BBQ – A Northerner’s perspective. I am from Wisconsin. Land of cheese, brats, beer and frozen custard. I really enjoy BBQ. Up until now, BBQ, meant Famous Dave’s or Texas Roadhouse!
I have been to Kansas City, where I had BBQ drenched with sauce that covered a bad piece of meat. I have been to Carolina, where they shredded the meat and mixed with a little catsup and a lot of vinegar. So when I knew that I was visiting Texas, I did a little research on available BBQ places. We were flying into San Antonio and had to go to Austin. From these boards, I found that I could take a small detour and stop in Luling and Lockhart.
First thing I noticed was that Texan drivers are a pretty courteous bunch. Very few speeders. In Wisconsin. if you are not going 10-15 over the limit, then you are not flowing with the traffic. I noticed this on I-10 and I-35.
We arrived in Luling at City Market about 1pm. I don’t know quite what I was expecting to see, but the appearance of City Market took me a little by surprise. It is rather a little run down. But it was the BBQ, so we ventured inside. The place was empty, except for two ladies behind the counter. Not a good sign, even if it was 1pm on a Wednesday. The motioned us to a back room where we found the BBQ. We selected a half pound of brisket, half pound of ribs and a sausage. A rather large start to our afternoon adventure, but I was reluctant to order anything smaller. We skipped the bread (a big mistake) because we didn’t want to fill up on it. We took our meat, on 4 sheets on butcher paper out front and ordered our drinks. The brisket was good, but very dry. I would rate it a 7. The sausage was coarsely ground and I would rate it a 7 also. The ribs were good, but tasted more like ham, so I would rate them a 6. We finished out half, found a bit of butcher paper that was not soaked and saved the rest. On to Loackhart!
We first visited Black’s, because the signs made it easier to find! It was a major disappointment! The sausage was not edible for us. The brisket was about a 4, and the ribs were as salty as bacon and I rated them a 4. We were now halfway through our tour and I was not feeling too pleased.
Smitty’s was up next and what a difference! They were out of prime rib. and I was disappointed as this was the first place that offered it on the menu. While I was up ordering drinks, my wife had taken the insides of the sausage and made a sandwich. I was great! The sausage with the casing was too over powering. I would rate the sausage a 10. The brisket was very flavorful, tender and moist. It also was a 10. Next came the meaty ribs. The were great and I rated them also a 10. Wow I was in BBQ heaven! We also had our first Big Red, and it was a treat.
Off to Kreuz. The empty vast parking lot did not deter us. I think that the inside of Kreuz was the most impressive for what that counts. By now we had started ordering quarter pound servings and still saving parts of the meal. Here is where my wife would change with my ratings. She just could not get past the heavy pepper seasoning. I loved it! I would give all three meats about the same ratings of 10. We had prime rib here and was disappointed. I would rate it a 7. It was too dry for my taste. My wife said that the bread here was the best! I would rate Smitty’s a notch above Kreuz, but I would not hesitate to go out of my way again to visit either place.
Austin – Stubb’s. We ate here Thursday night as part of a catered event. Having ate in Luling and Lockhart, my ratings are based upon those experiences. The brisket was a 5. Way too dry and no flavor. The ribs also a 5, for the same reasons. The chicken was a 10, though. I went back for seconds!
Texas BBQ, I never thought that any piece of meat could taste so good with just a little bit of seasoning and slow cooked. It was an experience that I will look back on and savor for a long time. Thanks for all the help everyone here provided.