At the prodding of the BBQ Snob, we ventured over to Taylor, TX to try Louie Mueller's BBQ along with what seemed to be a very large contingent of BBQ bloggers and foodies. Our intention was to go to Louie Mueller's then head on over to the Taylor International BBQ Cook Off, but due to some scheduling conflicts we had to cut the trip short after our BBQ brunch. The others braved the ocean of meat for us.
It was great to finally put a face with a name for Daniel (BBQ Snob). The problem with meeting a whole lot of people at once is that that you tend to forget people's names. I apologize in advance for this, I'll leave it with groups. We met the people who run Texas BBQ Posse, Houston Foodie, Don O.'s Texas BBQ Blog. It would have been nice to meet Drew with Man Up Texas BBQ / The Q Card, but he had to man his booth at the cook off.
So on to the ulterior motive for meeting everyone. Louie Mueller BBQ.
Taylor is only about 40 minutes away from where I live so it's not a long haul to get there. I've heard from friends and other that Louie Mueller's was one of the places that I needed to stop in at. Of all the places that we've visited so far, this place has the most authentic look and feel of any of the joints. It's in the downtown area of Taylor and takes up 2 store fronts, one for dining and the other for the meat counter / food prep and a smaller dining area. They are huge in size, and have 20ft ceilings with skylights that have heavy smoke film on them. There is no air conditioning, big fans roar in the corners of the place to circulate the air. There is years and years of a deep smoke penetrating the walls and it just reeks of hard work, passion, and love of BBQ. I would expect that this is the same feel that I would have gotten if I had walked in the 1950's. There is a wall of business cards that line one wall that are browned with time and smoke. It gives it a distinct look and personality.
When we got in line it wasn't all that long. Mostly the other BBQ blogger with their Digital SLR camera's in tow. Also just wanted to point out that someone from the back came out and told me that they really liked my Texas Tech hat, that's a big plus when you are in Longhorn country. When you get to the front of the line, you are greeted with a small chunk of brisket to help you make your decision on ordering. I tried to get a sampling of all the meat they sold per pound. So I got a 1/4 lb. brisket, 1/4 lb. pork loin, 1/4 lb. turkey, and 2 spare ribs. A pretty good sampling I think. I also got a side of potato salad along with pickles, onions, and bread.
The brisket looked delicious, nice bark, nice smoke ring, moistly glistening. So I started in on it. The rub on it was overly black peppered in my opinion. The black pepper flavor masked most of the smoke flavoring. The meat wasn't as tender as I was expecting. Due to the seat selection that we had next to one of the giant fans, I'm pretty sure the brisket dried out prematurely. The center of it was moist, but the edges were a bit dry. I'm willing to forgive that though because when I first started on it, it was moist. Nothing that the thin vinegar based BBQ dipping sauce couldn't help cure.
The turkey I had was outstanding. Turkey is such a finicky thing to smoke, so I'm truly impressed with it. It wasn't nearly as pepper flavored as the brisket, but was seasoned quite well. It was extremely moist as well. The smoke flavor really came through in it. I'd recommend that to anyone.
Next I tried the pork loin. It was forgettable. No deep smoke flavor, it wasn't tender, and it didn't have a lot of flavor.
I tried two different types of ribs while I was there. I ordered the spare ribs. Lots of meat on them. They have the right amount of tenderness to them. They weren't falling off the bone, so you could still handle them appropriately, and a little tug on the meat and it came off. I also had some of Andy's baby back ribs. Almost the same as the spare ribs, just a smaller package.
They also had some nice beef sausages to select from. Andy and Colette ordered one of all 3 types. Chipotle, Jalapeno, and Original. Flavorwise, the Chipotle won for me. The Jalapeno was good and there were distinct piece of jalapeno in it. I was a bit too stuff by the time the Original made the rounds, so I didn't sample it.
The potato salad was more like a homemade potato salad to me, with its fine grain potato pieces. It was made with mustard, but it was a mild flavor in it. Quite nice, I really enjoyed it.
While we were there, one of the guys dropped by our table and let us try one of his creations. Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce Ice Cream. It was interesting to try, but I don't think it's ready for mainstream America just yet.