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The Dark Prince of Barbecue Rises in Georgetown


In one word how would I describe my visit to John Mueller Black Box Barbecue? Memorable.

John Mueller is a Texas barbecue legend that grew up learning about smoking meat from his late father, Bobby. The family business, Louie Mueller Barbecue, started in 1949 in Taylor, TX. John Mueller and his sister, Leann Mueller (owner and chef of La Barbecue), since have opened their own barbecue joints. It kind of seems unfair for so much talent to exist in one family, right?

John's most recent adventure has been John Mueller Box Barbecue located at 201 E9th St. Georgetown, TX. John currently operates out of a food trailer, but has plans to move into a building space in the future. Co-owner Justin Bohls is a well connected business purveyor in Georgetown, TX and it seems as though he already has his eyes set on a location.

John's smoking technique closely represents his fathers, higher heat and shorter duration of time, which seperates his barbecue from all the rest. This Pitmaster arrives to the truck at 2:30am Thursday through Sunday mornings (the trucks only days open for business) and the meat is done by 8am. When I asked John what time he goes to sleep before these insanely early pit mornings he said, "usually around 11, I'm young." To John, these early hour meat smoking hours are family right of passage.

Although John claims brisket and sausage are the stars of the show, he also knows (rightfully so) that all his food is damn good. I personally couldn't get enough of his fall of the bone beef ribs and the simple smoky sophisitcation of his sliced turkey breast. I am not anti carb, but I skipped the bread so every inch of my stomach had room for MEAT!

John's cheesy squash side dish is an adaptation from a cheesy squash casserole he used to eat at a childhood hometown spot. Since butter and cheese are the star ingredients, I wouldn't go claiming this side as a health food, but it does serve as a gluten free option. In fact, everything from their truck with exception to the bread is gluten free (celiac and wheat allergy sufferers rejoice!).

Some have called him the "Dark Prince of Barbecue", but I don't care what you call John; I was honored to shoot the breeze with him and if there ever is a next time, I'll make sure to bring beer.

Insider tips:

1. Bring some cold beer. Black Box Barbecue is BYOB.

2. Waiter with Wheels will deliver the food to your doorstep within their delivery zone.

3. If you experience a case of order indecisiveness, fear not because it's all good.

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