Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kasper's Meat Market

119 E. Post Office Street, Weimar, Texas

Back a couple of years ago when I was posting on one of the discussion boards about my interest in Texas sausage makers, I got a lot of suggestions for ones to check out. One good suggestion was Kasper’s in Weimar.

I’d been to Weimar before, on old US 90 just before Schulenburg, and didn't remember any meat market, but when I got around to looking into it I found Kasper’s has some very loyal fans.


Kasper’s has been in business since 1917. E. Post Office Street (which runs parallel to US 90 a block north) is also dubbed Old Sausage Avenue in honor of the town’s most famous business. Stepping inside the door is a trip back in time; the interior is time worn. there are ancient fixtures and some newer ‘country’ accouterments; the walls are lined with ancient clippings and photographs, including a framed picture of the La Grange Chicken Ranch and many of the town’s athletic heroes. Just across the meat cases which completely divide the room is the work area, giving me the feeling of being the closest I’ve ever been to being in a slaughterhouse.


I tried the ‘famous’ Weimar sausage, a beef and pork combination with natural casing. On my first visit I also picked up a jalapeno version of the same, a dry version of the same, and some of the wieners.

The sausage is unsmoked, mildly seasoned and excellent. It’s quite different in seasoning from most Texas sausages I’ve sampled and it goes right up to the very top echelon of my favorite sausages from Texas sausage makers. I was really kind of surprised I liked such a mildly seasoned sausage so much but the taste buds don’t lie.

The dry sausage likewise is excellent and is likely to replace the similar product from Patek’s Shiner Smokehouse as my favorite dry sausage. The natural casing beef and pork wieners already have done so, eclipsing the all beef but skinless Shiner Dogs from Patek’s.

One post online says that Kasper’s uses casings that have not been soaked in salt so don’t get tough when cooked. They give an excellent, slight snap when bitten into or cut.

The Wiki article on Weimar says that people flock to Kasper’s on Saturday for barbecue. Not wanting to be left out of all the fun, I made sure to schedule a trip through the area on a Saturday. I arrived just after 1 PM; there was only one parking space left on the entire block but upon entering I could neither smell nor see any barbecue being served. What I did observe was people lined up 3 and 4 deep all across the front of the meat cases, placing big orders for meats or waiting for their orders to be taken. Like what I've witnessed at Vincek’s in nearby East Bernard, Weimarians must be big meat eaters and I can imagine the meat departments of the 2 local grocery stores I saw might get pretty lonely.

I had seen a sign at a service station at the exit off I-10 (Chevron? Mobil?) that they carried Kasper’s sausages so I just headed over there to stock up on some of the ones I was familiar with but they had only a few samples of jerky; most of what the store had in its meat case was from Prasek’s in Hillje, about 40 miles south. Prasek’s is available all over this region and even in some supermarkets in Houston and I’ve had it before , though it’s been a couple of years; I think Kasper’s is better.


On yet another trip through the area I picked up more of the basic product and some more of the dried sausage, plus the liver sausage, which is excellent, like all the others I’ve tried. (I haven’t tried their boudin). One of these trips I’m also going to buy a roast or some steaks and see what their fresh meats are like.

Another fan of Kasper’s has posted a photo of the menu on the wall which also shows just a glimpse of some of the furnishings.

Kasper's


Side trip: the day there was no barbecue I needed something to eat. Rather than heading back to Schulenburg 10 miles away I went back into town and stopped at Franklin Fried Chicken, on W. Main, close to the high school, an old fashioned, small town chicken shack.


The very nice lady at the window admitted the potato salad is store bought but the slaw is home made. The potato salad was only so-so; the slaw was good, except for the texture - it was all finely minced and I like the cabbage in a larger shred or dice.


The chicken was not bad; I’d stop here again rather than try to find one of the chain outlets in Schulenburg or Columbus. The most amazing thing was the thigh meat which was darker than any thigh meat I’ve seen in a long time. Chickens are slaughtered so young these days their meat develops little flavor and it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between breast meat and thigh meat just based on color or taste. This was very good.

There’s was also a Bob’s Cookshack on W. Main that was open, serving barbecue and other items, another place to eat in beautiful downtown Weimar.

