Central Texas BBQ Joints

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city_lede

City Meat Market in Giddings – Is this one of the best joints in Texas?

I can’t think of a better way to start the New Year than to share some great photos of City Meat Market in Giddings shot by Posse member Guy Reynolds. Guy is a Dallas-based photojournalist and fellow photo editor at The Dallas Morning News. Guy is a regular on our Texas BBQ tours, but was unable to join in on the recent Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour, an eight-stop trip that ended at the City Meat Market. However, he was driving through Giddings a week later and asked about the City Meat Market. I told him it very well…
 - 01/01/2011
prausecounter

Prause Meat Market in La Grange – Four generations of BBQ greatness

Our sixth stop on the Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour took us back in time to Prause Meat Market, a fourth generation meat market in the small town of La Grange. We had begun day two of the tour with breakfast at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, which set the bar for BBQ excellence for the day. La Grange is 39 miles south of Lexington on US Hwy. 77, a route that passes directly by City Meat Market in Giddings, one the the best BBQ joints in Texas. Gary Prause met us at the counter and basically gave us the…
 - 12/20/2010
snows1

Why we chose Snow’s BBQ as the best joint in Texas

It was a tough call to name the best barbecue joint in Texas for our 2010 Best in Texas BBQ picks. After tallying the votes from Texas BBQ Posse members, we had three very strong contenders for the title. First came Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. This is truly a world-class BBQ joint, with smoke staining the walls and windows. The tradition is there, the food is great and the ambiance is extraordinary. Their beef ribs and beef sausage are among the best we’ve ever had. The second contender was Snow’s BBQ, situated in an old country feed store next…
 - 12/17/2010
train

It’s hard to beat BBQ and trains

A surprise from our recent anniversary tour of Central Texas barbecue joints was the discovery of all the train-watching opportunities near the places we visited. In Smithville, a few blocks from Zimmerhanzel’s Bar-B-Que, there’s a nice city park, with a big gazebo, located trackside. In Giddings, a short walk from the City Meat Market, you can watch coal trains (empty and full) pass through and visit a train museum. One of the exhibits lets you toot a train horn. Bet you can’t do it just once!! In Taylor, right outside the doors of the Taylor Cafe, there’s a switching yard…
 - 12/09/2010
frankscombo

Franklin Barbecue plans to move

UPDATE: According to our friends at Man Up Texas BBQ, Franklin Barbecue will be moving to 900 E. 11th St., the former location of Ben’s Long Branch Barbecue, hoping to open some time in early January. On our recent Central Texas anniversary tour, Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue in Austin told us that he was looking to move soon to a permanent building. For about a year, he has been operating out of trailers at the back of an old gas station on the east side of I-35 at 34th street, producing what many of us in the Posse think…
 - 12/08/2010
vencil1a

Taylor Cafe – Your chance to attend the Vencil Mares University of BBQ

The final stop of day one of our Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour was the Taylor Cafe, a rare Texas BBQ joint open until 10pm, perfect for our overnight stop in Taylor between days one and two of the tour. I have written several times on the posse blog about Vencil Mares, owner of the legendary BBQ joint that he has operated since 1949. My respect for Vencil and what he means to the legacy of Texas BBQ is deep. You run a BBQ joint 7 days a week, from 6am to 10pm, for 61 years and then we’ll…
 - 12/07/2010
elgSIGN

Southside Market in Elgin – It’s on the way from Austin to Taylor….

As I was making the itinerary for our recent Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour, I reluctantly added Southside Market in Elgin. It was on the way from stops one and two in Austin and our fourth stop at the Taylor Cafe in Taylor, where the posse was overnighting. The problem was that reviews of Southside Market are all over the place, never a good sign if you’re looking for the best joints in Texas. This was either going to be the best sausage the posse had ever tasted or a waste of time. As we pulled in the parking…
 - 12/04/2010
franklede

Franklin Barbecue – Is this the best brisket in Texas?

