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“a Sunday tradition”
Review of Taylor Cafe

Taylor Cafe
Ranked #4 of 52 Restaurants in Taylor
Price range: US$0 - US$7
Cuisines: Barbecue
Restaurant details
Reviewed 4 March 2014

a local individual that always considered this a very special treat, we usually would get a chance on late Sunday evenings to go by and pick up something for the evening meal. God Bless them always.

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1  Thank Sjmm V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 - 49 of 59 reviews

Reviewed 12 February 2014

Vencil came home from WWII and began smoking barbecue next to the train tracks...I know 'cause I spoke to him about his long career at Taylor Cafe. It's a nondescript ramshackle joint and it absolutely won't excite you when you walk in and see the ambience. But this 'cue is as good as the big names anywhere in Texas. The waitresses are friendly, the prices are low, the beer is cold, and you absolutely will not be disappointed in Vencil's brisket and ribs. Go ahead, set your watch back a few decades...fun place.

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Thank Robert T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2014

Stopped by traveling through. Bar B Q here is always soooo consistant ! Brisket is just right of smoke, Chicken melt in your mouth and of course the Home Made Sausage like non other!! People this is the ONLY Bar B Q joint left around that still cooks on earth pits and DOES NOT have to wrap their meat in foil to get it tender!!! One of a kind!

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1  Thank RonnieLynRieger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2013 via mobile

My brother had wanted to go to this place for a while. He had read about it so I decided to come along. We drove from Dallas to Taylor which is about just outside. The place might seem like a old time western movie but don't hesitate to go right in. Just sit at any table and you'll get table service. The service was very attentive and outstanding. The barbecue ribs and sausage were mouthwatering and delicious. I enjoyed seeing the locals enjoying a cold brew, playing pool or just having good food. I must admit that I was not sold on making the trip to the Taylor Cafe but glad I did. If you are into great old fashion barbecue in a old nostalgic setting this is the place.

Thank addisonman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2013

MKFWMarch commented about segregated seating. Forgive me for having left Texas in 1989, but is this with reference to Mexican-Americans, African-Americans, Eurasians, gender, provenance (tourists sit here, locals sit there)? I did not notice it either time I ate there, once in 2009, and once in 2012. I plan to go again in 2013.

TexMo 2008 top 6 through 50 barbecue joints, unaccountably absent from the top 50 of 2013.
Lunch, 25 Feb., 2012

We had an intense visit to the Taylor Café. On arrival we were the only customers, and a lot happened before we left, at which time there were at least 15 customers.

The Taylor Café is the life work of 88 year old Vencil Mares. It is many things including a bar, a pool room, an almost perfect Faraday cage, and the site of an idiosyncratic barbecue pit. Even in a state full of idiosyncracies, this pit is attention getting. It’s long and low, a box made mostly of firebrick glazed white on at least one side, with a series of square iron doors on its top, with a firebox at one end. The pitmaster explained, “We do use natural gas, but only to start the wood burning, then we turn it off.” He also showed that there was no chimney, but a horizontal fan in the wall above the pit to “give draft” to the pit and the room that contains it as well.

He explained a rotation system for the items being smoked, based on proximity to the fan. “Every time I open it, I lose 15 minutes.” He also explained their goal of cooking the briskets to “about 90% done, then wrappin’ ‘em in butcher paper and puttin’ ‘em” in an insulated box “to finish cooking in their own heat, and with all their own juices.”

A friendly customer at the counter made sure we left with a “Barbecue Times” signed by Vencil Mares. It was actually an issue of the Taylor TX newspaper from 2010, but it had at least three articles about the Taylor Café. He also told us the footnoted Texas joke*. Vencil sat very still in his incredibly clean incredibly starched official Taylor Café striped shirt and maroon bib apron. Yet he did move, and he engaged with customers and staff. He gave us a gift of free taste of pork rib and brisket, causing the staff to roll their eyes. My friend attempted to pay for the items and his money was refused. My friend then said, “Well, then I’m going to give our waitress a really good tip.” Quoth Vencil, “Well, you can do that.”

Items tasted:
sliced beef sandwich, two pieces of the most ordinary white bread, with two slices of brisket, sauce, pickle, onion. It was the only sandwich I ate in eight days of eating barbecue twice daily and it was delicious. I did ask for more sauce, but that was enthusiasm on my part, not a criticism of the sandwich.
chopped beef sandwich, mixed with a browner sauce than that I had on my brisket sandwich. I did not taste this item.
pork rib, tender, moist, meaty, slightly chewy, excellent smoke flavor.

sauce, I did not make timely enough notes about this to discuss its flavor profile, but I loved it, which means it was not vainglorious and did not draw attention away from the meat. It was reddish orange, somewhat opaque, with only tiny visible particulates. Viscosity 3
viscosity scale: 1 = water 10 = poi

items not tasted: not sure
(things began to happen so quickly after we entered the Taylor Café that I never got a proper look at the menu).

*Never ask a man if he’s from Texas. If he is from Texas, he’ll tell you, and if he’s not from Texas, then why embarrass him?

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Thank autnagrag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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