November 19th, 2001
Family in the Austin Chronicle
Texas Bar-B-Q Dynasties
Rudy "Tim" Mikeska
photo by John Anderson
It isn't difficult to understand why the Mikeska clan
has been dubbed Texas' First Family of Barbecue. This dynasty, spread
over Central Texas and spanning three generations, was founded in the
1920s when John Mikeska, a Czech immigrant in Taylor, operated a "meat
club" with his six sons. The family processed cattle, hogs, goats, sheep,
and chickens for area farms, in exchange for an allotment of the meat.
After World War II, the Mikeska brothers leveraged their
meat-cutting skills into owning butcher shops in various Central Texas
towns. They began making sausage and barbecuing unsold meat, and their
reputations as pit-men spread.
By 1965, each brother had his own barbecue establishment:
Rudy in Taylor, Mike in Smithville, Jerry in Columbus, Louis and Clem
in Temple, and Maurice in El Campo. Their sister Val Mikeska Lindeman
assisted Clem in Temple, and sister Ann Mikeska Jozwiak owned Taylor's
Diamond Inn. Sister Martha Mikeska Vanacek raised Benny and Michael
Vanacek, who currently own 18 McDonald's franchises and sit on the McDonald's
Operators Board of Directors.
While the brothers shared business ideas, cafeteria service,
and décors of mounted game, each developed unique recipes and barbecue
styles. Only Rudy prepared lamb ribs, and Clem serves sirloin instead
of brisket. Some brothers used live oak; others preferred pecan. Each
spiced his sausage differently. With their similar-but-different styles
in their separate-but-proximate towns, they all maintained reputations
for great barbecue and they've served celebrities from sitting presidents
to rock stars.
Today, barbecue remains a Mikeska family affair. While
Louis and Mike are deceased and their places in Temple and Smithville
have closed, Jerry Mikeska, nearing 80, still runs his own Columbus
operation. In El Campo, Laurice Mikeska Vacek, Nick Mikeska, and Gerry
Mikeska work with Maurice in the Old Pit, the New Pit, the Lunchbox
(in Maurice's original meat market), and the Freeway Location. In Temple,
siblings Stephen Mikeska, Anna Mikeska-Payne, and Angela Mikeska Conlan
assist Clem in the restaurant, catering, and mail-order business.
In Taylor, Rudy Jr. "Tim" Mikeska and Judy Mikeska Kaase
follow in their late father's footsteps, and they've expanded the operation
across the globe. Tim served barbecue to England's Prince Philip and
in Bosnia; he recently appeared on the Food Network with Bobby Flay.
And the next Mikeska generation? Tim sums it up: "I tell
my children what my father told me, 'If you like the business, it's
there for you.' I think my uncles and cousins would say the same."
Article: BY MM PACK
Vol. 21 No. 10 * austinchronicle.com
* November 9th, 2001
view the Mikeska Family web article at:
The Mikeska Family sincerely appreciates Ms. Pack efforts
with this wonderful article. You can read the entire article of all
the Central Texas Bar-B-Q Dynasties at:
Company Airplane !
Cessna Skyhawk, Ready to Fly Texas Bar-B-Q Anywhere in the USA
We have been very busy lately... Thankfully !!! Here is a picture of
Peter Chapa, Shawn Newsom, and Phillip Wagner, Marvin Vrana, Sam Fox,
and Mary Chapa cutting meat for 3,000 guests!
My dad is shown holding his only granddaughter, my daughter Meggie.
The inset picture is her confirmation at St. Marys in Taylor by Bishop
This is the same church her grandfather and father were confirmed.
I know he's very proud of her. (so am I....)
After the confirmation Mass, Meggie takes a picture with Candy Mikeska
and her cousin Kristen Bubenik who was also confirmed.
First, you have the excited 4 year old ready for anything
Then, you have the 4 year old learning to fish on Dad's lake with is
12 year old brother.
Finally, with the excitement over, little Timothy dreams of his next
I want to again thank everyone for the hundreds of e-mail's
and words of sympathy regarding the loss of our mother, Joy Mikeska.
L. "Tim" Mikeska Jr.
Diamond Inn Hamburger Count.......
Tuesday's Only Total....... 24,510
12-29-99..........Hoover Family, Rudy Sr's Prayer Garden,
1-15-2000........ Merle Haggard's Wedding
Archive Highlights: 2-14-2000........
