Lockhart Texas was not on our list of places to visit out west until we were told by MANY (okay ALL) Texans that we had to go there and try the barbecue. Lockhart is named the Barbecue Capital of Texas and they are not just claiming this to be true. This is a legit and legal thing. On May 26, 1999 a House Resolution was adopted by the 76th Texas Legislature giving Lockhart this title.
Not convinced? It was then adopted by the Senate in 2003. It doesn’t get more official than that. They take this title very serious and with good reason. No visit to Lockhart would be complete without eating at one of their amazing BBQ Restaurants! So we made a day trip out of it to check out the area and see what the BBQ fuss was all about.
First stop was Lockhart State Park. If you plan on visiting some of Texas’ amazing state parks, then I would highly suggest a Texas state park pass. The Texas State Parks Pass is good for one year and includes an unlimited free entry to more than 90 state parks for you and your guests. Also, you receive discounts on camping and equipment rentals as well as park store purchases. A Texas State Park Pass costs $70 and is WELL worth every penny.
In the end, we came out more than ahead and it saved us some money on state park camping while in Texas. While we did not camp overnite at this state park, we had a great time checking out the hiking trails for the day. This state park also has fishing, a large swimming pool, playground, and 9 hole golf course.
After hiking some trails and working up an appetite, it was time to get our BBQ on!
Lockhart has 4 BBQ restaurants to choose from in close proximity to each other and the decision is not easy. Here is the line-up and to be honest I don’t think you can go wrong.
BLACKS BBQ – After 4 generations and still going strong, Blacks BBQ began making a name for themselves in 1932. It is one of the oldest barbecue restaurants in Texas, that has been continuously owned and operated by the same family. This is the restaurant we taste tested and the only one I can personally attest to and it was AMAZING.
You pick your sides from a semi-buffet style line and order your meat from the meat carver by weight at the end. The brisket is a tastebud sensation and is probably the first time in my life I didn’t want to smother my BBQ in sauce. It is so good and is lacking nothing. The atmosphere is laid back and the staff is friendly. We still talk about this place and if we lived local we would probably have our own table dedicated to us.
Chisholm Trail Barbecue – This is what the locals recommend due to the fact you can get the biggest bang for your buck here and less of a line. It may not be internationally known like it’s competition, but Lockhart still finds it a winner.
Kreuz Barbecue – The beef, sausage or pork is served on brown butcher paper and there are no side dishes, silverware, or BBQ sauce served here. Just meat with a side of meat and maybe a slice of bread or cheese. You know your good when you can pull that off as a restaurant and still be one of the bests. They claim they have been serving BBQ that way since 1900 when Charles Kreuz Sr. opened a meat market and grocery story.
He used his leftover unsold meats and made BBQ and sausage out of them. People bought their groceries then grabbed some barbecue off butcher paper and ate with their hands. Their take on it is…That’s how we did it then and that’s how we’re gonna keep doing it, and people love it.
Smitty’s Market – Smitty’s is located from the building in which Charles Kreuz opened his grocery store in over a century ago. Edgar “Smitty” Schmidt bought the business in 1948, but after a family feud in 1999 by his children, it was split. The son took the Kreuz name to a new building down the road as Kreuz Barbeque. The daughter of Mr. Schmidt and her son kept the fire pits burning and reopened under Smittys Market.
They all sound amazing right? If you can’t decide, that’s okay. This decision is hard for most people and because of that a solution has been created. Just loosen your belt and take the BBQ circuit challenge and eat them all. This is a true thing! Although we did not take this challenge personally, many have lived to tell the tale and is a BBQ lovers ultimate accomplishment.
After a full day of hiking and BBQ drive by and check out the County Courthouse and historical downtown. The courthouse was built in 1894 and is a sight to be seen. This Texas Historical Landmark features beautiful limestone and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We passed this beauty heading to Black’s that is right around the corner.
As we passed by, I rolled down the window to get a better look. With the windows down, blue skies as a backdrop, and the smell of BBQ in the air, you will know you have made it to Lockhart. The Barbecue Capital of Texas! Enjoy….