Published: May 28, 2013
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I have had a real chance to think about my experience at Louie Mueller BBQ located in Taylor Texas from the end of last month. Being a month removed from my great Texas experience, I have done some serious thoughts on what makes Texas barbecue not only great but very different from the other regions of barbecue throughout the country.
My first Texan barbecue experience was at Louie Mueller BBQ located in Taylor Texas, and just as Wayne said when we had a very long conversation about barbecue, “Louie Mueller BBQ is a life changing experience,” and I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Before I get into why I believe that to be true, I wanted to give you a bit of background on Louie Mueller BBQ if you are new to Texan Barbecue.
Wayne Mueller: Teacher and Preacher of the Barbecue Gospel
Founded in 1949 by Louie Muller which at first was a restaurant and grocery store. In 1959, Louie Muller moved his restaurant to its current location in Taylor. Since the move in 1959, Louie Mueller BBQ has alot of great accomplishments such as Bobby Mueller winning a James Beard Award in May of 2006 and in 2008 Louie Mueller Barbecue is awarded “Official best Barbecue in Texas.” In addition to winning various awards, Louie Mueller BBQ has been the location of choice for many hollywood films such as “The Rookie,” “Flesh and Bones,” and “Hot Spot”
With some basic background out of the way about Louie Mueller BBQ, for this barbecue review, I am not going to be doing the normal review, but I think that I am going to be talking overall about my life changing experience. Just like what I had at the Salt Lick Barbecue, Louie Mueller is not only about the food, but also about the actual experience from the smoked filled business card wall, to the famous brick pit in the back, Louie Mueller Barbecue is filled with rich Texan Barbecue history and also just barbecue history. I am sure that at the table that I was sitting at, pitmasters, barbecue writers and also the top of the line food writers and most importantly families have gathered together for their own life changing experience.
Up until arriving at Louie Mueller, Texan Barbecue was just something that my friends on Twitter and also Facebook have talked about and also encouraged me to have a first hand experience. Walking into this barbecue mecca often described as a “cathedral of smoke,” as described in the latest Texas Monthly Louie Mueller Barbecue has all the : “trappings of organized religion… the sacramental offerings, the priesthood in their ecclesiastical red apron-robes, and even the disciples…” and they couldn’t be more spot on. Along with the trappings, the legendary smoked stained business card wall is biggest display of how many visitors have come to “pray” at this “cathedral of smoke.”
Ever since feasting on Wayne’s smoked brisket, burnt ends, beef ribs, sausages of all different flavors, I have not been able to get these great foods off my mind and wanting even more than ever to try to even come close to re-creating the type of meats. From the perfectly smoked brisket and the burnt ends or as Wayne described them to me as: “Black Gold,” perfecting a barbecue brisket as truly become a part-time obsession of mine. Not only was the brisket perfectly smoked it was packed with complex flavors an experience that everyone must have. In addition to the amazing brisket, the beef ribs were just another piece of the amazing puzzle of flavors that I experienced at Louie Mueller’s Barbecue. They were not only huge but they were perfectly smoked with just the right about of rub, there isn’t a sauce on the market that could even go along with this type of barbecue beef ribs.
Not only was the meal amazing, but even having the chance to interact and talk about barbecue, and also seeing Wayne’s passion for barbecue come through during our walk was just an added pleasure of the trip. I also had the experience of having Wayne show me how he cuts a brisket and preps it for the next day, it brought me back to my hebrew school days of the Rabbi teaching me hebrew and not even flinching as he seamlessly went through the most difficult parts of the hebrew he was teaching me. Wayne effortlessly walked me through his cutting process all while answering questions and letting me take a lot of pictures of him doing so, I must say that it was truly a privilege to be able to sit back and watch one of the greats at work.
After I left Taylor Texas and also left Texas, and while I was looking over my photos that I took on the trip, I came to the realization that the first part of my barbecue “life” has been completed and now I am on a new journey. That new journey started at Louie Mueller’s and I hope that one day, I will get a chance to make going to Louie Mueller an annual pilgrimage to the “Cathedral of Smoke,” because Louie Mueller isn’t just a restaurant or a point on a Texas Barbecue Map, it is to me THE PLACE OF WHERE DREAMS START…
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