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Texas BBQ

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I am a BBQ fanatic that grew up in Utopia, Texas. I now live in Fort Valley, GA just outside of Macon. There is absolutely no Beef Brisket to be found here. So when I go back to Texas that is about all I eat. Over the past year I have been to many of the top rated BBQ joints and some others. In October I went to Coopers in Mason, Coopers in Llano, and McBees in Hondo. We were in Texas for two weeks in August and went to McBees again, Haby's in Uvalde, Blacks & Smitty's in Lockhart. Here is my take on what I have tasted.

Coopers in Mason has the most unique flavor of any I have tried. It is just different from other briskets. It was good but not traditional.

I did not like the piece of meat I got at Coopers in Llano. Extremely fatty and tough. I was disappointed.

Blacks also left me wanting. I was put off at first by their crazy pricing. Their menu is horrible and I didn't have a clue how much I was going to pay. My wife had a plate with brisket and a side of beans and I had a plate with brisket and sausage and beans. We paid $21 and some change which to me is overpriced. The brisket was good but not totally there. I really liked the sausage though. A lot smoother texture than most.

Smittys brisket was better than Blacks and the building is something to see. I would definitely go back there.

Haby's in Uvalde was good but not good enough to go out of my way for.

My favorite brisket is found at McBee's BBQ in Hondo. It's on the main drag through town. They also have fajita meat, ribs, chicken, and sausage. The fajitas and ribs were excellent as well. I don't eat chicken when I'm in Texas (unless it's in mexican food) and I haven't tried the sausage.

I will continue to try more BBQ joints on my annual treks to Texas. It's just a hobby of mine.

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  1. What a nice hobby to have. Keep up the good work.

    I can't imagine life without beef brisket.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MidtownCoog

      ...unless there was plenty of ribs and sausage!!

    2. If you haven't already, you must-without fail, visit Louie Mueller's BBQ in Taylor, Texas. The best brisket, sausage, and beef ribs you'll ever eat. I promise!

      1. Man, I love that sausage at Smitty's...that courser texture/grind and that beautiful snap when you bite into just does it for me.

        1. I've never got a bad meal at Coopers. I know it's revered by many, and now we have one in New Braunfels. It's a replica of the Llano establishment, and their meats come from their meat processing facility in Llano. You enter past the open pits, where you point out what you want. I've never ordered anything but the pork loin (always white and juicy), so I can't speak to the brisket. Inside, there are bean pots with and without jalapenos. I eat there for about $8.00, and usually take some meat with me. Their holiday hams are, to my taste, a cut above Honeybaked hams.

          1. Here is my take on Coopers in Llano. We have a lake house 30 miles away but live in Dallas and have been to Cooper's umpteen times, both eat in and take away. I'm native Tejas and have eaten and all the BBQ joints in Central Texas BBQ trail many times plus most of the rest of the good'uns in the state. Cook alot of it over the years also. Also, BBQ is is personal preference deal. Now, the bristet is mediocre at best. Rib's a very sub par. Sausage is ok. The sirloin is good and a nice change of pace. However, the Pork Chop is probably the singular best BBQ meat I know. 2 inches thick, smoked to perfection and not over cooked with big flecks of black pepper covering in.. Worth the trip just for Chop. The Blackberry Cobbler is fantasitc also. We drive there and back just for a big sheet tin of that stuff. The sauce goes very well with the Chop. It's thin, and vinagery with drippings from the brisket mixed in for good measure. JMO.

            1. Please STOP talking about McBees and please Never mention their pit cooked beef Fajitas again...There are my secrete and I dont want them to meet the same fate as the Lockhart-Lulling pits. Let folks believe that BBQ only exsits north of IH-10 in south central Texas.

              Southcentral texas offers great local ethinc sausages...German, Chech, and Polska.

              1. http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/ this pretty much sums up tx bbq. awesomeness!

                1. Mc Bee's pit fajitas, and I cant wait to make a white bread brisket sandwich...

                  Mos Sausage here in SC texas is lovely and grainny. with lots of spice.

                  Well done Sir.

                  SORRY Double post..

                  1. Cooper's in LLano, had the brisket once... it tasted like pot roast... a decent pot roast, but not brisket... the ribs were ok, the pork chop is awsome.

                    Augies in SA near the zoo has good ribs... brisket it ok.

                    Van's BBQ along I-37 on the way to Corpus is a good stop. Brisket is pretty good and the ribs can be really good... or just good.

                    1. I'm a sausage freak, can't stand brisket. Which of these joints has great sausage? The hotter the better. I also like hot links and garlic sausage dogs.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: aynrandgirl

                        You know, I think all of the "usual suspects" of great Texas barbecue (City Market, Smitty's, Black's, Kreuz, Louie Mueller's, etc.) have great sausage /hot links. http://www.epicurious.com/tools/foodd...

                        I'd suggest you just give them all a try, since it's really a matter of personal preference.

                        1. re: aynrandgirl

                          if you're ever travelling between San Antonio & Houston during business hours, get off I-10 at Weimer, go to old town ant to Kasper's meat Mkt. Get some half & half and take that home... Either brown on a grill (no sauce) or steam in a skillet with an inch of water with lid... It would make "Atlas Shrug"...