Reviews

Louie Mueller Barbecue

Forty-nine years of post oak coals in the pit have smoke-cured the building, which previously housed a ladies’ basketball court and a grocery market. Louie moved in with his barbecue business in 1959; his son, Bobby, took over more than three decades ago, but not a thing has suffered from the change of hands or the progression of time. Rather, the soot-covered green paint, high ceilings, and aging business cards on the wall have elevated…

Cousin’s Barbecue

In barbecue time there’s before, during, and after. Before our meal at Cousin’s, we studied the brisket’s thin, dark crust. During our meal, the smoky taste made us lose track of our other senses. Ribs were rich. Sauce was tart. Sweet beans really were. After, we wondered where the time had gone.

Bubba’s Bar-B-Q

Twenty minutes after opening, the wood-paneled dining room was already filling up with patrons. The hickory-smoked ribs were so good we ate everything that wasn’t bone . . . and kept the bones for marrow-sucking. Sides vary daily, but don’t miss the crisp coleslaw mixed with just enough mayonnaise and a hint of sugar. Forgo the too-sweet sauce.

TC’s Ponderosa

The meats at this convenience store with but three tables were so pleasingly smoky we were shocked to learn the pit burns propane. TC’s only sells meat by the pound and sandwiches. Of the eight meats, seventeen-and-a-half-hour brisket and piquant beef-pork hot links were the stars. Beans and slaw are made in-house. Dark, medium-thick sauce had a vinegary nip. Fresh desserts too.

City Market

You’ve come for wholeness, for satisfaction deep within your soul. Your searching has brought you here, to the company of fellow pilgrims in the snaking line. Slowly, you advance across the tile floor, past the knotty-pine walls, and up to the inner sanctum: a glass-enclosed chamber where a host of priests, in green apron vestments and orange hard hats, labor at a smoky altar. Aware of your unworthiness, you push open the swinging door. This…

Thompson’s BBQ

As a general rule, the barbecue biz is pretty low-tech, but we noticed that owner Robert Thompson and his wife, Linda, both wore wireless telephone headsets. Perhaps this be-prepared attitude is the secret to Thompson’s success. He insists that pecan is the correct wood and that twelve hours is the correct smoking time. Tender brisket and pork shoulder bore out his theories, although the meat could have done with a lot less salt in the…

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