En route from San Antonio to Austin, we detoured to Luling and Lockhart to try some of the BBQ places most often praised around this site. First up was City Market in Luling, where we ordered a pound of brisket and one sausage ring. I liked the jar of bread and butter pickles with cauliflower and onions to go with the 'que. The atmosphere was great, and at 1130 am on a Saturday, the joint was hopping. The sausage had great "bite" and crispy skin, but was relatively flavorless to my palate. The brisket was smokey, tender, and delicious, with a dark red smoke ring. We wrapped up most of it for later, as we had several more places on the agenda.
Next up was Black's in Lockhart. Here we ordered 1/2 lb of brisket, one rib, one garlic sausage and one regular sausage. The brisket was good, but not as smokey or tender as City Market. The sausages were both tasty, with the nod going to the garlic. The atmosphere, though, didn't seem as authentic as the other three places, and there was more emphasis on sides and less on the 'que. It was also kind of slow; not too many folks around.
Last but not least was Smitty's in Lockhart. Absolutely the best atmosphere; loved the smoke pits with the cresote dripping down the walls. We ordered a slice of prime rib, a sausage, and some fatty brisket. The sausage was the best we'd tasted, very juicy and full of flavor. The prime rib was wonderful. The brisket was a bit dry. By now it was 1:00pm and we were very full, but this was still our favorite place; and evidently a favorite of the other 100 or so folks who were there chowing. We'd definitely come back here again if given the chance!
The next day we went toobing in Gruene, and the left over sausages and brisket made a great lunch even cold from the cooler. Any BBQ lovin hound would be lucky to live in TX!