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Barbecue -- Mueller's and Cooper's

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Barbecue -- Mueller's and Cooper's

ddavis | Apr 7, 2008 07:48 PM

We had the pleasure of eating at Mueller's in Taylor and Cooper's in Llano over the past weekend. Both are still putting out great stuff.

Mueller's (pronounced Miller's) has always been my favorite among the pantheon of Texas 'cue joints. Nothing happened this weekend to change that. We tried the brisket, both fatty and lean, pork rib, regular sausage and jalapeno sausage. The brisket was great, especially (my view, not my wife's) the fatty. Smokey, just tender and juicy. Pork rib was good, not great -- it could have been more tender. The regular sausage was outstanding -- spicy and ground medium, well packed and toothsome. The jalapeno sausage was not as good. It was very coursely ground and loosely packed in a very tough casing. Sides of potato salad and coleslaw were unnecessary and just okay. They have two different sauces, neither of which should ever be put on the meat. I asked one of the guys who worked there what they called the sauce they put on your tray as you get your 'cue and he said "Sauce." There is a different, very vinegary sauce in bottles on the tables. I asked him what it was and he said "Table sauce."

Cooper's has always been hit or miss for me. Sunday it was definitely a hit, once we finally got to choose our meat and get to eating. The wait was 30 minutes in the line outside the restaurant. When we finally got to the pit, from which you pick your meat from a very large selection, we chose some lean and fatty brisket, sausage and pork loin. The brisket was very good, but not on the same level as Mueller's. The sausage was just so-so, but very edible. Pork loin was fantastic -- smokey, juicy and tender. Sides of potato salad and coleslaw were better than those at Mueller's but again, totally irrelevant. Peach cobbler was excellent. Fortunately, I picked out way too much meat for two of us for lunch, so we had to bring the leftovers home. They made a great sandwich for dinner last night.

No doubt these are two of the best. Everybody has his/her favorites. Mueller's is mine. Cooper's is third. I wouldn't turn down a meal anytime at either.

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