Thursday, November 5, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009: Meyer's Elgin Smokehouse (Elgin, Texas)

Immediately after eating way too much at Southside Market, we headed a little farther down the highway to Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse. Two things stand out about our visit: (1) Service: The Meyer family was wonderful, taking the time to sit down and visit with us throughout our meal, only to follow that up with a detailed tour. Good BBQ is that much better when it’s made by folks like the Meyers. (2) DINOSAUR RIBS: ½-pound beef ribs that are so tender you can (and we did) cut them off the bone with a plastic fork and knife. They’re like roasts on a bone, and we straight tore into all 4 of them. Safe to say that, as flavorful as everything was, the Dino ribs were the big winner.

I had brisket and turkey, both of which were sliced thin and had fantastic flavor. Great smoke ring on the brisket and that nice pinkish border around the edges of the smoked turkey. I would’ve scored each higher, but both were a bit too dry. I’ve never been impressed by anyone’s beef ribs (admittedly, I’ve never had the beef ribs at Louie Mueller, which won our award for Best Beef Ribs of 2008), but the Dino ribs were dang good, folks.

Russell kicks off the reviews: “This was the second place we visited in Elgin on this fine, rainy Saturday, but Meyer’s left no doubt for me that is was number 1 in town and among the absolute best in the state. Manning up on 2 places in Elgin was a great way to avoid some of the ACL madness in Austin on this rainy, muddy weekend. Beef ‘Dino’ ribs – Ginormous and tremendous, falling-off the bone tenderness and flavor. This is the must-have item at Meyer’s and rivals Louie Mueller’s beef rib for best in the state if not the universe beef rib! Beef sausage – Best I’ve ever had. I’m not a huge sausage fan, but theirs is worth coming back for. Elgin sausage + a Dino rib would be a great gift for any serious Man Upper! Brisket – About as good as lean brisket can get. Their state-of-the art, vacuum sealed meat tumbler does a brilliant job of sealing in the flavor and tenderizing the meat on a very consistent basis, as the Meyer’s were very kind to demonstrate for us. Hospitality – The Meyer family members who came out and chatted with us, along with the proprietors and other employees were about as nice, friendly and helpful as could be. They really took time and took an interest in our interest! Some of the best hospitality we’ve ever had. These people are real BBQ scientists/BBQ entrepreneurs and are very passionate about sharing their thoughts and tradition with other interested Texans!”

Jenny, who manned up on what I think was our very first BBQ baked potato order, loved the vibe at Meyer’s and loved her some Dino ribs: “Dino ribs: Best thing on the menu. So tender it melts in your mouth AND falls off the bone. Baked potato with brisket: Really good brisket that comes on the side chopped up. In fact, I would argue that the brisket that comes with the potato is better than the regular brisket...more tender and flavorful. Banana pudding: WOW, love the whipped texture. I recommend pairing Dino rib with banana pudding. Atmosphere: Ambiance is very important. Warming, loving environment. I loved the passion and friendliness of the Meyer family. Their customers were very warm and friendly as well. It was a happy place. Overall: Solid place.”

Dana, like the rest of the crew, thinks Meyer’s is “definitely the better of the two places in Elgin…Dino ribs – Very meaty and tender, but had a bit of an Asian taste which I don't like with my Texas BBQ. Beef sausage – Good for beef sausage but the pork was better. Creamed corn –It was better than out of a can, but not sides can compete with Opies!! Blue Bell banana pudding ice cream - Homemade goodness from Brenham!! Service – It makes it all that much enjoyable when the owners are excited you're there!!”