One giant question loomed over our Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour. Could Franklin Barbecue, aka: the little trailer that could in Austin, beat out Snow’s BBQ in Lexington for the title of “Best Brisket in Texas?” We had 12 posse members meet up for lunch at Franklins. The joint opens at 11am but they were sold out by 12:30pm, not an unusual occurrence. We had called ahead anonymously a few days earlier to pre-order a brisket, a couple of racks of ribs and some sausage. The posse arrived at 1pm and dug in, sitting at the picnic tables next…
 - 11/21/2010
centex2tour_poster

Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour: The final numbers

Since the day we retuned from our first Central Texas BBQ Tour one year ago, the posse started making plans for our next trip to the epicenter of the world’s best barbecue. Since then, we’ve been exploring BBQ trails in every direction from DFW. The Texas BBQ Posse has taken tours to East Texas joints in Tyler and Kilgore, the Best of Fort Worth tour, the North Texas-Texoma tour and our Beyond the Brazos tour to Glen Rose, Stephenville and Granbury. Our Central Texas 5-Star BBQ Tour last weekend totaled 555 miles roundtrip. We visited and dined at eight BBQ…
 - 11/09/2010
city1

8 joints in 26 hours – The Central Texas BBQ Tour II comes to an end

The Texas BBQ Posse headed to the finish line at City Meat Market in Giddings, the last stop on our Central Texas 5-Star BBQ Tour II. We walked in around 3pm and ordered sausage and pork, the two meats remaining on the smoker. Both were tremendous and well worth the wait, a perfect end to a great tour celebrating our first anniversary traveling the BBQ trails of Texas. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be writing detailed blog posts on each stop and the tour as a whole, followed by Gary Jacobson’s story in The Dallas Morning News and…
 - 11/06/2010
zimsinside

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day two: Three joints down & heading to the finish line at City Meat Market in Giddings

The line was long, almost heading out the door when we got to Zimmerhanzel’s Bar-B-Que in Smithville around noon. The posse headed around back of the orange metal building to see three huge smokers dwarfed by one of the biggest live oak trees we’d ever seen. Back inside we joined the line and asked the locals what was best on the menu. SInce we had already eaten twice that morning, we were looking to order very strategically. Chicken and ribs seemed to be the favorites, but ribs sold out right before we made it to the counter. The chicken was…
 - 11/06/2010
garyp

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day two: A walk back into BBQ history at Prause Market in La Grange

Stop number two took us back in history to Prause Meat Market, a fourth generation meat market and BBQ joint. Gary Prause runs the business with other family members. He took the time to show us family photos and explain the history of the meat market, which started in another location on the old town square in La Grange in 1904. Stay tuned for more updates from day two on the barbecue trail, our next stop is Zimmerhanzel’s Bar-B-Que in Smithville. (Photos by Chris Wilkins)
 - 11/06/2010
snows1a

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day two: Breakfast at Snow’s

We left Taylor around 7:20am and headed east to the little town of Lexington, starting day two of our Central Texas 5-Star BBQ Tour II. The sun had just risen when we pulled in and parked next to the grain elevator across the street from Snow’s BBQ, one of the best BBQ joints in the universe. The line wasn’t too long yet and 10 minutes later we were having the breakfast of champions – a Snow’s sliced brisket sandwich. Having just had Franklins BBQ’s brisket the day before on our first stop, a vigorous debate broke out. These are the…
 - 11/06/2010
taylor3a

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day one: Nightcap at the Taylor Cafe

We capped off an amazing day on the BBQ trail with a visit to the historic Taylor Cafe. As usual, there was owner Vencil Mares sitting at the bar, the same place he’s been 7 days a week, from 6am to 10pm, since he bought the joint in 1948. We made a third stop of the day earlier at Southside Market in Elgin, mainly to sample the sausage. Then onward up Hwy. 95 to downtown Taylor, to the little BBQ joint located under the Hwy. 95 bridge beside the railroad tracks. Members of the posse immediately gravitated toward Vencil, who…
 - 11/06/2010
meatfr

Central Texas BBQ Tour II day one: Two down, six to go

The Texas BBQ Posse loaded up and headed south to Austin this morning for our Central Texas 5-Star BBQ Tour II. This is the first anniversary of our inaugural tour to central Texas last November. We were 13 strong when we pulled into Franklin BBQ at 1pm. As usual, they were sold out by shortly after noon, but we called earlier in the week and owner and pitmaster Aaron Franklin held back one brisket, some sausage and a rack of ribs for us to sample. The photo above shows the amazing spread of meat we devoured. On to Lambert’s BBQ…
 - 11/05/2010
NGL_01bbqLEX2

It’s our anniversary this weekend: Heading back to central Texas for the world’s best BBQ

One year ago this week the Texas BBQ Posse made their first trip to central Texas, where we discovered the way, the truth and the life of barbecue. Nothing has been the same for any of us since then. We’ve been on BBQ journeys north, east, south and west of DFW in the year since then. We’ve tasted the good and the bad and the ugly, but the bar for great barbecue is set in central Texas, perhaps the greatest cue in the world. Here’s our plan of attack: CENTRAL TEXAS 5-STAR BBQ TOUR II Nov. 5-6, 2010 FRIDAY NOV.…
 - 11/02/2010
taylor_ext

