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Saveur's Texas Issue

The current issue of Saveur Magazine is all about Texas. Saw some great recommendations, but am puzzled why both Smitty's and Kreuz in Lockhart got a mention, but not City Market in Luling. Has anyone else looked over this issue? Any thoughts on the recommendations listed vs the ones left out?

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  1. And they didn't mention my favorite, Mueller's in Taylor. Guess they couldn't list all our favorites, but agree with you that if you are going to mention Kreuz you have to mention City Market and, I contend, Mueller's. I was also a little bit offended by their assertion that "As for sauce, regional variations, like the vinegar-spiked pepper sauce traditional to Central Texas's German-style joints, are vanishing. Nowadays, you find the same thick, sweet-tart sauce no matter where you go." They just haven't gone to enough places. Really good barbecue doesn't need sauce. I stopped by Mueller's a couple of weeks ago and had some brisket, jalapeno sausage and pork ribs and didn't have a drop of sauce. By the way, Mueller's sauces (they offer two kinds) are vinegar-spiked, thin and unsweet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ddavis

      Pierson's in Houston has the vinegary, spicy sauce. I really like it - on the side! And I totally agree that good barbecue does not need sauce. To me adding sauce is close to making a sloppy joe. I like to taste the meat, and dip a touch in the sauce, if I'm in the mood.

    2. ddavis, you're a person after my own heart. I love Louie Mueller's BBQ. It's, the best BBQ in the world! It would have to be my, "last meal". And, I also noticed their exclusion from Saveur's Texas edition. A glaring omission if you ask me.
      And, I agree about the sauce. Never use it, myself. My son lives in Austin and I'm always looking for an excuse to visit. Just so I can visit Louie Mueller's incredible BBQ. I always bring some back to Dallas.

      2 Replies
      1. re: twinwillow

        I also noticed that silly statement about the sauce "vanishing." I very much doubt the day will ever come when any of the BBQ temples of Central Texas serve that sweet crap that folks serve elsewhere, like Kansas City Masterpiece - in my view, one of the worst products to ever hit the market. It's so cloyingly sweet that they should more correctly call it "BBQ Syrup."

        If I were Kansas City, I'd be insulted by the claim that's my "Masterpiece."

        1. re: Jaymes

          Hey James, Im from K.C. and I am insulted by K.C. Masterfece. I shudder at the mention of the name. It is my opinion the culprit for many people thinking K.C. barbecue is about the sauce. They are to barbecue what golden corral is to steak!

      2. Instead of sweet sauce, how about savory and blazing hot? I love BBQ with a killer burn, and I've had some delightful habañero BBQ sauces in my time. Serrano, cayenne (real not powdered), jalapeño, it's all good. Surely there are places serving sauces like that somewhere in Texas?

        1 Reply
        1. re: aynrandgirl

          A clipping from an article in the texas edition that caught my fancy, as I am sure it will yours...

          "Stephan Pyles the restaurant is still going strong, but Stephan Pyles the chef is restless again. He told me recently that he thinks he's strayed too far from his roots. "We're not utilizing a lot of the ingredients I love," he said. So, later this year, if all goes as planned, he'll channel his more globally inclined impulses into a new restaurant called Samar, where he intends to create small plates reflecting the cuisines of India, the eastern Mediterranean, and Spain. That way, he can rededicate the menu at Stephan Pyles to what he calls "more refined Southwestern": a pared-down, elegant cuisine that's shorn of some of the genre's more over-the-top traits—a return to the fundamentals." -- Michael Bauer for Saveur

          His ADHD is our gain.

        2. The issue was so beautiful and because Texas has so much to offer the editors probably could have written forever about restaurants, styles of barbecue, sauces, etc..the problem when you are putting a magazine together is to pick and choose and you can never make everyone happy. For the most part I think the issue did an amazing job of representing the state as one of the most unique and special in all of the United States and what an honor that they chose the entire state vs. just a city like they did 2 years ago with that amazing Chicago issue...can't have it all.

