A Trip to Black’s Barbecue, Tasting Texas History

One thing that any Texas transplant realizes quickly is that these folks take their BBQ seriously. Everyone has an opinion, and they feel as strongly about pit cooked meat as they do about football. So, on one gloriously hot summer day, I ventured to Black’s Barbeque in Lockhart to see what all of the hype was about.

The line was long, which is usually a key indicator of good things to come. It weaved along the front of the building, inside tight hallways, and into the serving area. Family photos, articles and press clippings, and celebrity visits crookedly decorated this family business. The old, wood paneled walls told a story of a successful family business that has spanned generations. The setting was quaint, and well worn in. It did bother me a bit that it was so very crowded and there weren’t any windows. It was almost as if we were in someone’s basement.

At the front of the line, we were met with our choice of beef brisket, pork spare ribs, smoked turkey breast, massive beef ribs, porkchops, and homemade sausage. They also had expected and enjoyed sides of potato salad, cole slaw, beans, potatoes, rice, pickles, and desserts of puddings and cobblers. They also offered sandwiches.

Here’s where I’m about to lose friends.

I didn’t like it. Not at all.

The sausage was dried and overcooked, and tasted gritty. I’m baffled that people have these sausages shipped across the country cold because they love them so much. The sides were average, but nothing to drive to Lockhart for. The brisket was fine, but you can get fine brisket anywhere. The food felt as though it had once been amazing, but was left too long under heatlamps. I left feeling disappointed.

So was it worth the 30 mile drive? No.

Should you try it? Yes.

Lockhart is referred to as the BBQ capital of Texas for a reason, and even though it won’t go down as my favorite meal, it was still an experience and a lesson in Texas history.

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