How are these places? (all near Austin)
Monument Cafe - Georgetown
Smitty's - Lockhart
Southside Market - Elgin
Louis Mueller - Taylor
Kreuz Market - Lockhart
City Cafe - Elgin
Blacks BBQ - Lockhard
Just to add to sambamaster's excellent advice, here are a couple of recent (ish) threads
I think you are asking about southern home cooking in another thread, and I think the Monument Cafe fits in there better - in this list you have some incredible BBQ and one home cooking place.
Here's some advice that you may not find in the archives.
Of those cities, Lockhart has the highest concentration of good restaurants (three) so that may influence your decision. While I may like Louie Mueller's more than any one of the Lockhart joints, if my time was limited I would go to Lockhart instead of Taylor.
re: Hugh DeMann
Yes, but remember that it's only open for lunch. Check their website.
But consider that Lockhart is 15 minutes closer to Austin, is a more interesting "Texas" town, you can jam in multiple meals back to back by hitting two or more of the three BBQ places, AND Louie Mueller's is only slightly better than the best of the Lockhart Three (consensus seems to be that Black's is the most consistent). Also, not everyone shares my opinion about Louie Mueller's -- some think Lockhart is better.
re: Kent Wang
Well said, Kent. And you're right that "some think Lockhart is better." I'm one of them. Although boy is it a close call and, as we've often discussed on these boards, because you're dealing with an organic product and other variables, on any given day, one or the other can be better or worse than it was the day before.
But my personal, considered, recommendation to you, Mr. DeMann, is to go to Lockhart. Go to Smitty's. Park around back like the locals do and step right in through that back door. Tour the whole building. Get just a couple of slices of fatty brisket, and medium rare sirloin, and a hot link. Then to Black's for more brisket and another hot link. And then to Kreuz. Then decide which of the three was your personal favorite, and go back and get some more to pack up and take home.
You simply cannot go wrong with this scenario. If you drive over to Taylor, and you unfortunately just happen to hit Louie Mueller's on an 'off day,' or you get a mediocre piece of meat, or if you arrive too late and they're all sold out (which certainly does happen), you be screwed.