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Brisket Man Sings A Song Of (Meat) Slice And Fire

Settle in and let barbecue blogger Matt "Brisket Man" Gross serenade you with a tale as old as time: the story of smoked meat. "The Tale Of Franklin, Mueller and Lewis" chugs through a brief history of who's cooking with, for and in spite of who in the Austin barbecue scene, starring Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue, John Mueller of John Mueller Meat Co. and John Lewis of la Barbecue.

Like so:

Out of chaos and confusion, a miracle was found
The best three cooks in America are in the same damn town
Aaron, Lewis and Mueller, three Texas barbecue greats
I don't know what their futures hold, but I can't wait to taste their fate
In a little over three minutes, Gross tackles the last several years of barbecue happenings in town, from Mueller packing up shop on Manor Road, to the rise of Franklin, to "barbecue prodigy" Lewis' mastery at la Barbecue.

Audio: The Tale of Franklin, Mueller & Lewis

The lyrics:

Well this song'll start with Aaron, of Franklin Barbecue
A hipster-idol meat man with a line to Timbuktu
Well his brisket's made Food & Wine, folks lined up for days
And thus began the nationwide Texas barbecue craze

Well next we got John Mueller, that ole' surly sonuvabitch
Transformed a simple beef rib into a gourmet dish
Black pepper, oak and patience were the secrets of his trade
You'll find him in East Austin, slingin' smoked meat to this day

Our third man is John Lewis, a barbecue prodigy
He truly is the wunderkind of Texas gastronomy
Give him any cut of pork or beef and see what he can do
He'll cook it better'n you can dream, I guarantee that's true

Now here's where the story gets interesting

Few years ago, ole' Mueller was cookin' on Manor Road
When insanity and drinkin', forced his shop to close
His pit went to his assistant, which was Aaron if y'all don't know
And Aaron opened up on 51st with Mueller's pit in tow

Now Aaron wanted Lewis to come in and run the pit
So Lewis came and brought his magic, Franklin was a hit
In the meantime ole' John Mueller opened back up in the south
Crankin' out them beef ribs to feed the hungry mouths

Son, nothin' lasts forever, Aaron and Lewis had to part
See, Mueller recognized the talent, hired Lewis at his cart
For a short time all was well in the world of barbecue
Yeah, nothin' lasts forever son, like I just told you

Then one day, a fight broke out between Mueller and his boss
Accusations flew like arrows, cheap shots and chaos
Mueller packed up, opened shop on the other side of town
That left Lewis as the man in charge to hold that legacy down

Out of chaos and confusion, a miracle was found
The best three cooks in America are in the same damn town
Aaron, Lewis and Mueller, three Texas barbecue greats
I don't know what their futures hold, but I can't wait to taste their fate

If you're wondering when Aaron Franklin had a pit on 51st Street, you're not going crazy: it's a mistake that Gross says he'll fix in later versions.

· The Tale Of Franklin, Mueller & Lewis [Brisket Man]
· All Barbecue Coverage on Eater Austin [-EATX-]

[Photo: Courtesy of John Mueller Meat Co.]

Franklin Barbecue

900 East 11th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 653-1187 Visit Website

John Mueller Meat Co.

2500 East Sixth Street, Austin, 78702

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