Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Louie Mueller Barbecue - Taylor, Texas

After having visited one of the newer houses of smoke in Texas, Franklin Barbecue, we decided to make a pilgrimage (and that's what it is for any barbecue enthusiast) to one of the original temples of Texas style smoked meat, Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, TX.

There is no doubt that Franklin Barbecue in Austin is the current darling of the barbecue world. With good reason, if you ask me. I mention this only to make the point that while there are newer places doing great barbecue, the old school places that blazed the trail for them are still going strong.

Louie Mueller Barbecue has been in its current location in Taylor, Texas since 1959. As I took a look around it was easy to see the history of smoke in this place. The building itself seems nearly as smoked as the brisket.

Each dot represents where a customer came from to eat BBQ at Louie Mueller
We got there early and managed to avoid a line. I think we got lucky...

Once the doors opened we headed in. The problem, and it's always a problem, is that we can only eat so much BBQ. It was difficult, but we managed to narrow down our choices and still have room for dessert.

The menu
Sides, sauce and a sample

The brisket
The turkey

The Sausage and Pork Loin

The Banana Pudding
So what's the verdict? Is Louie Mueller Barbecue worth a journey to Central Texas? The short answer is yes. The long answer is hell yes! Every bite of smoked meat we had at Louie Mueller was pilgrimage worthy. It now holds the number two spot on my list of best barbecue.

Truth be told a thousand words could and have been written about the relationship between Aaron Franklin and the Mueller family (Aaron started out with John Mueller's old pit) about the fact that the Mueller siblings now run some of the best BBQ spots around (La Barbecue and John Mueller Meat Company) with a brother now in charge of the original family business, Louie Mueller Barbecue as well. Suffice to say that barbecue at the top of the of the game is a small community with a colorful and connected past. (A link to an article that covers some of that at the end of this post)

This history and passion is one of the many reasons you should be planning a trip to Texas to try it for yourself. Head to Austin for some great live music and awesome barbecue, then drive out into the country to experience where it all started. Hit the places along the Texas BBQ Trail and you'll see for yourself what drives the devotion to Texas style barbecue and get to enjoy some of the best smoked meats in the country.

Happy dining!

Note: An interesting article about the history of Texas barbecue from Texas Monthly magazine. Worth the read.  Also, if you love good food and a road trip I suggest you check out the Texas BBQ Trail.

We based our trip in Round Rock, Texas. This gave me the chance to try Round Rock donuts and another well known BBQ joint in the area. We also made a detour to Bellville, TX to try the Silver Saddle Smokehouse. Look for those reviews soon.

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