A Mikeska Wedding, Sheriff Ed Richards, Crockett
High School Sports Banquet
Archive Highlights: 3-2-2000..........
Diamond Inn Hamburgers, More of Gerry's Wedding, BOSNIA yes or no?
Archive Highlights: 3-13-2000.......
Baylor University Award, Lent Specials, SnakeShow, Meggie's Scholastic
Award, Definition of "Bohemian"
3-25-2000....... Movie at the Mikeska
Home, My Children, Candy's Birthday, Military C-130 to California Catering,
Some of My Aunts.
Archive Highlights: 4-9-2000.......Serving
the Governor at the Capitol, Longhorn Band, Lt. Gov.Rick Perry and Timothy,
Astros at Enron Field, Nolan Ryan
Archive Highlights: 4-20-2000......History
of our Building, cooking a ton of beans, New Round Rock Express Stadium
"Dell Diamond", SP-500 Mobile Pit smoking our famous Pork Loin
Rudy's Grand Champion, Cooking Crawfish, Our Corporate Airplane, Picnic
Highlights: 5-15-2000..... My Grandfather
John Mikeska, Mom & Dad in the 1950's, My Dad and I in 1961, Skiing
Mikeska Cousins, Bosnia Update
Francisco, Taylor Publishing Party, Rudy's Glazed Brick Pit/Smoker.
Barbecue Book, Keith's New McDonalds Franchise, Tribute to Matt Maddox,
& Angie Mikeska's Wedding, Texas A&M University's Stiles Farm
Foundation Annual Bar-B-Q.
my personal thoughts and my first list of pictures
more pictures, our July 4th Bar-B-Q at Eagle Base Tuzla, Bosnia
more pictures, BIG Redfish
Kids:"Wanted Poster", Rudy III and Tim making "Mikeska
Brand" sausage, few more BOSNIA pictures
"Quiet Birdmen", Mikeska's 22nd Annual Taylor International
BBQ Cookoff Judges Party, Our meat selections,
High School's 1,400 guests at the Stadium,
Ribs Served Hot Off The Pit, Happy Birthday Mike Vanecek
National Guard Family Readiness Dinner, Soldiers Return From Bosnia, One
Last Picture From Bosnia
Rentals Catfish Buffet, Tim Mikeska....appointed to the Board of Health.
Mikeska's Featured in United Airlines
Hemispheres Magazine, Taylor High School "Ducks" Homecoming
Lunch, Zimmerhanzel-Altman Wedding
Coverage of the Zimmerhanzel Altman Wedding.
Network's Food Nations Program Announcement with Tim Mikeska, Texas Heritage
Coalition Event at the State Capitol, Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs
visits Rudy Mikeska's Bar-B-Q.
of the Filming of Food Network's FoodNations Program with Chef Bobby Flay
Reports of the Food Networks "FoodNations" Program, Las Vegas
Army National Guards Bosnia Homecoming Party, Tim with U.S. Senator Kay
and New Years Wishes, City of Taylor's Christmas Party,Williamson County
Judges Christmas Party
Networks FoodNations Program Air Date, Happy 16th Birthday Meggie Mikeska,
THS Sophomore Class Catfish Dinner Fundraiser, Vanecek Family's Superbowl
Networks 5th Replay of FoodNations Program and Show Schedule, Temple College
Mardi Gras Event Fundraiser, Smoked Pork Loin, Joy Mikeska's Shrimp Gumbo
Mikeska Awarded the "Texas Eagle Award" in ceremony at Houston's
Adams Mark Hotel, Small Business Bar-B-Q at the State Capitol
the Texas State Legislature, House Speaker Pete Laney, Del Webbs Sun City
Event, New Austin Convention Center "Topping Out" Party, Schwertner
Farms: "Quiet Birdmen"
the Governor of Texas, Hyde Park Baptist Church Quarries, Dell Computer
Event, TXDOT Fish Fry at Camp Mabry, Making Cherry Plum Jelly, Mikeska's
Picked as an Official Yahoo! Site.
Archive Highlights: 8-1-2001......Tribute
to Our Mother, Joy Aline Mikeska 2-19-1922 - 6-30-2001, Obituary and Eulogy
by Tim Mikeska
Picture Tribute for 9-11-01, Catering the Texas Task Force One Return
From New York Rescue Homecoming Event, with Senator Barrientos and old
friend Rescue Specialist, Rod Dennison
Please remember to click on my Archives Link (below left)