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any early reviews of J. Mueller's new 'cue?

please those of you that have dined today, can you report back?

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  1. That's going to be a tall order considering he's not open. Trailer due for inspection on Thursday.
    If you do a cursory search for "John Mueller barbecue" or "JMueller BBQ" you can read reams of info on all the latest haps

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        1. I went yesterday with my cohort for a second lunch, and we arrived just before 3:00. There was a parking space, the line was short, and St. Arnold was offering up free beer. Within about 15 minutes of waiting while having an Elissa IPA and a Lawnmower, respectively, we had our food: half a pound of fatty brisket, two pork ribs, coleslaw, and potato salad. I loved it. The brisket was hot, tender, and decadent with lots of melted fat throughout. The ribs were spoon-tender. Both were well-seasoned. The potato salad was the kind I really like, which is almost like mashed potatoes, quite savory, and without big pieces of potato, celery, onion. Those who like chunky and/or sweet or mustard-y potato salad might be disappointed in it, but I thought it was great. The coleslaw had a chipotle mayonnaise-based sauce which I also really liked. The only thing I wasn't overly impressed with was the barbecue sauce, which was thin, red, and (I think) cumin-y. It wasn't bad at all; I'm just not all that into sauce anyway unless it's something really special like the espresso sauce at Franklin.

          All in all a great experience. Service was friendly, too. I would definitely choose this over waiting an hour & a half at Franklin at least some of the time. But, who knows what the standard wait will be like at J. Mueller in a few weeks, or a few months.

          8 Replies
            1. re: hlk

              is that $7/half lb? Pretty pricey 'cue, almost as much as Franklin. How would this compare to the lockhart joints which are much more reasonably priced?

              1. re: chrisdds98

                Very competitive based on what I had, particularly if they can consistently produce brisket & ribs of that quality (I wish I'd had enough room to try the sausage). I love the whole Lockhart experience, but find the brisket, for instance, to be amazing at Smitty's on some days and merely decent on others.

                It was indeed $6.99 for a half pound. I don't know where that pricing comes from. It's an awfully convenient location for me, though.

                1. re: chrisdds98

                  Blacks is $12/lb ( http://www.blacksbbq.com/restaurant/r...). Kreuz is $11.50/lb (http://www.kreuzmarket.com/onlinemenu...). Can't find Smitty's online menu but I thought they were more like $10.50/lb

                2. re: hlk

                  Oops - you got my sauce in the beer picture :-) I hadn't quite finished cleanup yet. That was me hanging out and sharing my Q with Frank (St Arnold's) since he couldn't wait for his kickback.

                  All the meats were fantastic except the pork loin, which I found hard and dryish, as if it missed the brine bucket. I didn't try the pork loin until later in the day so maybe it had dried out on the pit too much by then. Definitely a winner for brisket, though. The supermoist turkey was an unexpected surprise as well. The pork spares (St Louis cut) were almost too tender. I like mine to stick to the bone a little, with some tooth to them. But they were the most tender of all the meats (or at least right up there with the brisket). I didn't try any of the sides and barely tried that sauce (as you can see).

                  1. re: sqwertz

                    I wish I'd known it was you!

                    My compadre also thought the ribs were a bit too tender, although he's not really a fan of ribs in general.

                    1. re: hlk

                      Sorry, I should have been wearing my Chow T-Shirt and Chow Name Tag. But just add 20 years and <mumble> pounds onto that picture at the left and - what - it wasn't obvious? ;-) I don't think there was many people there from the online food forums Chow and Yelp. Less than 7. A couple austin.food veterans, though (Frank and I).

                      1. re: sqwertz

                        Sorry, I should have been wearing my Chow T-Shirt and Chow Name Tag

                        Where do I get my Chow T, don't care about the name tag, I know my name.

                        Thanks, Uh,uh,Joe

              2. My friend and I went by there today. We got there at 11:30 and there were maybe 7 people in line in front of us. It moved pretty quickly. At its peak, there were only a max of 10 people in line, and hardly anyone by 12:30 when we left. The parking lot was a bit chaotic though - this will be a problem once the crowds pick up.

                And my guess is that they will, because it's really good, Mueller has the name recognition, and people who don't want to wait 2 hours at Franklin's can head over here and eat some great bbq too.

                The brisket, which is of course the way to measure any pitmaster, was excellent. We got the moist brisket, and it lived up to its billing - incredibly tender and flavorful. The bark wasn't quite as thick and the seasoning maybe not as vibrant as Franklin. But when it's this good, the reviewer who makes such comparisons is basically splitting hairs.

                We got the St Louis style pork ribs, and frankly they were nothing to write home about. Kinda tough, and a rub that didn't taste like much. Maybe the beef ribs were better - they were the first thing to sell out.

                The sausage was excellent, top tier stuff. It's a very plump beef sausage link for $2.25, incredibly moist and delicious.

                As someone else noted, the sauce is pretty thin. It's a decent compliment on the brisket, but nothing you'd write home about.

                All in all, a very good experience. I'd recommend going in the next week or two, and particularly for weekday lunch, before the crowds descend and madness ensues.

                1 Reply
                1. re: heyzeus212

                  I went today also. The line was 20 deep but moved really quick. The moist was top notch as was the sausage. The sauce is more like a sop, which I grew up on, so I like it a lot. I feel little need to wait two hours when I can pull up and eat within 15 minutes. I would personally park in the hood until the building is done. Quite a bit of parking will free up when that happens.