Friday, July 25, 2008
The Texas Sausage Trail - Maeker's, Shiner
I was tipped to Maeker’s by Houston food explorer Jay Francis, who is from Shiner originally. I was headed out for barbecue at Novosad’s in Hallettsville and to visit Patek’s Shiner Smokehouse but was glad to include another stop on the tour. It’s a real treasure and very easy to miss. On the west end of town, 90-A at 16th Street, Maeker’s is a combination package store, mini-meat market and tavern (parking can require careful maneuvering) that makes a small variety of sausages including a very unique bright red pork and beef wiener that I’m very impressed with. They must use very good cuts of meat for these dogs and the spices are very good – they are very savory, more interesting than any frankfurter I’ve ever had. They’re ready-to-eat but benefit from warming up. I kind of feel like it’s a shame serving these on standard issue hot dog buns but I haven’t figured out yet what else to serve them with.
And the wieners are not even the best find; Maeker’s beef, cheese and jalapeno summer sausage is probably my favorite Texas-made summer sausage, and the dry sausages are awesome, also.
Patek’s, on the other end of town, also makes some good wieners and dry sausages; I’ll report on them in an upcoming post. If all you’ve ever been to Shiner for is to visit the brewery, you’re missing a lot.