Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rudy Mikeska's Bar-B-Q

TAYLOR: Rudy Mikeska's Bar-B-Q
300 W. Second St. (Hwy 79)

Taylor, TX 76574


Open Thur-Sat 11-7

Update 2009 - This joint is CLOSED. Tim Mikeska has decided to close up the shop and pursue his online meat business.

Update 2008 - Tim Mikeska assured me that the quality at this joint would be top notch when he was around. He must have been off-duty on this day. The sausage was the same great version that I had previously, but the brisket had suffered. The slices were luke-warm with unrendered fat throughout which had partially cooled into gelatinous globules making these well flavored slices unappetizing. If this level of quality is tolerated, I have to lower the previously high rating.

Rating ***

2008 - Rudy Mikeska's gets some stiff competition next door from Louie Mueller's, but Tim Mikeska maintains that they're neighbors rather than competitors. He has definitely proven to be a solid competitor. The brisket here had a nice crust, and was fall apart tender with perfectly rendered fat. I noted to Tim that his brisket had been dry in the past, and he noted that everything was a little better on this day because he was there to oversee the process. The sausage was also a standout with a nice snap to the casing and great seasoning, with a little more fat than needed. Unfortunately the ribs were not ready, so we were asked to return.

Upon our return the ribs were ready. Tim Mikeska knew we on a quest for great BBQ, so he charged us for the ribs, then piled on more brisket, some pork tenderloin, and more sausage. These ribs were nearly as good as the brisket. It was slightly reddish rather than having a dark crust. They were nicely tender with good flavor. The rub was salty, but not overly so. What amazed me the most was how the great flavor remained on my fingers long after I was done.

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Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.