I had to attend a conference in San Antonio, and looking at a Texas map, I noticed that I would only be an hour or so away from Luling & Lockhart. Having heard so much about Central Texas barbecue over the years, I decided that now was the time to try it.
My original intent was to do the full-on BBQ tour (or the coronary bypass tour, as it’s been called recently on CH), however, my flight was delayed, so instead of Lockhart, Luling, and Taylor, I ended up just covering part of Lockhart.
I had read numerous raves about Black’s, so that’s where I went first. Ordered a half-pound of brisket, and had some burnt ends thrown in as well. Outstanding! It was everything BBQ should be: melt-in-mouth tender, with a flavorful, smoky, bark on the outside. This exceeded all expectations, and I’ve had some pretty good BBQ over the years.
I skipped Kreuz, as recent reports haven’t been so good, and walked a few blocks over to Smitty’s. The atmosphere was interesting – wood fires right on the concrete floor, next to the pits. Very hot and smoky. Unfortunately, the brisket itself was so tough it was inedible, with so-so flavor.
I would have continued on to Luling, but it was getting late. Since I only had a few bites at Smitty’s (I tossed the rest as it was really no good), and didn’t have much ‘Q left over from Black’s, I returned to Black’s for another half-pound, so I would have some for tomorrow. Had a nice chat with the owner, Terry Black. Very friendly guy – he told me that he took over for his parents and did everything the same way his dad did. I agreed that not changing anything was a very good idea.
Sure wish there was BBQ like this in Las Vegas. BTW, in case you’re wondering, the BBQ at Black’s was only $15, but the rest of the $100 was the cost of the car rental (as the BBQ pilgrimage was the only reason for renting the car), plus gas. It was worth it.
Black’s: Five stars
Smitty’s: Zero stars (well, maybe one star for atmosphere)
215 N Main St, Lockhart, TX 78644