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A barbecue lover's dream: Legendary pitmaster doesn't disappoint in Houston

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7 Q for a Cause November 2013 Mayor Annise Parker
Houston mayor Annise Parker joined the team of volunteers at Q for a Cause II. Photo by Eric Sandler
10 Q for a Cause November 2013 cooking sausage on a barbecue pit
Pitmaster John Mueller tends to a smoker full of jalapeno boudain.  Photo by Eric Sandler
8 Q for a Cause November 2013 line
At the noon start, dozens lined up in the rain to get some barbecue.  Photo by Eric Sandler
9 Q for a Cause November 2013 Charlie's barbecue truck
Barbecue truck Pappa Charlies helped Mueller manage the volunteer cooks.  Photo by Eric Sandler
5 Q for a Cause November 2013 slicing barbecue
A volunteer slices brisket. Photo by Eric Sandler
2 Q for a Cause November 2013 crowd venue
Attendees filled Cottonwood's covered seating areas.  Photo by Eric Sandler
1 Q for a Cause November 2013 barbecue
The brisket was worth the wait and rain. Photo by Eric Sandler
7 Q for a Cause November 2013 Mayor Annise Parker
10 Q for a Cause November 2013 cooking sausage on a barbecue pit
8 Q for a Cause November 2013 line
9 Q for a Cause November 2013 Charlie's barbecue truck
5 Q for a Cause November 2013 slicing barbecue
2 Q for a Cause November 2013 crowd venue
1 Q for a Cause November 2013 barbecue

The organization Eat for a Cause held its second annual Q for a Cause event at Garden Oaks/Oak Forest restaurant Cottonwood recently. Hundreds of Houstonians turned out despite the cold, wet weather to sample barbecue prepared by celebrated pitmaster John Mueller.

The event raised money for Houston’s homeless veterans through event partners the Houston Housing Authority and the Houston Coalition for the Homeless.

 Mueller's signature beef ribs were as flavorful as anticipated, but the jalapeno boudain was the star. 

Mueller led a crew of volunteers, including the folks from barbecue food truck Pappa Charlies, who worked overnight preparing brisket, beef ribs, sausage and jalapeno boudain. Other volunteers, including Houston mayor Annise Parker, sliced brisket, prepared orders and served as cashiers.  

By the noon start, Cottonwood's covered seating was filled to capacity as people lined up to get their fill. They were not disappointed. Mueller's signature beef ribs were as smoky and flavorful as anticipated, but the jalapeno boudain was the unexpected star of the show. Its livery funk and spicy bite sent my friends back to the line for two additional links.

Whereas last year's event sold out in two hours, the poor weather combined with increased production to ensure that sausage and ribs were available until later in the afternoon. Although final fundraiser totals were still being calculated, the meat and and an array of silent auction surely helped Q for a Cause II exceed last year's $7,500 total. Can't wait for next year.

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