Elgins' Southside Market or Meyers For BBQ?
Okay Hounds, I'm leading my ride group over to Elgin in July for BBQ. Which is the better, Southside Market or Meyer's and why?
I personally like Southside Market. I believe it's one of my favorite barbeque stops in the state. On my last stop, their brisket was very tender with a lovely smoked flavor. Their sausage was very, very good too.
They're basically just a couple of blocks or so apart. I think it's fun to go to both, have some samples, and then compare.
Invariably there are differing opinions, resulting in lively conversation.
I ate at Southside Market last Sunday for the first time and was bitterly disappointed. The brisket was tough and flavorless. Some of the worst brisket I've had in a long time. I've got three BBQ places in a town of 25,000 in East Texas that serve better brisket than that (not to mention the superb brisket I had the previous Thursday and the next Monday at Louie Mueller's in Taylor). The sausage was certainly better than the brisket, but the casing didn't have that snap that a great sausage has and the filling didn't have much texture. The flavor of the sausage was fair, but not outstanding. The only thing that was outstanding was the hot BBQ sauce. (The regular sweet sauce was very sweet indeed and not to my taste).
I was very disappointed as I had hoped that the meal would live up to the legend of Southside Market. Unfortunately Meyer's was closed on Sunday night, or I would have quit eating after a few bites and just headed back down the road and started all over.
re: Mike C. Miller
It's very difficult to walk into either one of those two places and smell the smoke and NOT order brisket - my personal favorite smoked meat.
But after several years of what psychologists might call "aversion therapy" I finally learned my lesson.
Now, as I said, we just get a little sausage at each place and keep movin'.
And that's always my advice when it comes to Elgin.
However, I did meet someone from Elgin a few years back and she told me there's another place, in downtown, I think, where all the locals go for great brisket. I keep meaning to search it out and try it, but haven't.
What I smelled when I went in to Southside a number of years back was bbq sauce, not smoke.
The other place in Elgin according to Walsh's book is Crosstown BBQ, 211 Central Ave, downtown. They make their own beef sausage but "greasy mutton, tender brisket, chewy pork ribs are the real attraction." Oh boy! another place to try!
re: Mike C. Miller
I believe the legend is about the sausage, not the bbq restaurant, which I believe is a much more recent enterprise - not sure about that, will have to look it up. IMO neither of these two are among the very best places to get sausage despite the title of the town but if you were there on Sunday night as you suggest, that might be a problem in itself?
I have to say, whenever I'm that close to Lockhart, Luling and Taylor I feel the urge very strongly to keep driving for my fix, as Jaymes suggests. Maybe if I lived as close as Austin, I'd feel differently but I've tried other places around CTx and just haven't found any worth the time and expense after I've driven that far from near the coast. Still, I do keep trying from time to time.
Now, how about telling us more about that little town in East Texas?
Although I'm down in Houston now, I did live in Austin for many years. And often found myself driving through Elgin for one reason or another. For one thing, there was (and maybe still is) a Christmas tree farm there where we would get our trees each year. And Elgin was on my route from Austin down to the Texas east coast, and points beyond. Also, my daughter's husband and his family are from that area and still have a ranch there.
In addition, when you live in Central Texas (it was my experience anyway), you have a lot of house guests, and they all want to do the "barbecue trail."
Hence many visits to and through Elgin.
But I agree. I'd never make a special trip to Elgin just for the sausage. I'd much rather have the hot links at any of the other "top tier" Texas BBQ joints.
Marshall. Not great BBQ by Central Texas standards, but much better than Southside market. Best BBQ in town is Bar-B-Que Express on Elmore St. It's in an African American neighborhood and has a primarily, but not exclusively, African American clientèle. But the que is good by East Texas standards.
Next best complete BBQ joint is Bodacious. It's a regional chain. OK to good depending on the day. BBQ pork is good when they have it, but sometimes they have smoked ham instead (which is pretty good, too).
And don't overlook the Pik n Pay. It's a convenience shop that sells chilli and prepared meals at lunch. But they've got a smoke house out back. They sell ribs and smoked chicken by the pound/half respective. It's much better than you think it will be when you walk in. But it's take out only.
But if my last visit to Southside was any indication, I'd pick any of them over it in a heartbeat.