Family Field Trip: Visit the Barbeque Capital of Texas!
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Sure, you’ve had ribs and chicken before. But if you haven’t been to Lockhart, you haven’t been to the Barbeque Capital of Texas. And if you haven’t been to the Barbeque Capital of Texas, can you really say you’ve sampled the best? This dusty town in central Texas is an easy daytrip from Austin or San Antonio, so loosen your belts and hop into the car!
There are only four barbeque restaurants in Lockhart, but those are four of the finest barbeque establishments in the world. Your first stop is Smittys Market at 208 South Commerce Street (www.smittysmarket.com), which has been dishing out smoked meats since 1900. Walking into this restaurant is like stepping into a storefront from an old Western, but this is one of the most famous barbeque joints in Texas. Get yourself an RC to go with your smoked brisket and sausage, and save room – you’re just getting warmed up.
Next stop is Kreuz (pronounced “Krites”) at 619 North Colorado Street (www.KreuzMarket.com). Your kids will be happy to forgo plates and silverware, and that’s good; Kreuz doesn’t offer them. What they do sell is delicious, tender meat sold by the pound and accompanied by beans, pickles, and cheese. Don’t ask for sauce – that’s a controversial subject here in Lockhart and fighting words at Kreuz.
Getting full? Consider this: President Lyndon Johnson loved the sausage from Blacks Barbeque (www.buyblacksbbq.com) so much he had it flown to Washington D.C. for a function on the Capitol grounds. You can sample the same at 215 North Main Street; it’s the oldest continuously owned family barbeque joint in Texas.
Save room for the kid of the bunch, Chisholm Trail Barbeque at 1323 South Colorado. In addition to the usual barbeque faves, you’ll find fajitas, turkey and catfish served cafeteria style.
Stuffed? If you’re lucky enough to be in the area in the second week of June, hit the Chisholm Trail Round Up (http://www.chisholmtrailroundup.com/cookoffs.htm) for a barbeque and chili cook-off, carnival and arts and crafts show. Non-edible recreation in Lockhart includes hiking, biking and swimming at the local parks, monthly country-western music shows, community theater and a stroll around the historic downtown area. Look familiar? Lockhart served as the backdrop for movies including Second-Hand Lions, Home Fries, Where the Heart Is, and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. So what was eating Gilbert Grape? Beats me, but I know what Gilbert was eating!