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Myrtle Miller Johnson and Her San Antonio Barbecue

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Robb Walsh wrote:

"Millers in San Antonio was one of the best-loved barbecue joints in the state for many years. Founder Harvey Miller grew up in the farm town of Floresville. He started Miller's Bar-B-Q in the back of his house in San Antonio in 1941. He began selling barbecue sandwiches for 15 cents apiece, plates for a quarter. His daughters Myrtle and Bernice kept the business going until 1990. Miller's Bar-B-Q was never listed in the Yellow Pages and never advertised, but it attracted all races, classes and age groups to an obscure suburban backyard for 50 years. The Washington Post, Texas Monthly, and other publications took note.

The business operated in violaton of zoning and health department regulations, but the inspectors told the Millers that the barbecue joint was too important to San Antonio to write any citations. The Millers were famous for their ribs and their secret-recipe barbecue sauce.

'Everybody wants the secret of my famous barbecue sauce," Myrtle told an interviewer in 1990 [when Myrtle was 87 years old] when the place closed. "People have offered to buy the recipe but I've never been tempted to sell it. We worked on it together, mama, daddy and I.

Myrtle Miller Johnson died in 1999 at the age of 96. She took the barbecue recipe to her grave." She ordered that the house be torn down upon her death so that no one could give the family a bad name with inferior barbecue.

---- Robb Walsh, "Legends of Texas Barbecue"

Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.

Posted : 27th January 2020 7:51 pm