Barbecue is a touchy subject. I know.
But I love it and other people love it and sometimes I don't understand what other people love. Like cats. But that's for a different message board.
I don't understand Black's Barbecue in Lockhart.
This weekend we drove to the coast for a lovely weekend of storms, rain and swimming. On the way from Austin, we passed through Lockhart. I had given the equivalent of two pints of red blood cells earlier in the day and I wanted flesh, lotsa flesh, tasty flesh. It was late in the evening and Smitty's (which I do like quite a bit) was closed.
Black's was open, I was hungry. I am a forgiving man (when there are no other bbq options) and so we gave Black's another try.
We ordered ribs, brisket and sausage.
I'm a rib guy. I love 'em, but my preference for pork has been discussed before. The ribs were mediocre. I want ribs that fall apart and are still succulent. These didn't fall apart, they weren't particularly succulent, but they were nicely smokey and fatty.
The sausage at Black's was the same as always. No matter what time of day or day of the week, it is always the same. Wrinkled, dry, mealy. LBJ loved this stuff? Has it changed that much or was he really as dumb as he looked? My German heritage and gluttonous ways have made me a sausage lover. Just not this sausage.
Brisket - What you are "supposed" to eat at Black's. I just don't know why. This is really what I need explained.
The meat was poorly sliced. 2/3 of my serving was cut with the meat grain, leaving 6 inch long strands of muscle fiber for my teeth and switchblade (umm...penknife) to separate into swallowable chunks.
It was pretty fatty, I can appreciate that, but to me it is not essential. There was a nice thick black, chewy, smokey crust, but the flavor just wasn't there in the rest of the meat. I actually had to order a second bit of the crusty end bits to assuage my yearning for flavor and protein and iron.
All in all it was a tolerable meal. But no matter when I go there (time of day or day of week) it is always about the same.
But I want, no, need help.
Those of you who love Black's...
Why is it considered one of the trinity?
What should I keep in mind, what mindset should I aim for when I return and give it another chance?
Why do you love it?
What and how should I order?
I know Lockhart has been discussed endlessly, but I really just want advice on Black's from their fans.