Tag Archives: BBQ

Dining In Austin: Food Fight! Lockhart BBQ Challenge (Smitty’s Vs. Black’s)

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:

Food Fight! Lockhart BBQ Challenge

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.

Black’s looks much like the rest of Lockhart. Old, a little run down, and 100% Texas country. The exterior looks more like a deer feed/hardware store than a BBQ restaurant.

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

If you love Food, you will love Dining in Austin

Eatocracy: Lick the screen – BBQ sauce fountain

Eatocracy is a great new food blog that I hope you will find the time to check out! Here is a link to the article below and this particular article holds a special place in my heart. It is Amy Mills brandchild in which she fills a “chocolate fountain” with BBQ sauce and uses it to allow people to put Mike Mills 17th Street BBQ sauce on their ribs, no dipping, just a pure BBQ Sauce shower! Gretchen and I experienced this first hand at the Big Apple Block Party in 2009 and BBQ Sauce will never be the same!

You know it’s a party when the BBQ sauce fountain starts flowing. Or, more specifically, that it’s a 17th Street Bar & Grill party – in which case you’re in for a rib-munching, lip-smacking good time.

Champion pitmaster Mike Mills and his daughter Amy make a yearly trek from their home base in Murphysboro, Illinois to New York’s Big Apple BBQ Block Party to dish out thousands of their signature ribs to barbecue fans from up and down the East coast. Amy’s fountain has become a staple at the event; when the sauce starts flowing, so does the fun.

See the fountain in action after the jump.

Each weekday, Lick the Screen will showcase one food photo that sets our stomach rumbling. If you’d like your work to be featured, submit your pictures to the Eatocracy Flickr pool or leave a link in the comments. We’ll get in touch if what we see makes us weak at the knees.

Elizabeth Karmel and Ed Mitchell On the Early Show

Elizabeth Karmel (@GrillGirl on Twitter) is our big sister, BBQ Mentor and dear friend. We knew her before she became so famous and appeared on NBC in Chicago, look at her now! If it wasn’t for her, we would still be burning chicken breasts on our gas grill! Last June we joined Elizabeth for a weekend at the Big Apple Block Party which is probably as close as a BBQ lover could get to heaven on earth. She introduced us to Ed Mitchell, who makes some of the finest BBQ in the country at his restaurant “The Pit” in North Carolina. Some would say that he defines the “Whole Hog” BBQ and after having many of his sandwiches, I would agree. Here they are in the 2nd and third segments of this CBS Early Show Tailgate special.


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Big Butz Tribute for 500th Follower

Tom takes his tweeting pretty seriously and is  a big member of the Twitter BBQ Community, I saw all of the chatter about this on Twitter. Didn’t know that he had mad YouTube skillz and was an amateur rapper as well, oh the talent!  Thought that I should share with you the man behind Big Butz BBQ Sauce, our newest addition to BBQ Pro Shop. You can follow Big Butz @BigButzBBQ. (Imagine what he might do when he hits 1000?)

UPDATE: Legal Disclaimer from @BigButzBBQ: Small children and pregnant women warning: Could result in deep emotional scarring.