4/18/14 10:30am – A real treasure for La Grange and the great state of Texas. Prause is a living operating relic of times past. After emigrating from Eastern Europe to Texas, Arnold Prause put his butcher skills to use and started up a meat market in Fayetteville, Tx. Like so many others he began to smoke unsold cuts of beef before they spoiled and made lot of sausage. In the 1902 they moved the family business to La Grange. In the 1930’s Prause was the first meat market with a refrigerated counter. In 1952 they relocated to their present building. After 5 generations the Prause family is still running a meat market and a sideline barbecue business. By some miracle winds of change never shook this family business. The day I went, there were more customers at the meat counter than eating the great barbecue. Texas should put up a historical marker. It has only made Texas Monthly top 50 one time back in 1997.
I scored Prause Meat Market an 88 out of 100. Reserve Grand Champion Tx BBQ for over a hundred years.
Smoke: Post oak. The brick pit came with the building and was built around 1910. I guess that meat market has been lost to the dustbins of history. It looks like an earthquake hit this pit with its large and wide cracks. They like it like that and seem to have no intent of repairing it. This pit might as well be part of the family.
Brisket: Very Good. Large slices with 1/4in smoke ring beneath a thin brown bark. Pull apart tender but a little dry. Mild but deep smoke flavor in the fat and meat. No noticeable rub. No sauce needed.
Pork Chop: Excellent. They did not have ribs today so I went with the pork chop. They sliced it right off the loin. It had a deep thick crunchy smokey crust. Very moist and juicy. There was a nice subtle salty rub flavor. Could not put it down until it was all gone. No sauce needed.
Sausage: Very Good. A course ground pork and beef handmade link. It was fresh and juicy with a mild traditional spice with an even milder peppery aftertaste. Good smoke flavor with snappy casing. I wonder if old Arnold used to make the same link. No sauce needed.