Pigskin Pursuit

An eight year odyssey across the backroads of America during the ultimate College Football roadtrip.

Tag: Lockhart Texas

Smitty’s Market

No trip to the Austin or San Antonio areas is ever complete for me without a trip inside the storied walls of Smitty’s Market in Lockhart, Texas.It’s become a staple of my travels, and I simply refuse to return to Dallas without a trip to Smitty’s. If you are beginning to notice a pattern with a town called Lockhart, it’s quite intentional, as Lockhart is considered the BBQ capital of Texas, and home to two of the top three BBQ joints in the state.

View from the back entrance.

On any given day, Smitty’s is probably my favorite BBQ that I have been to.Interior walls of Smitty’s could be considered works of art by themselves, as decades of smoke have seasoned them with a layer of blackened char that leaves little doubt about the heritage and tradition contained within this storied meat market.Hallowed brick pits at Smitty’s command reverence, and stand as ancient monuments to the fading art of slow and simple cooking.The carving room itself carries a church like atmosphere where the only sounds penetrating the silence are the crackling embers of burning oak and the brusquely whispered orders of eager patrons.

I ordered up my usual pile of protein at Smitty’s with the three wiseman equally represented: brisket, sausage and ribs.As always the brisket was well penetrated with smoke throughout, and every morsel was melt in your mouth tender.The sausage was done perfectly and snapped with each flavorful bite.Now if only they would offer a Jalapeno sausage like Kreuz’s….The ribs are what truly shine at Smitty’s, however, as they are smoked perfectly throughout with a telltale pinkish hue and finished ever so subtly with a sweet glaze.In fact, the food on this day was so tasty we even sidled back into the smoke room for a second round…

Simply put, if you’re looking for a one of a kind combination of vintage atmosphere and truly world class barbecue in Texas, Smitty’s should be at the top of a very short list.

One final note: If you’re looking for one dead giveaway of a genuine barbecue joint, have a look out the back door.If you see a giant pile of hardwood like Smitty’s, you know you’re in the right place…

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Kreuz Control

Kreuz Market was our second stop on Saturday morning within a two hour span.After a quick sixty mile jaunt down to Lockhart from Taylor, we darkened their doorstep with the remnants of our Louis Mueller fare barely settled in our stomachs.It takes a pretty remarkable BBQ joint stir up my appetite for another spread within such a short time, but Kreuz Market is always up to the task.One quick whiff of the smoky aroma wafting through the cavernous interior and I was primed for my second full meal of the morning. There is a reason that this place is considered the #2 barbecue sling in Texas, and their food never disappoints.

This time we opted for the traditional three meats: brisket, pork ribs, and jalapeno sausage.On any given day the brisket and pork ribs at Kreuz are widely considered among the best that Texas has to offer, and this day was no different as the peppery rub was brought to life in every tenderly smoked morsel.The runaway winner at Kreuz, however, is their home made Jalapeno Sausage.This is simply the best sausage that you will find anywhere in Texas, and is the perfect combination of homemade snap, smoke and enough jalapeno kick to tickle the tongue.

Kreuz Market is cavernous inside, and though the building is relatively new, the Kreuz family has been in the BBQ game since 1900 and they have enough brick pits in here to feed an army.One of my favorite details about Kreuz Market are their rules posted on the wall before you enter the “meat room”.

For those of you unfamiliar with the nuances of traditional Texas cue’, to place your order at a place like Kreuz or Smitty’s, you first enter the smoke room where the pits are crackling away with open fires right before your eyes. Here you order your meat only, and it is pulled directly from the smoke pit, sliced in front of you according to your wishes, and placed on your plate (and by plate I mean rolled up in butcher paper which will function as your plate).You are also given all your silverware at this time (and by silverware I mean none, because you will be eating with your hands).All of your other decorations, aka side dishes, are then ordered at a separate counter inside the dining area.

Kreuz Market is considered among the best Texas has to offer for a reason, and it’s worth any detour to get yourself there.If you leave hungry, it’s your own fault.

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