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 is undoubtably one of the true giants of Texas BBQ. We said hello, made some small talk and ordered some cold beverages and settled in to sample some brisket, sausage and chicken.

After dinner, Vencil came over to our side of the bar and started talking barbecue technique with Marshall Cooper, David Woo and me. It was a lesson I would have paid big time to sit in on. He pointed out a flaw in our brisket cooking technique, wrapping the brisket with foil during the resting period. Vencil uses butcher paper and proceeded to tell us why it’s better. We can’t wait to try it as soon as we get back to Dallas.

Stay tuned for more updates from day two on the barbecue trail, our next stop is Snow’s BBQ in Lexington at 7:45am tomorrow morning. Brisket for breakfast at one of the greatest BBQ joints in the world!

(Photos by Chris Wilkins (top) & David Woo)

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