I hate people who are not serious about their meals. -- Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Take me Back to Black's: Black's Barbecue

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: If the butcher paper ain’t transparent by the end of the meal, your ‘cue probably didn’t taste that good

My original plan was to go to Lockhart, Texas and eat at Smitty’s, Kruez and Blacks. However when we got there on Monday, they Smitty’s and Kruez were both closed. Their coals maybe continuously burning, but they were not serving barbecue that day. I was a bit disheartened (actually probably for the best, because I would have ended up leaving Lockhart with gout) but thankfully, the one place that I really wanted to visit, Black’s was open as it should, claiming to be open 8 days a week. The town of Lockhart is fun for a person that grew up in suburban New Jersey. Cliché as it sounds, it looks like a place stuck in time, like when you see old Cold War reels of Reds invading American town, Lockhart is the town they are talking about. Black’s Barbecue has been in operation since 1932 and boasts are being one of one of the oldest, same family ran operation. Kent Black, the current Black runs it and was kind enough to indulge my inner nerd and gave me a tour of their pits and gave me a whole run down of the operation. Oak, aged for a year, pits run about 225 and they do not do no Texas Crutching here. Which, I would expect from a place in business since 1932. 

Rat Cheese-love it

This is the type of atmosphere and aurora that I was chasing for during my trip. You grab a plate and indulge on the cafeteria style spread of sides and desserts and then you order your meat. I loved the fact that they had the little packets of rat cheese and how nice the whole staff was and patient with those that could not decide on what they wanted. Here we got the standard fare, brisket, beef rib and sausage, got the jalapeno cheese and their original. First the sausage, I am a fan of the medium grid sausages, I like the texture. The original sausage unfortunately was that great, neutral tasting and did not pop with any flavor. Thankfully, their sauce is quite good, peppery and acid, it solved the monotonous sausage. The Jalapeno and cheese fared better, slightly spicy and chunks of cheese present it was good. Meat after the jump!

Glorious meat- Beef rib, sausage, Brisket

The brisket was good and had a descent bark but one thing that stood out was the smokiness of it. The brisket picked up that smooth oak flavor that works just right and able to penetrate the fatty brisket. The spice rub was light and relied all on the smoke for flavor. We got moist with a few slices or lean and of the moist part, got a bit of the point which I need to remember to start requesting a bit more. Though it is sometimes stringy, this was just right, mix of fat and lean it was tender and just a little give.

corn muffin, deviled eggs and potato salad. only ate one deviled egg, sides are a waste of stomach real estate

The beef rib here was also great, tender and did not take much effort for it to come off the bone (note: meat should not be “falling off the bone”, if it is falling off you got overcooked ribs). Ribs like the brisket, gets its flavor from the smoke. Sides I see as a waste of real estate in the stomach but we did get a few deviled eggs which are refreshing to eat on a hot day. The pecan pie was good, but nothing to write home about. 

Peek under the pits
Though it was not the best I had in Texas, it was certainly one of the most memorable places I have eaten. The atmosphere and the aurora of such a place is something that cannot be replicated, it is something you need to experience for yourself. I am sure I will return to Lockhart, my mission here is not complete and I will  safe some room for a quick bite at Black’s, you know for comparison.

Years of history...and meat
Black’s Barbecue
215 N Main St
Lockhart, TX 78644

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