8 comments:

HAROLD SCHUMANN said...

I GUESS I COULD WRITE A BOOK ABOUT
KASPERS. YES YOU ARE IN HEAVEN
WHEN SHOPPING THERE.
FIRST, I MUT MENTION JOHNNIE KASPER. A WONDERFUL AND VERY HARD
WORKING GUY. WE HAD A WEEKEND HOME ABOUT A MILE OUT OF TOWN IN A WOODED AND VERY PRIVATE AREA.
WE ENJOYED SHOPPING AT KASPERS NEARLY EVERY WEEKEND. (30 YEARS)
THE SAUSAGE IS THE BEST WE HAVE EVER HAD. AND SPECIAL THINGS
LIKE LIVER SAUSAGE. WOW!!!!
JERKY, CHEESE, SOUP BONES (YOU CANT BUY IN GROCERY STORES) HOT DOGS AND ALWAYS VERY FRESH CHICKENS. PEPPER BACON. AND BACON WITH RIND ON OR OFF.
JOHNNIES CHILDREN WORK IN THE MARKET AND ARE AS FRIENDLY AS HE IS.
I HAD A VERY GOD BLESSED LIFE AND
KASPERS HS BEEN PART OF IT.
JOHNNIE ALSO IS VERY GENEROUS WITH THE LOCAL CHURCHES AND PEOPLE
GOD BLESS YOU JOHNNIE.

HAROLD SCHUMANN VAN ALSTYN E TX.

P.S. I FEEL VERY HONORED TO BE THE FIRST TO WRITE
AND ON AND ON.

Bruce said...

You are very blessed to have known about this treasure for so long. I've got a lot of catching up to do.

ROB said...

I AM 33 YEARS OLD AND HAVE BEEN EATING FROM THIS MARKET FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER. I WENT OFF TO COLLEGE IN ANOTHER PART OF THE STATE AND RELATIVES WOULD BRING ME COOLERS FULL OF SAUSAGE WHEN THEY CAME FOR GAMES. I STILL BUY NO LESS THAN $400 WORTH EVERY TIME I AM IN THE AREA. MY TRUNK WOULD BE FILLED SOO MUCH SO THAT I WOULD HAVE TO KEEP LUGGAGE IN THE BACK SEAT. IN THESE DAYS AND TIMES, IT HARD TO FIND MEAT WITHOUT PRESERVATIVES LIKE THESE.

deb sowma said...

EVERYONE SHOULD MAKE IT A POINT TO AT LEAST JUST ONCE MAKE A TRIP TO KASPERS... ITS A STEP BACK IN TIME, WHEN YOU COULD GET GOOD SERVICE AND GOOD FOOD...AND DONT FORGET TO GET SOME BEEF JERKIE

Roy Adamcik said...

I've been going to Kasper's for over 55 years since relatives lived in Weimar. We used to go back in the back of the store to "sample" the sausage with mustard and crackers. I have not been back recently but bought some of their sausage at a grocery in Weimar and noticed on the label that they added cereal to the mixture. The shop doesn't have labels so there is no notice for it. If I buy sausage I want meat only no "added fillers". What have you heard about these fillers in other "market sausage"?

By the way the weiners at City Market in Schulenburg are the best around(when fresh) bar none...great snap

Bruce said...

I have only had the sausage fresh from the market without any package label and haven't been in about a year so I don't know anything about it but thanks for the heads up.

I've had the wieners from Schulenburg and they're good. Personally, I think I prefer Kasper's but I've never done a side-by-side.

Anonymous said...

MISTER ADAMCIK

SORRY YOU ATE FROM KASPERS
FOR 55 YEARS AND NOW YOU ARE
UNHAPPY WITH THEM
THIS IS SO SAD
55 YEARS AND IT HAS COME TO AN END

Mark said...

Another long time customer of Kaspers. My father is from Weimar and I go there as often as possible. My family and I think the sausage you buy at local stores is differant than the meat market. Buy it from the market if you can . Just dont go at 11:45 on a Saturday the place will be packed.Jalapeno sausage is great along with Weimar sausage and Jerky. Mark in Beaumont