Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

There has not been a lot of change at Taylor Cafe since I first walked through the doors back in 1991. Pitboss emeritus and owner Vencil Mares is still posted up at the end of the bar, the old faded beer signs are still chockablock on the walls, foresaken train whistles from the Texas Eagle occasionally pierce the air, and the friendly little granny women that run the meat out of the kitchen are still just as nice as they can be.

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

And the barbecue is still hit and miss.

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

On a trip through central Texas in February of this year, Taylor Cafe put out the best brisket of the entire journey. And that trek included visits to six out of my top 10 Austin-region meat houses.

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Sadly, on this trip, that was not the case.

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Upon sitting down near an open window-a table away from a blasting AC window unit-a waitress races over to take our order. A pound of brisket and four Bohunk sausages normally sate our need for meat at Vencil’s and we reckon this visit to be no different.

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

The brisket appears momentarily and it’s the inverse of what we loved just a few short months ago. Back in February the beef was juicy with a crispy bark and a deep flavor of burning oak wood. This brisket is wan and has the flavor of day-old pot roast. Perhaps if it would’ve been chopped up and put in a Crockpot with sauce overnight it could have been rehabilitated.

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

The sausage saves the day with a perfect, tight grind of bull meat featuring plenty black pepper and a good amount of fat (possibly pork). There’s a nice snap to the casing and a quick dip in the tomato-based barbecue sauce only heightens the flavor.

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Vencil Mares has come a long way from his days as a medic with the 102nd Evacuation Unit during WWII (signing up in 1943).

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

He’s built an internationally famous restaurant from humble beginnings, (Mares paid $3700 for the building back in 1948 when he opened) raised a family, and created dozens of good jobs for the Taylor community. Lord knows how many cooks and waitresses have drawn a check there in the last 68 years.

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

When Mares opened his little business competition was stiff in Taylor with roughly a dozen barbecue joints in town. He outlasted every single one of them and the old pit boss did it by working from 6am to 10pm seven days a week since he was just a young buck.

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

He’s 92 now and he still gets up at 5am every day.

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

That’s how an old Tex-Czech who was raised on a beef farm nearly a hundred years ago
does it.

Daniel Vaugh interviews Vencil Mares

101 N Main St
Taylor, Texas
76574

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Hours of operation
Sunday 9AM–10PM
Monday 9AM–10PM
Tuesday 9AM–10PM
Wednesday 9AM–10PM
Thursday 9AM–10PM
Friday 9AM–10PM
Saturday 9AM–10PM

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

Taylor Cafe In Taylor Texas

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