Up in Central Texas
2 of 4
by Beau Been
Mackerel! What a Summer it has been for those
at the House of Been. With grand dreams of launching
this blog and starting a new catering company
Bistro) all has gone well. We might not have
been able to blog quite as much as we would have
liked but all in all we're satisfied with these
new beginnings. Thanks to all that have supported
our new endeavors. Now on to the BBQ!
Market, Smitty's and Black's Lockart, Tx
two of this report takes us to Lockhart, Texas.
Considered by many a mecca for Texas Barbeque.
I agree with that assessment. A relatively small
Texas town supporting at least four (that I can
think of) Barbeque establishments is quite a feet.
Here is the low down on three of them. Mind you
I don't intend to rank these one over the other.
In fact I think they all have something to offer.
Kreuz Market, Smitty's and Black's, were all visited
on this trip to Lockhart.
stop the BBQ-dome! Looking more like an airplane
hanger than a barbeque joint Kreuz
Market is huge. Massive piles of wood out
back do let you know that this building must house
quite a pit and it does. This establishment was
built in 1999 about a quarter mile north of the
original location. The original location became
Smitty's which is also in the family. You see,
there was a family rift that led to one side getting
the the name of the original establishment and
the other side got, well, the original establishment
but not the name. That's why you will find very
similar products at the two. On this day we sampled
the lean beef (or clod or shoulder) the moist
beef brisket and the Jalapeño Cheese Sausage.
The beef clod is favored by Beth (my lovely and
trusty wife) . She likes it because it is much
more dry and virtually no fat. While I find this
to be tasty and smoked to it's zenith, this cut
just doesn't rock me. The flavor too one dimensional.
The brisket is another story entirely. Moist,
flavorful and tender. The right touch of smoke
made this cut my favorite at Kreuz's. The Jalapeño
Cheese Sausage was good it was not so spicy as
to set your mouth ablaze but it has a nice kick.
It is worth trying. Here at Kreuz's don't expect
sauce or silverware, there is none. You can buy
a couple of sides or a slice of cheese or an avocado
but it is mostly about the meat.
For me, in Lockhart, it is my stand by. The atmosphere
of the original meat market turned barbeque provides
the charm and add to the experience. Again this
place is about the meat so don't expect a bunch
of sides and silverware. Order your meat with
some brad or saltines and enjoy some of the best
Texas Barbeque has to offer. Again we sampled
Clod, Brisket, and Sausage. If there is a difference
between the Clod here and Kreuz's I can't tell.
The Brisket also quite similar. This is to be
expected since the same methods, same style of
pit and the same family are doing things same
way now for for half a century. The sausage though,
well, that was a different story. While this was
a plain Beef Sausage as opposed to the Jalapeno
Cheese Sausage it was amazing as usual. A little
greasy I'll admit but or so flavorful. The texture
is a little crumbly once you cut into it as opposed
to a solid mass. I like that. The seasoning was
perfect. I'll eat it again .... and again ....
we end this meatfest at Black's.
Another family owned and operated (since 1932)
establishment that is well worth the visit. It
is different that the previous two in that it
has plenty of sides and silverware and sauce.
Don't be fooled though because it's still about
the delicious barbecued meat. Here, I find the
brisket to be special. It has a slight sweetness
not found in the others tried this day. It was
tender and moist as you would expect. If you made
me pick just one brisket is Lockhart, (Dear Lord,
please don't make me do that) it would in fact
be Black's. Here we sampled the sausage too. It
was not bad in any way but just didn't quite match
the others. We also tried the Pork Rib. It was
a nice change of pace from the beef we had gorged
ourselves on but let's face it, Central Texas
Barbeque is about the beef and that was the focus
of this day. If I need a Pork Rib, and sometimes
I do, there are other places I'll visit.
closing, you all should come visit all these places
and find your favorite. Each experience is a little
different. All offer friendly service and are
very dedicated to their craft. Really, it's a
no loose situation wherever you try. I should
mention my vegetarian, sister-in-law came with
us on this trip and while she did not eat the
meat she was impressed the dedication and seriousness
of this BBQ mecca. She enjoyed the sides at Black's