          1. I really enjoyed the Texas issue, especially the article about chili by Lisa Fain aka The Homesick Texan. The one glaring omission I saw is the entire city of Ft. Worth.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ranchand23

              OMG this reminded me of Fearing's album Blis and Blisters. He needs to keep his day job, to be sure. http://cdbaby.com/cd/barbwires

            2. Yep, leaving out Ft. Worth was probably the most egregious thing. No mention of Lonesome Dove or Manny's Alta Cocina.

              1. The worst thing in the issue was the recipe for the crawfish boil!! Yuck, Saveur should ashamed to put that in there!

                13 Replies
                1. re: joanna.mcmaster

                  I like Pyles stack of recipes. You could start your own Pyles franchise with those. But they are the same ones he always passes out. The Cowboy Ribye, Heaven and Hell cake, and of course the obligatory Crab Tamale Tart (which is wonderful of course).

                  1. re: DallasDude

                    Yes, phenomenal little collection. Very nice of him to allow the publication of them.

                  2. re: joanna.mcmaster

                    Why? It may be obvious to most folks, but people in other parts of the country have never heard of it. It is really fun, and the mudbugs are good that way.

                    1. re: Jaymes

                      You misunderstood me, I LOVE crawfish, but the recipe was a terrible one. We have boiled close to 300lbs so far this year. Carrots, onions, potatos, boil, crawfish. That's really the way to do it. I know this sounds yucky, but my husband is from Lafayette, make a sauce out of equal parts ketchup and mayo, and season with some of the crab boil. Fantastic to dip the tails and veggies into. (we only use Zatarain's powder boil, also).

                      1. re: joanna.mcmaster

                        You're right. I did misunderstand you. I thought you meant that they shouldn't have included something so, I don't know exactly how to put it, um, so "ungourmet."

                        But it's the method you took issue with.

                        Thanks for clarifying.

                        And I love the recipe tip for the sauce. You know, mixing ketchup and mayo is basically a thousand island - remoulade dressing (and with a little horseradish and pickle relish is McDonald's "special sauce"), so that should work great.

                        1. re: Jaymes

                          Ungourmet is most often the best food!! My degree is in culinary arts, I would be a disgrace as a chef and as a southerner if i turned my nose up at crawfish! LOL, you're welcome for the sauce tip, if you try it, let me know what you think. The recipe they used was far too lengthy and the ingredients very odd. Wouldn't recommend anyone new to crawfish try it, you will be turned off to something that is a real treat.

                          1. re: joanna.mcmaster

                            Maybe it's because we all use the Zataran's. I have had to do a boiled shrimp and found myself lacking the magical powder, and I must admit, I used something similar to what Saveur's recommended for the boil. I think I added some pickling spices too (for a shrimp boil only), which might have included allspice, mace, ginger, cinnamon, mustard and peppercorns. But their basic recipe seems fairly spot on. I include it below.

                            5 lbs. live crawfish, rinsed
                            1 1⁄2 cups kosher salt
                            3 tbsp. paprika
                            2 tbsp. yellow mustard seeds
                            1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
                            1 tbsp. black peppercorns
                            10 bay leaves
                            4 ribs celery, chopped
                            3 heads garlic, halved crosswise
                            2 onions, quartered
                            1 orange, quartered

                            Perhaps with the addition of 'pickling spices' mine might actually be more wacky. But their recipe seems pretty solid.

                            1. re: DallasDude

                              To each his own. But my personal opinion is that that is too many ingredients. Hooray for crawfish season, though!!

                              1. re: joanna.mcmaster

                                My crawfish boils consist of the following, it's been a while since I've boiled as I moved up north so I won't list quantities:

                                A sack of crawfish
                                Zatarain's powder
                                Zatarains liquid crab boil
                                bay leaves

                                I miss crawfish, and even the pic of them in the new Saveur made my mouth water.

