vencil mares

Pitmaster Interview: Vencil Mares of Taylor Cafe

Owner/Pitmaster: Taylor Cafe; opened 1948 Age: 90 Smoker: Wood-fired offset smoker Wood: Post Oak Vencil Mares (pronounced like a group of female horses, not the planet) normally sits at the end of the bar just inside the side door of Taylor Cafe. For this interview we went into the only place in the restaurant with air conditioning – Vencil’s office. Even inside the office the train whistle from the tracks running beside the restaurant was deafening, and they happened about…

Super Bowl Debut for Taylor Cafe

  I didn’t expect to see Vencil Mares make his Super Bowl debut last night, but there he was with his red apron on sitting at his usual spot. It was quick, but right there at the 0:35 mark of a Chevy truck commercial, a rancher transporting his bull made a stop for some barbecue at the Taylor Cafe. Mares opened Taylor Cafe in 1948 after coming back from World War II. It’s been a…

Taylor Cafe

Octogenarian Vencil Mares has been perfecting his skills on the brick pit since 1948. We’d heard about his chicken, but the day we visited, the pork ribs were the highlight, with brisket not far behind. Mares’s trick is wrapping the meat in butcher paper and smoking it over post oak for eight or nine hours. “Don’t ever turn it over,” he says. After the meat is cooked, he rewraps it and stores it in an…