Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Quick trip to Lockhart 5/11-12/14

I received an interesting e-mail from a publicist inviting me to be part of the tasting audience for a new TV show filming at Black's BBQ in Lockhart on Monday, May 12.  Scott was busy, but my buddy Dave was able to join me on the day of.   I can't say anything about the show until after the episode airs, but I did have a few other adventures on the trip.  More on the TV show later, probably end of the Summer.
I headed down Sunday afternoon with plans of a nice leisurely dinner at Black's.  I figured things would be pretty fractured with the filming on Monday so I wanted to get a good BBQ feed that evening.  After long delays on I-35 in Temple, I finally pulled into the parking at the restaurant at 7 pm.  For the record, it is 238 miles from my driveway to Black's, via the Pickle Parkway.  I picked a quiet corner and wolfed down my usual 1/2 pound of moist brisket, 2 spare ribs, and a jalapeno cheese ring.  The photo doesn't do it justice as I was back sitting in a corner by a beer sign that cast a red glow on the photo.  Guess I needed a flash.  Oh well.  Take my word for it, the meal was excellent with moist tender brisket, good smoke, and perfectly rendered delicious fat.  Ribs were spot on and the jalapeno cheese ring was fine as always.
The next morning the call time for the TV shoot slipped from 12:30 to 1 pm which meant I had a couple of hours to kill after checking out of the hotel at 11 am.  I thought briefly about getting permission to hang around my room and check out a little late, but I figured I was in Lockhart so I might as well take advantage of that fact!!

I decided I would get small meals at Smitty's and Kreuz just to see how they compared to what I got at Black's the previous evening.  Now this is a comparison I have made many times before, but it never hurts to give everyone another shot.  Originally I had planned to recheck Chisolm trail too, but their parking lot was full, as it always is.  On to Smitty's where I got 1/3 pound moist brisket, 2 pork ribs, and a hot ring.  Sad to say nothing much has changed from my previous visits.  The brisket was underdone with unrendered fat and failed a pull apart test.  The ribs were tuff and chewy.  The ring had good flavor but was still too wet for my liking.  I keep going back to Smitty's but they just seldom have what I'm looking for.
On to Kreuz Market where I ordered the same, except just 1 rib.  They pulled out a fresh brisket, a beautiful sight, and I got two nice slices off the lean end.  Beautiful looking brisket.  It was a little crunchy on the outside but good flavor and moist inside.  Just no discernible smoke flavor.  I know it is sacrilege, but I think it needed a little sauce.  The rib was very nice with good moisture, tender, and a good bite mark.  None of the toughness at Smitty's.  The jalapeno cheese ring was awesome, as always.  I still have a case of their excellent sausage in my freezer so no need to reload this time.  My Lockhart rankings remain the same, Black's, Kreuz, then Chisolm Trail and Smitty's.  I have yet to be there on a weekend to check out the new trailer, Mad Jack's.
I eventually wandered over to the TV filming and I will blog about that after the episode airs.  Dave joined me and we had fun visiting and speculating on the event to come.  Dave had a Black's meal while we waited and he raved on the porkchop. 
Brad and John from the Man Up blog were seated at our table for the show and we had a good time visiting.  Drew came by later with his tour group, but we were still filming so we didn't get to visit.  During part of the down time Dave and I had a nice short visit with boss man Kent Black.  They were wonderful hosts for the event.  They continued to serve customers through the whole show, which was pretty amazing.  Nothing stops Black's from serving great BBQ.  8 days a week! 
After the event was done, I gathered up all the brisket requests I had from friends, and packed up 14 pounds of frozen Black's brisket for the trip north.  Now all I have to do is get those pounds out to all my friends.  Well, I might keep a few....
More on the TV show later, when I can.  It was fun.

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