Posts Tagged ‘bbq joints’
After stopping it at the Taco Xpress, for some breakfast taco’s and some food to keep us satisfied, we headed to Franklin Barbecue and arrived in line at 9:15 AM. Franklin’s claim to fame is that they open their doors at 11a and stay open until they are sold out, oh and also that they have the world’s finest Texas Brisket! So they usually run out of food around 2p as the sign says. Our timing was perfect, we were amongst the first 25 people in line and that got is in the door on the first shift. The line just grew and grew as we waited there, people joining people holding spots and the beverage lady coming through the line to serve drinks. The wait was half the fun, and a little tip, you can use their bathroom.
The first person from Franklin’s we met was a really Sweet young lady who came through to gauge our order as to how much, brisket, pork, ribs and sausage you would be interested in having. It is first come serve so she takes your order and then let’s you know whether there will be any left by the time you get inside. Not an issue for us, more of an issue for the folks closer to the end of the line.
We were lucky and got inside at 11a, waited another 20 minutes and was happy to see Aaron Franklin enjoying his morning espresso and watching over the first cuts of brisket hit the trays. We went with a pound of brisket, 1/4 LB of Turkey and pulled pork, two hot links and a pound of spare ribs and went to work. The surprise of the meal and not to be missed is the smoked turkey, we surmised that we may have been the first to order it and we got a fresh breast that was just amazing, nice blend of pepper, salt and smoke, with a delightful bark. Don’t miss it, we shared it with some line mates who made the mistake and they had the same reaction.
The pulled pork was awesome as well, salty, smokey with a hint of pepper and moist. Moist seems to be the seem at Franklin’s, how they do it, I do not know but all our food was tender and didn’t dry out as we ate it. The sausage casing had such a snap and a great flavor. Now the spare ribs had a great bark and a peppery smokey flavor with tenderness that made it easy to separate meat from bone. No falling off, but pulling off was just a delight and an awesome flavor.
Last but not least was the brisket, we asked for fatty and the bark, oh the bark was just amazing. The brisket was not like anything we have tasted thus far in Texas. It was light, fluffy and literally had the consistency best compared to a good birthday cake. The crusty bark mixed with the light and tender meat that was airy and so moist. The bark has a pepper flavor which is the most predominant flavor and it was worth every second in line to taste this Pit Master’s handy work.
Finally, Franklin’s has sauce and the Espresso BBQ Sauce, which is evidently taken from Aaron’s love of a good espresso is the perfect companion to his brisket. Highly suggest taken a few bites on it’s own, but then give that BBQ sauce a try, the mix of the coffee and the black pepper is just not to be missed. Had an almost chocolate under tone and was a pleasant surprise.
Enjoy the photos from the Austin BBQ Roadtrip on BBQ Pro Shops Flickr Page
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Lockhart is on my “Bucket List” and after reading this review from Dining in Austin‘s Mariah McElroy I know exactly how I would do it. I mean other than spending a couple of days there, how do you try Black’s, Smitty’s and Kreuz Market in just one trip? Dispatch your friends and reconvene in the Lockhart Municipal park for a food tasting challenge, that’s how!
Printed on permission of Dining in Austin:
One reason I love my friends: they’re foodies too. One hot Sunday afternoon, we all decided to carpool down to Lockhart and conduct a thoroughly scientific comparison of the Lockhart BBQ joints. Upon reaching Lockhart, we were disappointed to learn that Kreuz Market is closed on Sundays so we had to do a comparison of the 3 remaining BBQ joints, Black’s and Smitty’s.
At precisely the same time, a carload of us went to Black’s and a carload of us went to Smitty’s so the BBQ would be fresh and purchased at the same time. We decided, at a minimum, to get brisket, ribs, sausage, potato salad and cold slaw. We could also make an executive decision to get other additions we thought looked tasty. Then, we’d all meet up at the city park for a delicious picnic of BBQ.
I was in the carload that went to Black’s. When we arrived, I was stuck by how old fashioned the whole town looked. There was a beautiful old courthouse and town square. But unlike Fredricksburg, there weren’t kitschy country stores in the town square. It had a slightly depressed old Texas feel. Clearly, the only thing people come to Lockhart for is the BBQ.
But once you step into Black’s, it’s an oasis of Texas BBQ. The first thing you’ll notice are the impressive selection of home cooked sides. Many more sides than I’ve seen at any other Texas BBQ joint.
The meat is kept in an ingenious meat locker and is cut fresh when you order it.
Once we had procured our meat and sides, we went to the municipal park to conduct our thoroughly scientific taste test. In this picture, the Black’s offerings are in the front and the Smitty’s offerings are in the back.
And so you can get a sense of the aesthetics, here are the Black’s meats:
And here are the Smitty’s meats:
So the results!
Sausage – Winner: Tied
Smitty’s was meatier, almost gamey, while Blacks was creamier, with a finer blend. We were all split down the middle, some liking one more than the other. While I usually like a finer blend sausage, this time around I, liked the intense meaty flavor of the Smitty’s sausage better.
Brisket – Winner: Black’s
Black’s outstanding brisket was the winner of the whole meal. It was moist, soft and tender, fell apart. Smitty’s was dry and lack-luster.
Ribs – Winner: (Begrudgingly) Black’s
The Smitty’s ribs were moister but were covered in a sickly sweet red sauce. The ribs at Blacks had a better smoky flavor, but were dry. In the end, most people preferred smoky over sweet. But neither offering was all that great.
Potato Salad – Winner: Smitty’s
I liked the Blacks better, though, but I got overruled by the masses. Black’s potato salad is chunkier with large pieces of potato. Smitty’s potato salad is creamier, but in my opinion is, too mayonnaise-y. I got my fill of mayonnaise potato salad living in the Midwest. I want some mustard in mine now. Oh well.
Cole Slaw – Winner: Smitty’s
Smitty’s slaw used 3 different types of cabbage, carrots, and had a pleasant a peppery aftertaste. It was much more complex (well, as complex as cold slaw can be) than Blacks which only had 1 type of cabbage but was tangy.
Other Sides – Winner: Black’s
While none of the other sides at Black’s were all that spectacular, it won out in sheer volume of available sides. Smitty’s offered potato salad and cold slaw, that’s it. However, Black’s had yams – sweet and gelatinous and all together pretty bad. And creamed corn – much better than the yams, nice and creamy with a hint of tarragon. They also had mashed potatoes – peppery and good with the cream gravy. And macaroni and cheese – basic and not that great.
Overall – Winner: Blacks
The better selection of sides and the clear win in the brisket department let Black’s nose ahead of Smitty’s. However, I must state for the record that neither was the best BBQ I’ve ever had. Except for Black’s brisket. It was quite good, and may possibly be the best brisket I’ve had in Texas (yet).
~Smitty’s – 7
~Black’s – 8
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