Decided to take a break from the DFW barbecue scene and head down to Elgin.
First was Southside Market. Decent brisket, but on the dry side. Tender spare ribs with above average flavor. The mutton ribs made me want to wash my mouth out with soap. Highly unappetizing morsels. But its sausage that Southside is known for. And, on the sausage, they delivered in spades. Moist, well-seasoned, coarsely ground, and addictive. Fantastic stuff.
Next was Meyers BBQ, just down 290 from Southside. Did sausage only here. Their beef sausage had a pleasant spiciness, but was leaner than I would have preferred. The garlic pork links were very moist and flavorful. With loads of minced garlic visible in cross-section, this sausage is not recommended for romantics or vampires.
Next was Cross-town Bar-B-Que, in the historic downtown area. Much more locals only feel than the preceding two. Brisket was comparable to Southsides, decently flavored, but too dry. Spare ribs had pretty good flavor, but fell short in tenderness and meatiness. Hefty beef ribs required effort to get the meat off the bone, but paid off with good smokiness and flavor. The sausage was similar in flavor and moisture to Meyers regular beef sausage, making it very good, but not best in show.
On the way back to Dallas, we stopped at Louie Muellers in Taylor (see picture below). Great atmosphere, with the smoke coated walls and floors, the pillars of light flooding through the high storefront windows, and the prominently displayed pit. Brisket was still sandwich-grade, but, because it was moister and had a nice cracked peppercorn crust, it was better than the others wed had on this day. Spare ribs were tender enough, but werent sufficiently meaty and lacked bark (though they did have the cracked black pepper crust). The regular beef sausage had good flavor, but was either too moist or loosely packed, making it hard to cut and, once cut, to keep in the casing. The jalapeno sausage was very enjoyable--moist, but more densely packed, and with a strong vegetal flavor (i.e., not just heat) from the chiles.
Apart from the sausages, none of the meats were top-tier for Texas. But, still, when you have that kind of concentration of great sausages, you have something special.
Passing through West on the way home, we stopped in to see Nemecek Brothers--a Czech meat market thats been there for more than a century. A cool place, with very friendly people. Also did some legwork in preparation for a thorough exploration and comparison of the local kolache offerings. Its a small enough town that it shouldnt be too hard to find the good stuff, with a little effort.
For more details, photos, and comparisons, see the link below.