Friday, May 20, 2011

The best brisket in Texas?

Earlier this week I had to take another trip down US59 to Jackson County, Texas. As luck would have it, I was on the road at lunchtime.

Two of the biggest joints down that way are Mikeska's and Prasek's which I reviewed in an earlier post ("Barbecue showdown way down South"). Today's target was Mustang Creek in Louise. I've passed by the place countless times on the way down toward South Texas but I'd never stopped there.

Folks at the Jackson County Courthouse in Edna gave the place, housed in a converted gas station (the pumps are still out front), high marks. Now it was my turn.

The lady at the register suggested I choose the buffet since I was dining in. At only 30 cents more than the two-meat plate, how could I refuse?

As standard in my tests, I chose brisket and sausage without sauce. I want to taste the smoke and the meat and you just can't do that when you drown the meat with spicy red sauce. Real barbecue should be eaten dry - just like a good steak. As my sides I chose the pinto beans, potatoes and (of course) banana pudding.

The pinto beans were, well, pinto beans. The potatoes were damn good. It was a cross of hot potato salad and mashed potatoes seasoned with butter and onions. The meat was cut thick and was firm without being dry. The rub left a peppery crust on the meat. The sausage was also cut thicker than either Prasek's or Mikeska's dares. The banana pudding was heavenly.

According to the pit boss, Cecil Sanchez, Mustang Creek smokes their brisket over oak for "at least" six hours. The smoke ring is thick and the meat is tasty. While the atmosphere has nothing on its neighbors to the north, Mustang Creek's barbecue beats both Prasek's and Mikeska's.

No comments: