A Glutton’s Guide to The Best
Barbecue in Austin and Central Texas
I did a bad bad thing. A thing that no man should contemplate… much less drag along a poor unsuspecting aunt and sister for. We gorged, feasted, banqueted, and chowed. A day of downright culinary debauchery… and all because of barbecue. Lockhart BBQ, to be precise.
Lockhart, Tx is the best barbecue town in Texas and, therefore, the entire world. Stalwart Texas Monthly, the thumb on the pulse of Texas culture, has been debating since the ’70s which of the small three smokehouses in town deserves the title of Texas’ best.
BBQ is a central part of Texas culture, and even arriving at the airport in Austin it’s immediately in your face: there are barbecue restaurants and a BBQ Taco Bar before you make it to baggage claim. Less than an hour from downtown Austin, then, a trip to Lockhart is a pilgrimage of sorts; and having long neglected this side of Texas I devised an idea to make the trip a defining one:
The Lockhart BBQ Challenge:
One Day, Three Barbecue Joints, Absolutely No Side Dishes Allowed.
Would it be delicious? Of course. Is it far too much? For sure. Was it even possible as, after all, I am only one man with one stomach to give. Only time would tell. The challenge had been issued, however, and now pride would allow for no turning back: a one-day trip to take in three restaurants in little Lockhart, Tx (population 13,100) to try what is reputed to be the best BBQ anywhere out there. The rules, as such, are simple:
- Visit each of the Lockhart BBQ joints: Smitty’s Market, Black’s Barbecue, and Kreuz Market.
- At each restaurant sample the brisket, ribs, and sausage to compare amongst the three.
- Decide, once and for all, which is the best barbecue in Lockhart.
Read on for a ridiculous amount of food, a review of each restaurant, and a spoiler as to which of the three is my favorite and which are worth missing. Or, if you’re planning your own Lockhart BBQ Challenge and want to make up your own mind, skip ahead to the Practical Details at the end.