Owner: Barry Sorkin
First memory of TX BBQ: "I had a friend who went to UT, and he was in town in Chicago. It was maybe 15 or 20 years ago. We went to a BBQ place in Chi, not a very good one. And he sat down and asked where was the brisket. To me, that was Jewish food. That dried tasteless stuff that my Mom used to make? Why would that be here? So he talked me into going down to Texas, and my first stop was Louie Mueller. That's the enduring image of the quintessential BBQ place."
Why Central TX-style: "We never really set out to be a TX BBQ, it just so happened that it's my favorite style. We also do KC-style baked beans, Memphis ribs, and Carolina pulled pork, but the TX-style brisket and sausage are our best sellers."
Favorite TX BBQ joints: Louie Mueller, Smitty's, Black's, Cooper's in Llano. Then in the new generation, Aaron Franklin.
How many briskets: On a busy Saturday, 90-100.
The rub: Mainly salt, sugar, pepper, paprika. Plus garlic salt, onion powder, dried ginger, and a lot more. "Louie Mueller might be the best brisket on the planet, but I didn't want to copy it."
The wood: Oak and apple
The smoker: Southern Pride, wood-burning with gas assist
How they honor the Lone Star State: Flying in sausages from Rudy Mikeska's Bar-B-Q in Taylor, TX.