Second Helpings: Regional Barbecue

Regional barbecue spots in today's "Second Helpings"

The Salt Lick
The Salt Lick (Photo By John Anderson)

Cooper's BBQ

403 N. Mays, Round Rock, 255-5638

Tue-Sat, 11am-8pm

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 Barbecue

206 W. Second, Taylor, 512/352-6206

Mon-Sat, 9am-8pm

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's

300 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-Q

202 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 & Barbecue

1212 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 Smokehouse

188 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 Market

619 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 Barbecue

215 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 Market

208 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 Market

633 E. Davis, near U.S. Hwy. 183, Luling, 830/875-9019

Mon-Sat, 7am-6pm

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 BBQ

920 Hwy. 80, San Marcos, 512/353-2713

Daily, 10:30am-9pm

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 Lick

18300 FM 1826, Driftwood, 894-3117

Daily, 11am-10pm

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 Outpost

Hwy. 71 W. at Hazy Hills Dr. (17 miles west of Y in Oak Hill), Spicewood, 264-1169

Tues-Sat, 11am-9pm

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 Barbecue

Hwy. 71 W. (20 miles past intersection w/RR 620, turn right at gas station) beyond Spicewood, 830/693-8660

Daily, 11am-8pm

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 Kitchen

809 W. Young (Hwy. 71 W.), Llano,


Tues-Sat, 8am-6pm

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 Barbecue

604 W. Young, Llano, 915/247-5713

Daily, 10am-8pm

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-Q

Hwy. 87 S., Mason, 915/347-6897

Daily, 11am-5:30pm

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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