After New Orleans, I headed home to New Jersey for the weekend, and then flew out to Austin to do some work for a few weeks. I’ve never spent any significant time in Texas and I had been eagerly awaiting to try REAL Texas barbecue in its native environment. I have had Texas BBQ in New York during Danny Meyer’s Big Apple BBQ Block Party, where Salt Lick and Southside Market (Elgin Sausage) showed up and did competition-style, but I realize of course that’s not the same thing as the kind these legendary pits make on a day to day basis.
In any case, the BBQ mecca of Texas is the area outside of Austin. The town of Lockhart, 31 miles from Austin down highway 183, is home to several important places, including Kreuz (pronounced “KRYTES”, not “Krooz” like I first thought) Black’s and Smitty’s. I had the opportunity after work to sample Kreuz and Black’s (Smitty’s closes too early during weekdays) .
This is what highway 183 looks like pretty much all the way to Lockhart. Miles and miles of essentially nothing.
Occassionally, you’ll see some of these.
Until you get here.
Black’s Texas Hot Link.
Slicing up some Brisk.
After a week in New Orleans, my diet is taking a turn for the Atkins-esque.
Black’s brisket closeup.
After Black’s, I headed back down 183 to Kreuz. Kreuz is a massive building.
The ordering area at Kreuz.
A couple of ribs. These were like twice the size of Black’s.
The fire pit. Kreuz uses oak, as does Black’s, for smoking their meats.
Brisket, ribs, and a link. I was only able to finish about 1/3rd of this stuff, even though I didn’t have lunch that day. By the way, don’t ask the people at Kreuz if they have BBQ sauce, that really pisses them off. They feel you don’t need BBQ sauce to eat their meat.
The dining area at Kreuz.
Lots and lots of seasoned Oak logs in back of Kreuz.
Did you ask about the sauce at Kreuz? Is there a recording of a guy from New Jersey getting yelled at by some woman behind the counter in small town out there in the middle Texas? If there is, it could be fodder for internet forwarding.
I am so jealous. I have been to both of these places and its great to see them again. I am interested to hear your comparisons. Blacks is #1 to me, but I know everyone has their opinions.
“…including Kreuz (pronounced ‘Kroytz,’ not ‘Krooz,’ like I first thought…”
Actually, it’s pronounced “Kritz” with a long “i” sound.
Sure hope you make it to Smitty’s. It’s my fave. Although I do love Black’s brisket. It’s consistantly the best of the brisket sweepstakes, I think.
And if you’re really “doing” Central Texas BBQ, you also need to go to City Market in Luling.
And another “must do” is Cooper’s BBQ in LLano. coopersbbq.com.
The ride out to Llano from Austin is very scenic, and you will probably even be able to pick up some of those legendary Hill Country Peaches at fruit stands along the highway.
Thanks for the blog. Interesting.
All the BBQ locations are great!!!! Speaking of the Hiway 183, it will look very much different in a couple of years. It will become part of IH130.
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[…] home, but never had the guts to try it. Oh sure, I have a huge appreciation for the art, I’ve eaten it in its native lands, I’ve attended seminars on it, I’ve talked to a good number of pros on their […]
Gawd, that looks truly amazing. I am from Ireland and we just don’t have these types of places anywhere. I dont think there is one barbecue restaurant. The nearest thing is your local put burning something on a fire once a year in their garden. It tastes terrible but we all love it.
I am really into my own outdoor grilling now. During the summer I try and do it whenever I can. I have been following lots of the texan recipes and the great vids on the tube, with those barbecue guys. I cant remember their names. Really want to visit this place now, its on my list of things to do before I die.