Rest in peace Vencil Mares

Old school barbecue man Vencil Mares of Taylor Cafe in Taylor, Texas has passed. How old school was Mr Vencil? He opened his barroom slash barbecue joint in 1948 and was involved in running the operation as owner until his death earlier this week.

That’s 71 years.

We last visited him in August of this year and had a fine feast for roughly $5. That fiver netted us two pluperfect Bohunk sausages with a full spread of cold onions, dill pickles and that signature sauce whose recipe people begged for like scurvy dogs.

Vencil Mares was born in the hinterlands of Fayette County on November 10, 1923 to Stan Mares and Lexie Zimmerhanzel- Mares. He died on November 24, 2019 in Taylor.

We were lucky to eat at Mares’ table since the late 80s when we began venturing up to Taylor in search of new barbecue as we were plumb tuckered out on what the Austin scene had way back then.

We’d rotate between Louie Mueller’s and Vencil’s old joint.

Texas hot guts and oak-smoked brisket always landed on our plates in those halcyon days.

Mr Mares was honored by the city of Taylor on November 10th of this year and was given the keys to the city. Henceforth that day will always be known as ‘Vencil Mares Day.’

Bohunk sausage at Taylor Cafe

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