Texas for spring break. My brother had a competition in College Station, so during an intermission in the afternoon, what better way to kill time than drive around in search of some good food? Knowing the Bryan/College Station area is not exactly food heaven, I figured we might have our work cut out for us, but I insisted we hit the road and look for something beyond the terrible chain restaurants that seem to rule the area.

Driving around randomly in Bryan, a beatiful barbecue aroma enters the car, and we know that's our signal that it's time to stop. Fargo's Pit BBQ. We order a sampler with pork spare ribs, brisket and sausage. (A couple of sides were included, too, but, ahem, there is meat to talk about...). The brisket and sausage are decent, not great, but the ribs are wonderful. Not quite as good as, say, Kreuz in Lockhart, for example, but some mighty fine ribs. Best I'd eaten in quite a while actually.

So next time you're in the Bryan/College Station area, fear not, lovers of good 'cue. Sometimes all you have to do is follow your nose to the good stuff.

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