We read Virginia Woods article on Austin’s barbecue scene with great interest. The old gal’s been around for years and we reckoned she might have some good input from the perspective of an old school Austinite.

Wrong.

On Wood, tackling the topic of sausage: As near as we can tell, John Mueller is the only barbecue man in town putting out his own hand-made sausage. It doesn’t originate “from Texas Sausage Company in East Austin.” as Woods posits.

We just ate a pound, hacked off a rope and hot off the smoker, two days ago and it was certainly not from Texas Sausage Company. It was clearly homemade with a good peppery bite and the signature Mueller grind.

Texas Sausage Company puts out some good links but they’re not in Mueller’s league. Not by a long shot.

A more accurate description of Mueller’s links come from Mick Vann, in the same article, who describes Live Oak Barbecue’s sausage thusly: “first-rate, with a medium grind, peppery flavor, the kiss of smoldering post oak, and a good snap on the casing.”

That’s some good writing and it’s good to see Live Oak taking their sausage more seriously. The first three times we had it, it was clearly a commercial offering, on par with Smoky Denmark and definitely not made in house.

Making sausage from scratch is arduous, time consuming business. Why do you think so few places still do it.

Give Mueller some credit for following in the tradition of his legendary dad, Bobby and spending a full work day, once per week, to ensure that that tradition is carried on and not just another bygone artifact of the foodways of old school Texas pit bosses.

And those thick cut pork chops that Woods is partial to? They were taken off the menu over a month ago.
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No byline on the thumbnails of a couple other Austin barbecue houses. Good thing cause some of the mini reviews are plainly wrong.

Green Mesquite Barbecue: “the food is exceptional”- What? Green Mesquite can be described in many ways but the word exceptional should not come into play. They do put out a good Turkey sandwich and their fries are honest but exceptional? No.

Stubb’s Barbecue: “has damn good barbecue”- Christopher Stubblefield would be doing barrel rolls in his grave if he saw what the restaurant that bears his name was putting out and calling barbecue. It’s a Sysco house, nothing more.

Austin is in a full blown barbecue renaissance currently. Beneath the big two of John Mueller and Aaron Franklin there are scores of local outfits champing for recognition. Stiles Switch is the strongest contender but still a ways off from the uppermost strata of smoked meat.

As 2012 develops it will be interesting to see which young guns that are flying under the radar right now will move into the spotlight.

all barbecue coverage http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/Barbecue

RL Reeves Jr goes in depth on ex-Louie Mueller pit boss Lance Kirkpatrick of Stiles Switch Barbecue http://chowpapi.com/wordpress/wordpress-2.8.6/wordpress/?p=1824

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