Where There’s Smoke

Louie Mueller’s Barbeque

There’s something vintage cadillac about Louie Mueller’s . As ’cue joints go, its chassis is a classic—a weathered old brick building on a small-town main street with a black screen door that slams behind you when you enter. The interior? Pure comfort. High green walls faded brown from years of smoke, a faint cloud of it hovering forever over the guys in gimme caps chowing down at blocky wood tables. And under the hood of the 1959 brick pit is brisket that purrs, beef ribs that growl, and homemade beef sausage that rules the road.

Established in the early forties by the late Louie Mueller as a meat market and grocery store that sold a little barbecue on the side, Mueller’s today is a full-time barbecue joint run by Louie’s son, Bobby, and his son, John. They just salt and pepper the meat and let some miracle of smoke do the rest. The brisket cooks for four to six hours in a closed pit with the meat at one end and the firebox fueled by post oak at the other. Served cafeteria-style on butcher paper set atop old plastic trays, the offerings also include chicken breasts, wonderfully chewy pork ribs, and except on Saturdays, big-flavored T-bones and juicy pork steaks. The watery tomato-onion-and-red-pepper sauce is perfect for dipping. There’s also above-average homemade potato salad, coleslaw, and beans for those who appreciate a Caddy’s little touches.

Louie Mueller’s Barbeque, 206 W. Second, Taylor, 512-352-6206. Brisket plate about $4.50. Beer. Rating: 5. MC, V, checks accepted. Open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (takeout till 6), Saturday till 2 p.m.

Tags: FOOD

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