Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Davis Grocery & Bar-B-Q

TAYLOR: Davis Grocery & Bar-B-Q
400 S Robinson St

Taylor, TX 76574


Open Daily 10-7

After a stop at Louie Mueller's up the street, I had Davis Grocery on my mind. I read about it in Follow the Smoke, and have wanted to stop since. Walnut Street is just on the other side of the tracks from the bustle of downtown Taylor. Without the Louie Mueller traffic, it was positively serene around this tiny metal building. Things inside were quiet with only one other customer, so our group was certainly noticed. Along with my family and I, we brought along a group from Houston that included Chris, Fulmer, Phaedra (the inventor of the term foochebag) and her husband who took a load of great photos.

This joint is a true grocery store with walls full of dry goods and plenty of drink options. I snagged a tall boy of Big Red while I waited to order at the counter where owner and pitmaster James Davis does the carving.

In addition to the Central Texas BBQ standards, the menu also features mutton ribs and smoked fajita meat. We ordered a little of everything, but the highlight for me was the brisket. The meat was intensely smokey with a great crust. A simple rub allowed the beefiness to shine through. The meat was plenty moist, but could have been a bit more tender.

Ribs had the same issues with tenderness, but again the meat had incredible flavor from the balanced spices and great mesquite smoke. I continue to order mutton ribs in order to acquire the taste, but I still haven't come around. They were certainly well cooked, but the taste just reminds me of the smell of wet wool. Fajita meat (or skirt steak) is a notoriously tough cut. It requires fast cooking and a deft slicing hand (and usually some meat tenderizer) to make it chewable. I learned here that smoking it can provide a very unique flavor, it doesn't result in tender meat as the finished product. My next trip to Taylor will certainly include this joint, but I'll be sticking with the brisket and ribs.

Rating ****

Davis Grocery Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon


Chinese Whispers said...

Big Red? You have lost all credibility sir and all of your bbq reports are meaningless.

Captain Mikey said...

I commend you on your "spot on" review of Reverend Davis' brisket and ribs. James has been very consistent for all eight years i have been patronizing his modest establishment. Big Red harkens back to bygone days and the backwaters of Texas. To each his own when it comes to liquid refreshment but Davis' BBQ is well worth the sidetrip between Austin and Dallas. Good job. Love your site!

Anonymous said...

Glad these guys are in the post now. It's best kept secret in CTX. BIG RED is absolutely synonymous with que. I've had mutton at SAMS, Willies and Davis. Davis is the best.

Looking for review of Vick's BBQ PORKSTEAK HEAVEN.

Anonymous said...

So glad to see you give Reverend Davis a glowing recommendation on our blog. He's one heckuva pitmaster. Every time I go to visit my kin ( I live in Dallas, spent my Summers and Christmas breaks in nearby Thorndale) I visit the Davis Market.


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.