Bo, whose reviews are what get me outta bed in the morning, writes: “Just a little ways down Highway 290 from Southside is Meyer’s BBQ. As I drove past Meyer’s this past weekend on my way to Houston, the sign outside advertised the first annual BBQ bowl between the Elgin and Lockhart high schools. Wildcats vs. Lions. Just like the Elgin Wildcats, Meyer’s BBQ belongs going head to head with the BBQ places in Lockhart. It’s a toss up for who would win, maybe a seven game series would be best. Somebody alert Texas Monthly, because after eating at Meyers, it’s hard for me to believe Texas Monthly even knows where Elgin is. Meyer’s is an interesting concept because it utilizes new world technology in a very traditional and slow changing industry. Meyers has a ‘vacuum tumbler.’ Up to 420 pounds of brisket (or other types of meat) are mixed with perfect seasoning and a little bit of water. As the machine ‘tumbles,’ it also ‘vacuums.’ This pulling makes sure the seasoning reaches its way throughout the meat in a very consistent manner. The extra water in the tumbler is also inserted into the meat so when it is smoked, that extra water is lost first and the natural juices are left in the meat throughout the smoking process and all the way to the chopping block to your table. It sounds almost too scientific for a small town Texas BBQ joint but just go there and you will believe too, trust me. Brisket: The vacuum tumbler works, and it works wonders. Just like the Meyer family promises, the brisket was flavorful and consistent all over. Each slice tasted like the one before it. Unbelievable consistency. On a side note, Meyers offers two types of BBQ sauce, an original, and a honey one. They are both a great compliment to any of the meats. Dino ribs: These beef ribs are one of a kind. With close to a pound of meat on each rib you don’t need many of these to get full, but with the flavor you won’t stop eating. It’s alright, that’s why we call it Man-Up. If you go to Meyers and don’t get these, it’s almost a sin. Ok, not really, that’s not fair, it actually is a sin. Sausage: If you noticed Russell’s review he basically begs the Man-Up crowd to gift him a Meyers Dino rib and link of sausage. And he doesn’t even really like sausage! What else can you say? Overall: Meyer’s and Louie Mueller are easily my top two BBQ places in the state of Texas. The door didn’t even shut behind us on our way in before the entire Meyers family was introducing themselves and making sure we had enough Dino ribs to wonder if T-Rex’s were still around. The Meyer family speaks with such passion and enthusiasm it is enchanting. They even pretended they weren’t annoyed when I cross examined them about the vacuum tumbler. After the BBQ bowl Friday night I know where you can find me, right back at Meyers eating another Dino rib. And some brisket. And probably some sausage. And probably not alone.”

Impressed with the meats’ flavors, Deana writes, “Thank you, vacuum tumbler.” And, regarding the Dino ribs, she says she is “not typically one to eat meat the size of my arm, but when at Meyer’s...Man Up!”

Dave was equally impressed: “Meyer’s really blew me away with the tastiness of their beef sausage and also their Honey Mesquite BBQ sauce. Both are well worth the trip from Austin!”

Russell – Brisket: 9.68; Beef sausage: 9.98; Dinosaur ribs: 10; Service: 10; Overall experience: 9.95

Jenny – Brisket: 9.86; Dinosaur ribs: 9.99; Baked potato: 7; Banana pudding: 9.98; Atmosphere: 9.9; Overall experience: 9.86

Dana – Beef sausage: 9.75; Pork sausage: 9.8; Dinosaur ribs: 9.95; Creamed corn: 9; Blue Bell banana pudding ice cream: 10; Service: 10; Overall experience: 9.85

Bo – Brisket: 9.87; Beef sausage: 9.8; Dinosaur ribs: 9.99; Overall experience: 9.9

Deana – Brisket: 9.9; Beef sausage: 9.8; Turkey: 9.5; Dinosaur ribs: 10 (rounding down from Deana’s score of 11!); Service: 10; Overall experience: 10

Dave – Brisket: 9.5; Pork sausage: 8.5; Beef sausage: 10; Sauce: 8; Honey mesquite sauce: 10; Service: 10; Overall experience: 10

Drew – Brisket: 8.9; Turkey: 8.7; Dinosaur ribs: 9.75; Service: 10; Overall experience: 9.5

Mark – Brisket: 9.94; Chicken: 9.8; Sauce: 9.8; Dinosaur ribs: 10; Overall experience: 9.88

Overall Man-Up Score: 9.8675

Meyer's Elgin Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

RP said...

Wow, Boseph really manned up on that review. Bo knows BBQ and BBQ bowls. Awesome reviews all!

Everyone agrees: Meyers was legit; TX Monthly kinda missed it on this one.