From several sources I'd heard that the best BBQ in TX is in Lockhart ... so we did a road trip up there & hit Black's, Kreuz's, & Smitty's (the 3 best, I'd heard) ... and on the way back to San Antonio, we also hit Rudy's (just N of S.A. on IH-10).
For a fair comparison, we ordered a 1/2# of fatty brisket & a cooked sausage at each place.
Here's the taste comparison:
1st Black's (spicy)
1st Smitty's (salty aftertaste)
(Black's & Smitty's tied overall, but if you don't like the salty aftertaste or have High Blood Pressure, you would prefer Blacks as I did ... but I'd gladly eat either any time)
3rd Rudy's (bland)
4th Kreuz's (bland & dry)
1st Smitty's (great spicy flavor, great texture)
2nd Kreuz's (great flavor, mealy texture)
3rd Black's (unremarkable flavor, good texture)
4th Rudy's (a whole lot like Hillshire Farms! Yuck!)
I was surprised at the results because Rudy's is the best I've found near San Antonio (for Beef BBQ, I like Tom's Ribs for pork BBQ), but Rudy's is absolute trash compared to Black's & Smitty's. Also, I'd been told that Kreuz's was the best in Lockhart, but the taste test didn't bear that out. Perhaps they had an off day or we didn't get a prime piece, but we were there at noon on Saturday ... prime feedin' time for all these places. Rudy's ... well, I might eat there in a pinch, but now that I know what real BBQ tastes like, they'll see a lot less of me.
Next time I'm up towards San Marcos, I most definitely will go back to Black's & Smitty's to stock up on brisket & sausage ... and will explore other items on their menu's as well.
Black's 215 N Main St www.blacksbbq.com
Smitty's 208 S Commerce St
I'd like to also add that I later found some horseradish flavored cheddar cheese at Costco, which makes a fantastic hot roast beef sandwich with any of the beef I had leftover from the tasting.
And, for a change of pace, for those who like jerked spice, I'd gladly recommend Willard's Jamaican Jerk BBQ in San Antonio ... and don't get the hot spicy unless you are serious about hot.
FYI: Willard's 726 E Mistletoe
BTW: For those who don't know, all of Bandera county is a redneck speedtrap (one reason not to go to Rudy's)
but Lockhart didn't look much better ... there was practically a traffic jam of cop cars cruising for revenue when I went through. Drive carefully!