When: Thursday, April 22, 2010
Where: Blacks Barbeque (Lockhart, TX)
I was excited, real excited. My brother asked me to help him out with some stuff down in Lockhart and my first thought was BARBEQUE. My first job was in a BBQ restaurant and I managed a BBQ place after college for two years. I love me some BBQ. So I knew what I was having for lunch. Problem is there is the big three in Lockhart: Blacks, Smittys, and Kruez. A decision was foisted upon me. Luckily I had the chance to eat at Kruez last year, I never blogged about it but honestly wasn't that impressed, sorry RA. I have friends that would fight to the death over who serves up the best BBQ. Any good Texan should have a friend that will blindly follow their favorite meat purveyor till the end. I, however, will let my tongue decide.
Since I had been to Kruez before and I knew Smittys didn't offer sauce Blacks was the obvious choice. Now, sauce is a whole other argument amonst these BBQ establishments. I think Barbeque needs sauce in order to truly make it Barbeque but I understand the purists who think the meat should stand alone. I am just stating my preference here.
I finished my work earlier than I thought I would and ended up in front of Blacks at around 11:15am. An early lunch but I had skipped breakfast so I was hungry. Blacks seems like a BBQ place that has been around a long time, it has. It has been in the same family since 1932 which gives it tradition points. I walked up and was informed that it was cafeteria style and grabbed a plate. I am pretty traditional myself so I went with the standard beans and potato salad as my sides along with a nice helping of pickles. I behaved myself and skipped over the pudding and cobblers. By the time I made it to my table my plate looked like this:
What? I was hungry. How was it? Average. The whole situation really just ended up making me sad. I really wanted an amazing experience and what I got was average barbeque. As you might be able to tell from the picture the brisket was almost pure fat. There was very, very little meat and I tend to like the marbled brisket. The sausage had a decent flavor but was somewhat gritty and lacked that snap that bbq sausage should have. The rib was the highlight. It had a great smoky taste and was nice and tender. The pickle relish side was awesome. The sides were decent, but nothing to write home about. The real disappointment was the sauce. There was nothing to it. It lacked heat, it lacked sweetness, it lacked substance. In the end I just ate the meat with none.
My conclusion on Lockhart: simply stay in town and go to Rudy's or just a bit south to Salt Lick. Lockhart doesn't do anything special enough to warrant a Barbeque Roadtrip that everyone is so fond of taking.
Please don't stone me.