Sunday morning at the Taylor Cafe

One of the highlights of our weekend trip to Taylor was meeting Vencil Mares on Sunday morning at the Taylor Cafe, which he has owned and operated since 1949. After two straight days of nothing but BBQ, we had skipped a planned stop there on Saturday night when the wives refused to go, forcing Gary and I to eat healthy salads instead. I wasn’t sure they were open on Sundays, but when we cruised by that morning and saw Vencil sitting at the bar through the screen window, it was game on. I introduced myself and he explained this was…
 - 08/24/2010
tay2

Fear & Loathing at the Taylor International Barbeque Cookoff

We had an absolutely amazing weekend starting Friday night in Taylor, Texas. The primary purpose of the trip was to attend the Taylor International Barbeque Cookoff on Saturday, but the weekend began on Friday night with a dinner visit at Louie Mueler Barbecue followed by wine, cigars and great music on the back deck at the Talbot Street Bed & Breakfast in Taylor. Saturday morning brought the Texas BBQ bloggers round table at Louie Mueller, arranged by our friend Daniel Vaughn. Then on to the Taylor cookoff for some BBQ 101. Fellow posse member Gary Jacobson and I need all…
 - 08/23/2010
door

Kreuz Market – The Real Deal…..

We arrived at Kreuz Market with some preconceptions, none of which were good. We heard along the BBQ trail that Kreuz was “overrated,” they were the Wal-Mart of BBQ due to their huge restaurant that resembled a honky tonk not unlike Billy Bob’s in Ft. Worth. As we walked through the swinging screen door with a cow and a pig on them, I gathered the Texas BBQ Posse team and pleaded with them to keep an open mind. “Let the meat speak for itself, it doesn’t matter what we heard earlier today.” We walked back to the smokers and it…
 - 04/08/2010
smittys

Historic Smitty’s Market

We arrived in downtown Lockhart and stumbled out of the car for an afternoon snack, meat drunk but ready for more BBQ. This was our third stop on the Central Texas BBQ Tour. We entered the screen door with a sign proclaiming “BARBEQUE” over it and walked down the long corridor into something out of the1890’s. Smitty’s Market was established in 1999 by Nina Schmidt Sells in the building that housed her father’s Kreuz Market for more than 50 years. The market sits in the same location where barbecue has been sold in Lockhart since the turn of the last…
 - 03/25/2010
LOUIES

Road trip to Louie Mueller Barbecue

Shortly after 11am, we pulled into the Louie Mueller Barbecue parking lot in Taylor, a storefront in an old downtown that had seen better days. The smoke clung to the walls and windows like paint. It was immediately apparent this place was like a Hollywood set for the classic Texas BBQ joint. The line was almost to the door already, giving us time to soak in our surroundings. Unlike Snow’s, where the pits were outside under a steel awning, these folks were smoking meat inside the restaurant. The smells and the memories they evoked were unforgettable. Twenty minutes later we…
 - 03/18/2010
snowscmbo

Breakfast at Snow’s

We had a full tank of gas, two big coolers, a set of horseshoes and an big appetite for central Texas BBQ. Our bags were packed with the consummate BBQ tour attire: sandals, extremely comfortable shorts & our favorite Hawaiian shirt. Why two coolers? One for the ice-cold beer, a necessity on any BBQ Tour, and one with the capacity to bring home 20 pounds of smokin meat. We overnighted in Rockdale, north of Lexington, and arrived at a foggy Snow’s BBQ in Lexington before 8am, beating the crowd by 15 minutes. They’re only open on Saturdays and the meat…
 - 03/12/2010
snows0ne

The Barbecue Chronicles: Our first journey to Central Texas

In thick fog on a Saturday morning, we missed the turn for Lexington. We quickly doubled back and arrived at Snow’s BBQ a little after 8 a.m., relieved to see only a short line. A half-hour earlier, when we left our motel, none of us felt hungry. But the smell of wood smoke changed our minds. We ordered thick slices of tender brisket on white bread. “That’s the best breakfast I’ve ever eaten,” said Chris Wilkins. “I could have gone home at that point and the trip would have been worth it,” said Gary Barber. Our lightning tour of the…
 - 03/07/2010

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