Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - PICKS -

This vi­brant col­lege town is sur­rounded by leg­endary Texas bar­be­cue, and Louie Mueller Bar­be­cue (louie mueller­bar­be­, which opened in 1949 in nearby Taylor, may be the best of the best. In the cav­ernous din­ing room, filled with the sweet smell of beef steep­ing in the smoke of oak em­bers, pa­trons dig into such sa­vory fare as sliced-to-order brisket, crusted with salt and pep­per and so rich in fla­vor it needs no sauce. A must-stop for sausage lovers, 16 miles south on Texas State High­way 95: the South­side Mar­ket & Bar­beque (south­side­mar­ in Elgin, where spiced beef is packed into nat­u­ral pork cas­ing. For sweet re­fresh­ment on the BBQ trail, con­tinue south and belly up to the old-fash­ioned soda foun­tain counter at Lock Drugs (lock­drugs .com) in Bas­trop. Sit for a spell and sip a Frosted Coke, a blend of ice cream,m, fla­vored syrup, andd the clas­sic bev­er­age. Jus­tust 34 miles southwest is the small city of Lock­hart hart (pop­u­la­tion: 13,600),00), dubbed the BBQQ cap­i­tal of the state, thanks to four real-deal eater­ies. At Smitty’s Mar­ket (smit­tys­mar­, pork ribs and brisket slow-cook over an in­door pit. Kreuz Mar­ket (kreuz­mar­, lo­cated in a barn­like build­ing, does things the old-fash­ioned way, cook­ing choice cuts of brisket, prime rib, and pork chops by the pound and wrap­ping them in pink butcher pa­per for the trip from pit to ta­ble; plates are too fancy for this place. Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Que (chisholm­trailbbq .com) goes beyond smoked meats (how do fa­ji­tas and fried cat­fish grab you?). And if you’ve got a han­ker­ing for hot links, Black’s BaBar­be­cue (blacks­bbq .com) off of­fers hot and cold rings of 86year-old owner EdgEdgar Black’s homemade sausausage, avail­able reg­u­lar or fla­vored with jalapeño/ cheched­dar or gar­lic.

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