John Mueller Meat Co., Austin
After some hard living-induced fits and starts, modern legend John Mueller, grandson of Louis Mueller, has made good with his recently opened digs on Austin's East Side. With a trailer setup, a stream of piped-in Texas music, and picnic tables, the place admirably captures that addictive, old-time backyard-barbecue feel. "He's famous for his smoky beef ribs, but the large pork spare ribs are no slouch either," Vaughn says. Mueller's already great brisket is getting better with each visit, and the meat's aggressive rub of black pepper and what Vaughn dubs "the stoutest crust in Texas" are matched by the cook's (don't call him a pitman, he insists) gruff exterior. Thanks to the butcher shop premise, you can also score homemade sausages and relishes to go.