Our sixth stop on the Central Texas 5-Star Anniversary BBQ Tour took us back in time to Prause Meat Market, a fourth generation meat market in the small town of La Grange.
We had begun day two of the tour with breakfast at Snow's BBQ in Lexington, which set the bar for BBQ excellence for the day. La Grange is 39 miles south of Lexington on US Hwy. 77, a route that passes directly by City Meat Market in Giddings, one the the best BBQ joints in Texas.
Gary Prause met us at the counter and basically gave us the VIP tour of the place. He runs the business with other family members, going back four generations in his family. He showed family photos and explained the history of the meat market, which started in another location on the old town square in La Grange in 1904.
Gary also took us on a tour of the smokers and introduced us to pitmaster Monroe Schubert, who has cooked at Prause Meat Market for the past 42 years. We dined on sausage and pork and soaked in the surroundings. This is a world-class BBQ joint and it's easy to see why BBQ Snob Daniel Vaughn has it as one of his 15 five-star joints in the state.
Texas BBQ Posse member and our pitmaster Marshall Cooper gives his thoughts on the visit. "Prause Meat Market was a great place chalked full of memorabilia, the decor is classic small town Texas. The sausage was excellent, seasoned perfectly to enhance the beef and pork flavors that subtly imparted spice flavors in the finish," Marshall writes. "Prause is a definite winner and a must to see for folks who are serious about their BBQ."
Marshall's wife Sheilagh, also a Posse member adds, "I wonder if these BBQ “originals” are a dying breed. As the newer BBQ restaurants open and expand to meet demand, can the art of the pit BBQ be replicated? There is something to be said for the history of a place and its’ people."
If you are a student of Texas barbecue history and planning a BBQ tour, Prause Meat Market is a must stop on your itinerary. If it's not too busy, ask Gary for a quick tour and review of Prause Market's history. If barbecue heaven exists, you are definitely in the neighborhood when you visit Prause Meat Market in La Grange.
Prause Meat Market, 253 W. Travis, La Grange, 979-968-3259. Open Mon-Wed & Fri 6am-5:30pm, Thurs 6am-1pm, Sat 5:30am-1pm.
Photos ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse