I was in Austin, TX last week for some work training and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to taste a little bit of Texas BBQ. I’ve been there once before a few years back and tried some really mediocre chili from the Texas Chili Parlor (beans wtf) but I didn’t get to try any BBQ. So this time I decided to do it up right by researching the area and taking recommendations from friends familiar with the scene.
We started off at Iron Works downtown. It wasn’t recommended by anyone but fuck it was only blocks from the hotel, they served Saint Arnold’s beers and we were hungry. What a waste. The brisket tasted like it was smoked and then boiled to eliminate all the good shit I was looking for (flavor, aroma and texture). I mean I didn’t even waste my time taking a picture of the plate. The smoke ring could have been sued for false advertising.
After visiting that shithole we knew there had to be better eats to be found so the next evening we headed south about 45 minutes to Lockhart, TX to sample 3 or 4 BBQ joints.
First we pulled up to Kreuz Market and the parking lot was empty. No wait, there was one car that had it’s dome light on so we pulled in and sure enough they were open. We ordered a 1/4 lb. of everything they sold and an old lady piled it on a sheet of paper (no tray) and gathered it up like a pouch for us to take to the dining room.
I mean look at that shit. Bang city. I probably could have done without the pork chop but whatever. The brisket was so on point as was the original sausage. The jalepeno cheese sausage wasn’t bad but for real when you got one of the originals sitting on your plate that jalepeno shit is gonna have to wait. German potato salad and baked beans on the side with a couple slices of white bread, pickled jalepenos and a few Shiner Bocks.
After finish up our sheets of food we decided to hit up Smitty’s but they were closed so we stopped in at Chisolm Trail. This place was bangin’ as well nd we didn’t quite do the 1/4 lb. of everything deal again. It just wasn’t on par with Kreuz. Their pork ribs were really, really good as was their brisket (just a little too moist for my liking). They had ham and chicken which wasn’t available at Kreuz and it wasn’t anything special.
20 more minutes later we decided to hit up Black’s. We were so full by then that we only ordered one slice of brisket, one pork rib (I should’ve asked how much it cost) and a sausage and I’m really glad that was it. I took a bite of the brisket and immediately spit out a big ole chunk of smokey grissle. I was done. Who am I kidding, I took another bite and ended wishing I didn’t because it tasted fucking horrible. I figured they would trim the brisket like I saw most places do but they din’t so I was pulling cow fat out of my teeth the whole drive back to the hotel. I do have to say that they did an amazing job decorating the place.
A few days later we had the chance to stop in at Ruby’s near the UT campus. Fucking awesome. Everything was on point except their BBQ sauce which we kinda avoided everywhere else since good BBQ shouldn’t need it. The turkey was a little dry but whatever right, it’s fucking turkey. Another Saint Arnold’s Elissa IPA and we had to leave for the airport.