Monday, February 15, 2010

Delish Dish 4: Beef Brisket at Inman's BBQ Kitchen & Catering, Llano, TX

Many years ago, a writer at Texas Monthly wrote an article in which he scoffed at the idea of Lockhart, Texas as the Holy Mecca of Barbecue. In his view, Llano barbecue was even better, delivering more of the true Texas campfire flavor and texture that made a diner feel like eating from a chuckwagon on the open range. Over the years, I've managed to venture several times to two of these three eateries, the justly-famous Coopers and the lesser-known Lairds. Both, particularly Coopers, deliver stellar barbecue, but I just felt that Louis Muellers in Taylor was a tiny bit better than both when it came to brisket. Recently, my lovely wife the Rock Star and I were enjoying a wine tasting at nearby Fall Creek Winery when the discourse happened to fall upon barbecue. The proprietors said they indeed enjoyed both Coopers and Lairds, but the best of all was Inman's Kitchen, a locals favorite that just happened to be the third place mentioned by Texas Monthly long ago. Since it was lunchtime, my wife and I determined to check out Inman's for ourselves, and duly made our way there when said tasting was completed.

Housed in a former hospital, Inman's may not have the delightful vibe of either Lairds rambling house or Coopers open dining room, but the welcome was quite warm. We placed our orders for two meat plates, the better to sample it all, including turkey breast, turkey sausage, ribs, and brisket. Inman's is justly famous for their turkey sausage, which delivered a peppery kick, and the ribs, turkey breast and sides, particularly coleslaw, were excellent as well. But the undeniable star of both plates was the brisket. One bite of that juicy, savory masterpiece gave me the campfire flavor and texture I was searching for, simultaneously tender and chewy, with an impossibly long, slow smoky finish that stayed on the tastebuds for a long time. In short, a brisket to rival anything I've had in Lockhart or Taylor, or at Coopers for that matter. Website is if you should wish to journey to Llano, and finding Inman's is easy in this town of 3500; heading West, it's just down the street from Coopers, on the right. Find your own campfire fixin's tonight, and remember:


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