Thursday, January 3, 2013

Felix Meat Market

LA JOYA: Felix Meat Market
121 W Expy 83
La Joya, TX 78560
Open ?

Felix was just about out of meat by the time we stopped just before sundown. In addition to the Texas trinity on the menu, he also had fajitas, but all that remained was brisket and sausage. As Felix gathered the food I noticed the scant meat case in the back of the store. I knew pretty quickly which sausage I was getting after seeing the entire top row was full of Hillshire Farm links. The place was empty so Felix came to sit and talk with us during our meal. He was a butcher at HEB in the sixties until he bought this land for a pittance. He built the store here, and he's been running it ever since.

All of the meat was prepared over direct heat pits in the back and assembled out of sight back in the kitchen. It came out covered in sauce, but I'm not sure if Felix would have had it any other way. He explained that the meat is fine, but the flavor really comes from the sauce. I guess it all came out just as he had planned because all I could taste was the sauce. The well seasoned beans were what I kept returning to whenever I needed to take a bite for simple politeness. The conversation was better than the food, but he assured us that we had really missed out on the fajitas. Maybe someone can stop and let me know about the fajitas. You'll at least get some good hospitality out of it.

Rating **

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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.