Ahhh,my beloved State Highway 130.I never thought those words would leave this pen but this remarkable roadway has cut a good 20 minutes off my pilgrimages to Taylor Texas and the wonderful barbecue at Louie Mueller's.
The boss is out of town so I put a double workload on myself yesterday and reaped the reward of no work today.It's a lovely Fall afternoon and time to go get some barbecue.
I motor out MLK towards Webberville and swing up SH-130,25 minutes later I'm parking in front of Muellers'.Life and limb are not at risk,unlike I-35 which has turned into a Mad Max style roadway of doom[extension ladders belong on the backs of trucks not straddling the highway].
Mueller's Barbecue is good.The brisket can't hang with Blacks for buttery deliciousness but it is some of the finest our region has to offer.I always get the same thing:A pound of fatty,outside slice with Pickles Onions and an ice cold Lonestar.The sauce is unique;basically it tastes like a thin,beef consomme with a touch of tomato.It perfectly complements the beef.
The environment is pure Texas.20 foot ceilings,hardwood floors and vast windows letting in all the natural sunlight you can dream of.It always makes me happy to eat there on an orange-y Fall afternoon.Service is fast and smiling.This is a family spot run by people who look after your needs as though you are a favored cousin.I wish the old jukebox in the corner still works but with an old Alvin Crow song playing on the hi-fi who cares?
A pound of beef only fills me up if I let it.Instead of using napkins I massage the juicy drippings into my hands as I go...sort of like a meaty Oil of Olay.At the end of my meal I don my leather jacket and wipe my greasy paws all over the front.Over the years these ablutions have turned the front of the jacket into an oily,meaty,patina of barbecue...the jacket is steer hide,the juicy salve is normally brisket based....it's a beautiful thing-this.
A quick spin around Taylor and I spot a promising looking cafe:Reiny's on Main Street.Walking in the only language I hear is German.Two elderly haus fraus are speaking it and the staff in the kitchen are using it as well.I ask for a pastry and a cup of coffee.The owner[Reiny]carves me off a hunk of Apple Streudel from a virgin loaf in the dessert case,asks me if I'd like Ice Cream and sends me off to my table.I'm intensely excited at this point and can barely wait for my treat.I feel like a dog that's been really really good and is about to get the bone he so richly deserves.The Streudel is good.It could've been great but it'd suffered a spin through a microwave and that is a terrible thing to do to a pastry.Next time I'll get it cold.The rest of the menu looks very promising[Goulash,Spaetzle,Meatballs,Sauerkraut,Mashed Potatoes,Schnitzel,Stroganoff and Reiny's take on Spaghetti] and I'm priming myself up for another trip really soon.
I noticed a couple other establishments in Taylor that piqued my curiosity.How is Ferrari's? Mama's Tacos? O'Brian's Meats? any other gems I'm missing out on? With the tollway eliminating I-35 as my means to get to Taylor I'm going to be hitting up this charming little town quite a bit in the next couple months and could use a country hound's tips on where to go and what to eat.