                                1. re: roro1831

                                  Oh for sure the corn and new potatoes. Mushrooms?

                                  And joanna, if you didnt have a zataran what would you use? That was my point, certainly all good. ;)

                                  1. re: DallasDude

                                    Yep, mushrooms absorb the liquid and seasoning, I wouldn't boil without them. They are like little bundles of spice.

                                    1. re: DallasDude

                                      As much as I hate to say it, you could use Old Bay. Or you could always doctor up the ketchup and mayo with cayenne and other spices, the Zatarains site doesn't list the ingredients, but cayenne and salt would be the most prominent ingredients I would bet.

                                      1. re: DallasDude

                                        We've done corn and mushrooms before, LOVED the mushrooms. Thanks for reminding me, i will throw in some baby bellas next time!! The corn gets too spicy for some of the sissies in our crowd.
                                        not sure i want to live in a world without Zatarains, LOL. I would most likely use ground cloves, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, maybe paprika. Would be expensive to go that route, for sure.

                      2. As an easterner who has never been to Texas, the issue did a good job to make it my next long-distance destination. I only wish I could do a month-long (or longer!) eating tour of all nine corners of the state!

                        1. If that Saveur "Texas" issue had been written by Texans, there would have been a lot less omissions of the places we know that are, truly Texas.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: twinwillow

                            I think there were alot of contributors who also contribute to Texas monthly so I don't agree that they weren't Texans. They probably could have written 9 issues on Texas and still had omissions. I don't see any other food magazine doing anything in depth on the great state. They are too busy worrying about tomatoes on french bread rather than the food diversity of an incredible destination.

                          2. I have looked over the issue and there's always going to be more that's left out than makes it in. I really enjoyed the primer on chicken fried steak. I hadn't ever gone so far as to put it into three categories. Before I read it, I only knew of CFS I loved, tolerated or didn't like. I've put up with CFS that I tolerate for so many years that I don't even know a great one that I'd have to start all over to find such.

                            On the barbecue front, my husband and I had ribs and brisket from Luling City Market and Smitty's day before yesterday. Smitty's was the clear winner on both counts. Both ribs and brisket from City market were a little dryer and less flavorful than Smitty's versions. Succulent and deeply smokey are good words to use for our Smitty's take. The only category in which LCM beat Smitty's was in the sauce category. It was orange, peppery and sweet-tangy. Smitty's was ketchup-y and cloying. But since sauce wasn't necessary for the meat from either place, I can't give LCM extra points for it. Man was that meat from Smitty's good. We didn't get sausage from either place because I've had it before and can't stand the texture. It's loose and mealy - very unappealing.

                            H and I also hit Louis Mueller's in Taylor a couple months back. Smitty's is still better on the brisket front and I didn't appreciate the abundance of flaked, pre-ground black pepper much at all. The flavor of the meat got lost. The real winner of that meal was the sausage. Its texture was firm and it popped when I bit into it. The spicing was also just right.

                            Overall, I liked the Texas issue. The state is so huge, there's no way everything worthy could be covered, but it hit the highlights - both upscale and down-home.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: agoodbite

                              I couldn't agree with you more..the most important thing is they captured the awesomeness of culture, ethnicity, income levels and all of the above through food and the incredible state of Texas...hope people get the picture. The issue was terrific.

                            2. If you are visiting Austin, the secret to going to Muellers in Taylor is that it opens at 10am. If you leave the south side of Austin at somewhere around 9am you can have bbq for breakfast in Taylor. I still salivate at the thought of the fresh first end cut from the fatty brisket and the chipotle sausages for breakfast. It made the drive up 35 easier. And there is a road that goes north from Taylor and intersects with 35 up by Waco. I need to go back to visit my nephew soon.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: tiomano

                                Oh....Mueller's......yummmmm.....Makes me want to take a drive!! Haven't been in years.