The line was 75 fanatics deep. The brisket quivered under a mantle of a heavy dose of cracked black pepper and the hot guts sausage glowed like the Texas sun.

It’s day one at LA Barbecue, LeAnn Mueller’s new outfit in the former south Austin home of JMueller BBQ.

Bloodlines. Earlier this week we reported on the concussive blast of John Mueller {} being removed from the restaurant that bears his name. Amid allegations of financial mismanagement, the legendary Texas pit boss was removed from the business that had set the United States barbecue world on fire for the past 13 months.

We half expected people to take to the streets, as Mueller was in the midst of a redemption story that even the most grizzled newshound could appreciate.

That story will have another chapter on another day but this report will concern itself with the output from John Lewis. Lewis, the pit boss at Franklin Barbecue, famously left Aaron Franklin’s world renowned meat house to apprentice under John Mueller {}. The apprenticeship was brief and now Lewis is the man in charge of the hottest smoker in Central Texas.

How’s his meat?


As the brisket settles onto the cutting board it jiggles like a young Jayne Mansfield. This is the red velvet cake of steer muscle. Perfectly seasoned beefy butter.

Turkey is something we eat once per annum on Thanksgiving but in the interest of a full report….it’s fine. The all white meat hunk is juicy and well salted; we’ll leave it at that.

A monster beef chuck rib, the battleaxe of the Texas barbecue world, is superb. A pound or so of voluptuous, tender flesh, barely clings to a bone that could double as a weapon.

The pork ribs come with a light, sweet glaze needing just a glance in their direction for the meat to tumble off the bone.

Finally, the star of the show: The infamous Texas Hot Guts sausage. Out of this world. John Lewis is to be congratulated for putting the time, energy and effort into making his own sausage via the time honored grinder/extruder method. We don’t know a single place in town {correct us if we’re wrong} that’s got the heart and desire it takes to make the stuff from scratch. It’s tedious, time-consuming work that only the most serious craftsman is willing to take the time to do. The medium grind meat exhibits a good ratio of lean to fat needing only a heftier dose of cayenne to take it to world-beater status.

It’s the best meat we sampled at this new restaurant.

Much will be written about this new business as the old, hide-bound, moss-back media types shake free from their torpor and descend on Bouldin Creek. Owner LeAnn Mueller is the daughter of Bobby Mueller {RIP,} perhaps the most famous pit boss to ever kindle a fire in the great state.

John Lewis comes with some pretty good bona fides as well. The long-time muscle behind Franklin Barbecue, he’d barely had time to get settled in as John Mueller’s apprentice before the epic dust-up that saw Mueller ousted from the business that he’d made famous.


Related: An obituary for JMueller BBQ

and a birth notice for LeAnn Mueller’s outfit

Terlingua Chili Pop Up this Sunday Nov 11 at 3 Little Pigs food trailer in East Austin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>