I actually hate that term but it seems to be very prevalent these days. Anyway I (as anyone who knows me or has seen my large head and body can attest to) LOVE FOOD! As such I’m a fan of food shows (makes sense right?). Not so much cooking shows, but eating shows (Man vs Food, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Anthony Bourdain, etc). So why am I telling you this? Because one of the best perks of this job (IMHO) is the fact I can visit alot of the places featured, places I’d probably never visit otherwise. Let’s face it, am I going to spend $500 on a plane ticket and rental car for a good burger? Probably not (well maybe but you get my point). I thought some of you might share my passion for Good Eats and I figured I’d tell you about my lastest quest. Texas BBQ!
I actually traded a trip I had for the one I’m currently flying specifically because it had a long San Antonio overnight. About an hour NE of SAT is Lockhart Tx which is sited by many as the BBQ Capital of Tx. There are actually quite a few BBQ joints in Lockhart but the 2 famous ones are Smitty’s and Kreuz’s. The story goes there was originally only one, Kreuz’s, but there was a family feud and one half got the building, the other got the name so now’s there’s the 2. Smitty’s is in the original building which was built in 1900 (and hasn’t changed at all), Kreuz’s is in a new larger version of the original across town. First off Lockhart is amazing. Being from NYC I really didn’t there were any towns like this left in the US. Picture Mayberry with pickups and cowboy hats, very cool. Decided to hit Smitty’s first and as I said the building is ancient (but clean). You walk to the back and behind glass doors is a counter and the smokers. You actually are right next to the smokers, it smells incredible and feels like a sauna (my clothes still smell like smoke 2 days later). Flames everywhere and butchers carving meat. You order the meat you want by the pound, they put it on wax paper and hand it to you. Outside of the doors is another counter where you can get drinks and sides. You then sit down and these long picnic tables and chow down. No forks are available, just plenty of napkins. Kreuz is the same set up just new.
Conclusion: I had brisket (which Texas is famous for) and ribs which is my fav. Smitty’s had better ribs, Kreuz better brisket, actually the best brisket I’ve ever had. Kreuz ribs were dry and visa verse on the brisket. BUT Smitty’s has the old building which is fantastic and authentic AND Smitty’s will give you BBQ sauce, Kreuz will not. Kreuz’s has this “sauce is sacrilegious” thing going. Personally I’ve never liked that whole “we’ll tell you how you must eat your food” concept. If people are paying they should have what they want (except pineapple on pizza). Winner…Smitty’s!
On the way home I stopped at Lulu’s Bakery in San Antonio for their World famous 3.5lb cinnamon buns. Fortunately they wrap them well and will keep for 3 days because I didn’t even make a dent.
BTW, cost of this excursion? Rental car in SAT $11.65 plus tax and gas, about $30 plus food. Not bad.
Have I mentioned I LOVE MY JOB!