In my ongoing quest to experience the very finest in Texas BBQ, I set out on another great road trip last Friday bound for the small town of Taylor, Texas, a mere 30 miles from Austin, but seemingly half a world away, a step back in time and, most importantly, home to the legendary Louie Mueller Barbecue.
Like visiting Fenway Park or Wrigley Field to the avid baseball fan, this mecca of seared meats has long been established as a must-stop among so-called connoisseurs of the open-pit here in Texas, such as myself. Originally opened in 1949 by Louie Mueller, himself, in the back of the “complete food store” he also owned, the pit master moved to the current location on Second Street in Taylor ten years later in 1959.
Upon entry through the antiquated swingin’ screen doors, visitors to the historic location are smacked in the face with the distinct and incredible aromas of smoked meats emanating from the pits. Hardwood floors, neon beer signs, a classic jukebox and awards lining the walls showcase this joint as the legendary destination that it truly is. Featured in three motion pictures over the years, “Hot Spot, “Flesh and Bones,” and “The Rookie,” as well as a favorite of Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” from the Food Network, the pride of Taylor, Texas is now managed by Louie’s grandson, Wayne (Louie passed away in 1992, followed by his successor, son, Bobby, who died in 2008).
On the day of my visit, the line was not near as long as I had expected – considering my measuring gauge from the lengthy waits of Franklin Barbecue in Austin – roughly 30 minutes to food in hand. The wait, however, could have been much longer and still well worth every minute. The order of “wet brisket” is among the best I’ve ever had – currently #2 to Franklin in my personal rankings. The “Southern Style” baby back ribs offered an excellent and sweet flavor through a unique dry rub. And the potato salad did not disappoint. Granted, I will definitely require another visit to Louie Mueller to dive into the sausage and pork ribs, but for the time being, I cannot say enough about my rookie experience.
In the event you, yourself, are a purveyor of excellent smoked meats, I strongly suggest hittin’ the road for Taylor to visit what I now consider the “Taj Mahal” of Texas Barbecue. I promise you will not leave disappointed!
I also recommend viewing a great video spotlight on Louie Mueller from 2008 by clicking HERE.
Louie Mueller Barbecue
206 West Second Street
Taylor, TX 76574