Saturday, June 23, 2012

Eating our way though Lockhart BBQ

We were both off this weekend (well... it's really just me since I work most Saturdays) so we decided to head out to Lockhart to see how much BBQ we could eat in one day :)  We had a plan of sticking to brisket and pork ribs and only ordering enough to snack on.  We did order a side here and there but we didn't want to eat to much of the sides and then get full.  Living in Austin we hear a lot about the BBQ out in Lockhart... between local shows, friends, and network TV shows. 

Our first stop of the day was Smitty's. I think we walked in the back entrance because it was a kind of errie dark hall that was empty. We decided to keep on going (we are quite the adventures) and eventually we saw a door to get to the market area.  We walked in and had to ask were to start and we were directed to the meat ordering area.  Sweet... let the fun begin!!   You can see in the first picture, there are no frills in this area and it is damn hot. In the 2nd picture you can see why it is damn hot... OPEN FLAMES!  It smelled heavenly in there... a little smoke and a lot of meat smells.  We ordered a half pound of pork ribs and a quarter pound of the lean pork shoulder.  We goofed...we should have ordered the fatty becuase that was the actual brisket.  But we didn't figure that out until after we sat down.  Oh well.

After you order your meat, you walk into this area and order drinks and any sides.  We got a small potato salad and a couple of beers (a whopping $6 for all). 

Not sure what is up with the crackers but they added a litle crunch to the meal.  First and foremost I must say these were the best ribs I have had.  At least I think they are... I loved Franklin's ribs the last time I had them but would need to do a taste test with both of them in front of me to know for sure which ones I liked better.  Either way, these ribs were damn good.   The pork shoulder was good, had a nice natural beef flavor but it wasn't what we had originally wanted.  Again, it was our bad for ordering the wrong thing.

Jims thoughts on the food at Smittys:
Ribs were excellent, super juicy. Brisket (which we now know is pork shoulder) needed a stronger spice rub or some type of sauce

Our next stop was just a couple of blocks away, so we walked to help burn through some of the BBQ that we just ate :)

What happens when we see a random fish along the way.... take photos!

Blacks had a sign on the door that said they have been open 80 yrs... Impressive!!!  Blacks and Smittys are somewhat related.  Years back some type of family issue caused some of the family members to branch off and start their own BBQ store.  Lucky for us... more BBQ! :)

Blacks had some really good looking sides to choose from.  How they are set up, is you walk through the door and grab a plate.  Each side is $1.49, so you get to pick and choose what you want. We opted for the corn and a couple of deviled eggs (who doesn't love deviled eggs?!!?) to go along with our meat.

View of the guys cutting the meat

Our 2nd BBQ "snack" of the day

The brisket was our favorite of the 2 meats.  There was a nice char and smoke ring on the meat, and it was damn tender.  The ribs were almost fall of the bone tender but they had a layer of pure burnt on one side.  It was hard to enjoy the flavor when you only tasted the burnt outer layer.  I think they had potential to be tasty.

Jim's thoughts on Blacks:
Brisket was excellent, would go back for more.  Ribs had good flavor but were overdone

View of inside Blacks sitting area

After Blacks we walked around the town square (so cute that the little towns in Texas have town squares) to work off some of the food.  We popped in a couple of antique stores to look around.  Lots of neat things but nothing that we really needed. 

Our 3rd and last stop of the day was Chism Trail BBQ.  I'm not going to lie... this was going to be a small tasting... we were FULL.  We ordered 2 ribs and 1/4 pd of brisket. This place is known for their sides so we'll have to go back and give those a try.

The ribs were okay,, once you got past the fact they kind of look like a witches finger :)  The ribs were kind of chewy and dry but the brisket had a nice flavor and just a hint of salt which I didn't really taste on the other brisket.

Jim's thoughts on Chisim Trail:
Ribs had a nice flavor, a bit over done.  Brisket was also good but not as good as Blacks.

After we filled our bellies with BBQ we moved on to Gruene to hit up the Market Days.  We got lucky the festival was going on... I'm always a sucker for a festival :)  We went through some stores and ended up a a wine tasting store.  We had a few samples and then grabbed a glass to to.  I guess during the festival you can walk around the city with an open container.  I like this festival even more. 

There was music playing at Gruene Hall so we walked on over to check it out. 

The band stopped as soon as we walked in, so we headed to the outdoor area to hang out.  It was pretty hot outside so we were trying to find the best area to be cool. Guess what... we couldn't find that area since Gruene Hall has no AC.

Oh well... I just had to deal with back sweat while enjoying the music and my Shiner.

These two were a cute little old couple.  There was a lot of great people watching while the band was playing.

We finally made it to the booths to check out the goods. We ended up buying an Eagles Wine Stopper, roasted garlic olive oil and a special treat for a family member.  Can't say... don't want to ruin the surprise! :)

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