I had the pleasure of my first BBQ expedition to Lockhart today. I was surprised how sleepy the town was. As the BBQ mecca of all Texas, I expected to see some tourists and bustle at the BBQ joints, but I was practically the only customer in town. A few locals did show up while I dined including a couple of UPS drivers and beer delivery persons who took their lunch break at Black's.
But it was a Tuesday afternoon (1-3 pm) on a cold, rainy, miserable day. I guess that kept the crowds away.
First stop was at Kreuz. I got a slice of the "lean" and a slice of the "fat" brisket, a sausage and a Shiner Bock. My previous experience with real Texas BBQ was *very* limited. Nothing that prepared me for how gd good this was. The beef was incredibly tender; the intensity and complexity of the smoke flavor was mind-blowing. Wanting to save room, I ate about half the food and wrapped up the rest to carry out.
I had read here that the brisket at Black's was even better. So I got 2 slices, plus 2 slices of the pork loin and a sausage. I must confess that my opinion differs from the conventional wisdom here, I found the brisket a notch below Kreuz'. It was not quite as tender and the smokiness seemed less deep and soulful. But I'm splitting hairs here; this was still quantum leaps greater than anything else I've ever had.
To me the pork was the star. I happily ate everything and then went back for a cup of their chili (nothing special) and a couple slices of brisket to go.
My stomach now full WAAAYYYY beyond the comfort zone, I was not able to eat at Smitty's. But I did enjoy seeing the smoker/pit. The folks there were super friendly and allowed me to take pictures. I did carry out 2 slices of brisket (one "fat", one "lean") and a sausage. This plus the leftovers from Kreuz and Black was my dinner. It's unfair to compare them cold, but Smitty's seemed right up there with the other two.
I didn't comment on the sausages yet as they all seemed equally delicious. Blindfolded I don't think I could tell them apart.
So there you have it. As I told my friend on my cell phone as I drove out of town, today was one of my all-time best food experiences. BBQ in Lockhart means something entirely different than 99.9999% of the world understands. Fortunately I'm now one of the 0.0001%.