Quick Stop at Millers Smokehouse
On the way down IH-35 to a conference in Austin, a collegue and I stopped into Miller's Smokehouse for dinner. We departed Dallas in the late afternoon, and raced the clock to get to Belton before their 6:30pm closing time. The traffic Gods smiled on us that day, and we arrived with a few minutes to spare.
The cashier is located near the kitchen, and we walked through the front dining room to get in line to place our order. In our rush, we failed to fully coordinate our order, and both ended up with a two-meat plate of "brisket and sausage".
We did, however, manage to order different side items and were able to taste the beans, potato salad, cole slaw, and green beans. The brisket on my plate was mostly lean slices with the bark trimmed away (In my haste, I had forgotten to request fatty/moist brisket). The brisket was smoky and tender, but because it was trimmed of fat and bark, many of my slices begged for the addition of sauce for both flavor and moisture/mouthfeel. My colleague, however, had scored more slices that were cut more from the "high" side with the bark intact. These slices were tender and tasty all by themselves.
The sausage is house-made and exhibited a similar well-smoked flavor. Flecks of black pepper were clearly visible in the slices we were served. The casing was deep brown, with a nice snap. This was a good sausage (no slices left on the plate), although the texture and spice profile were not a personal favorite.
The pintos were good, with solid flavors and texture. The potato salad was fresh and tasty. Cole slaw, while still retaining some crunch, was bland.
The joint was quite busy when we arrived, but nearly empty by the time we finished our plate... and if the brisket holds up this well just prior to closing time, it was possibly better earlier.
Because of our late arrival, we didn't request a tour. I did, however, poke my head into the kitchen to say thanks to Pitmaster Robert Reid. No rating this time, since my objective was just to grab a good plate of barbecue (sometimes you just want to savor the food, rather than analyze & rate it), but with Miller's already established in the Texas Monthly top 50, you can bet the Barbecue Tours crew will be back!
Next time I will order the fatty/moist brisket and the hot link. I'd also like to try the pulled pork, desserts, and (if we manage to get there on Fri or Sat) ribs & cornbread. All-in-all this was a very satisfying barbecue plate. Definitely worth the short detour into downtown Belton.