This is where Aaron Franklin made his bones in the barbecue business before he became a successful entrepreneur.

I’ve always been a little leery of barbecue in the city limits of Austin. Yes, we do have good smoked meat but generally I like to get out in the country, drive down a gravel road or two, hopefully cross a railroad track and if I have to drive down by a riverside then I’m real happy.

So when John Mueller opened up in his impossibly convenient Manor Road location I wasn’t particularly thrilled.

Til I tried the meat.

This is when Austin grew up and became a true barbecue mecca. I almost can’t fathom that it’s been nearly ten years since John Mueller opened this operation.

Street Fighting Man.

I wish I’d taken a picture of the screed Mueller taped to the screen door of his restaurant shortly after opening. It was a line in the sand, daring anyone that came in to walk across that line so the fight could be on.

I remember thinking at the time that this guy was a rebel who was probably sharpening his shoot fighting skills when he wasn’t turning out the best brisket in town.

The brisket was so good I had to drive up to Muellers in Taylor and have a refresher meal for comparison’s sake.

There was a note taped up saying something to the effect that “Mueller’s Barbecue in Austin IS NOT Louie Mueller’s Barbecue”.

Black sheep? The internecine makeup of any family with more than 2 members will always be indecipherable to outsiders. Who knows what happened up in Taylor to set the young Mueller on his path towards his own restaurant?

I’d love to hear y’alls take on the original John Mueller Barbecue on Manor Road

All John Mueller coverage here

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