Second Helpings: Regional Barbecue
Regional barbecue spots in today's "Second Helpings"
403 N. Mays, Round Rock, 255-5638
The second generation of a Hill Country BBQ legend, Gary Cooper has been serving his family's style of barbecue in downtown Round Rock since 1985.
Louie Mueller Barbecue206 W. Second, Taylor, 512/352-6206
The quality of meats served in this no-frills and famous downtown Taylor storefront has remained unchanged for more than 50 years. Unusual secret-recipe peppery meat jus is served with every order, and even the potato salad has a tangy bite.
Rudy Mikeska's300 W. Second, Taylor, 512/365-3722
Mon-Sat, 9:30am-8pm; Sun, 9:30am-2pm
The Taylor store is the cradle of the "first family" of Texas barbecue where they serve great meats and nontraditional side dishes in a cafeteria-like setting.
Cross-Town Bar-B-Q202 S. Avenue C, Elgin, 281-5594
Sun-Thu, 10am-8pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-10pm
Look for this place off the beaten path if you prefer your brisket, pork ribs, mutton, and all-beef sausage down-home, greasy, and full of flavor, smoked over a slow oak fire.
Southside Market & Barbecue1212 U.S. 290 E., Elgin, 281-4650
Mon-Thur, 8am-8pm; Fri-Sat, 8am-10pm; Sun, 9am-7pm
This 100-plus-year-old sausage factory is one of the main reasons Elgin is known as the "sausage capital of Texas." Great varieties of sausage and $2 per pound brisket trimmings are a real treat, too.
Meyer's Elgin Smokehouse188 U.S. 290 E., Elgin, 512/281-3331
Sun-Thu, 10am-7pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-8pm
The current generation of sausage-making Meyer brothers expanded the successful family sausage business in 1988 to include a casual restaurant where they serve smoked pork ribs, turkey breast, and brisket.
Kreuz Market619 N. Colorado, Lockhart, 512/398-2361
Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm; Sat, 9am-6:30pm
Rick Schmidt carries on the family tradition in his big new building on Hwy. 183 S., where there's plenty of room for tour buses and regular customers alike.
Black's Barbecue215 N. Main, Lockhart, 512/398-2712
Sun-Thu, 10am-8pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-8:30pm
Bragging rights in this longtime Lockhart mainstay are that Black's is the oldest barbecue restaurant around continually operated by the same family. Nationwide shipping is available.
Smitty's Market208 S. Commerce, Lockhart, 512/398-9344
Mon-Fri, 7am-6pm; Sat, 7am-6:30pm; Sun, 9am-3pm
This historic old building certainly qualifies as Texas barbecue hallowed ground, as it was home to the legendary Kreuz Market for years before Nina Schmidt Sells inherited it and opened her own store.
Luling City Market633 E. Davis, near U.S. Hwy. 183, Luling, 830/875-9019
One of City Market's claims to fame is that they don't have any forks in the restaurant. That's because their brisket is so fall-apart tender you'll want to feel how good it is. You buy all meats by the pound (or link) in the smokehouse in the back of the dining hall.
Fushak's Pit BBQ920 Hwy. 80, San Marcos, 512/353-2713
Meats here are smoked over hickory in a rotisserie pit and emerge ultra-moist and juicy. Traditional sides are available, plus homemade banana pudding and pecan pie.
The Salt Lick18300 FM 1826, Driftwood, 894-3117
Folks drive from all over Central Texas to relax among the picnic tables at the rustic outdoor pavilion and eat their barbecue family-style. Expect a wait most of the time.
R.O.'s OutpostHwy. 71 W. at Hazy Hills Dr. (17 miles west of Y in Oak Hill), Spicewood, 264-1169
Complete barbecue menu is available here as well as chicken-fried steak and fried quail. No matter how much meat you eat, you must save room for the stellar pies.
Opie's BarbecueHwy. 71 W. (20 miles past intersection w/RR 620, turn right at gas station) beyond Spicewood, 830/693-8660
Choose pork chops, pork ribs, sausage, brisket, chicken, and sometimes cabrito from the 12-foot smoke pit, have it sauced, sit at the picnic tables and chow on down.
Inman's Kitchen809 W. Young (Hwy. 71 W.), Llano,
The treasured family recipe for turkey sausage is what originally put Inman's on the map, and it's still as good as it ever was.
Cooper's Old-Time Pit Barbecue604 W. Young, Llano, 915/247-5713
Still the most famous of all the Cooper's outlets, this joint is admired by hunters from all over the country who make an annual pilgrimage to Llano during deer season.
Cooper's Pit Bar-B-QHwy. 87 S., Mason, 915/347-6897
The original outlet founded by George T. Cooper is still smokin' after all these years, successfully operated by Duard Dockal for nearly 20 years since the old man retired.
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