I'm not saying that I haven't found spectacular plates of barbecue during my travels. I have. But the standouts were few and far between, and all of 'em at places that still cook exclusively with wood.
Smoke Daddy's Review of Lockhart Smoke House
XO, Smoke Daddy, Gus, and Jack would return for the ribs, sausage, and beans. Solid effort across the board. This restaurant in the Bishop Arts district felt like a barbecue place - even though it is just over 2 years old. High praise from XO: "Atmosphere is about as good as a new, urban barbecue joint can be." Keep up the good work -- we'll be back!
- Spare Ribs - Gigantic and shockingly excellent, given their size. Good color, meat/smoke flavor, texture. Fully rendered. Simple seasoning and not over-seasoned. Well done! Gus rates them a 5 out of 5.
- Lean - Slices were a bit light on intramuscular fat, but there was a thick layer of exterior fat left on each slice. Beefy, with a good smoke flavor, especially around the edges/ends. XO feels they could have been more tender if given a bit more time.
- Fatty - Moist & tender. Fully rendered, with a texture approaching melt-in-the-mouth. Beefy flavor dominates. Gus is reminded of Robyn's pot roast... and his comparison is accurate, except for the outermost edges. Only trace amount of smoke is present here.
- Pork Chop - Tender and extremely moist (Injected?). Same smoke issue as the fatty brisket... none penetrates into the heart of the chop. Edges and meat closest to the bone are the best.
- Kruez Sausage - Beefy, crumbly, loose-packed sausage with a black pepper kick. This is what real sausage tastes like!
- Habanero Mac'n Cheese - Soft noodles in a creamy (rather than cheesy) sauce... with plenty of heat. Gus thinks this is too spicy, and wonders if any normal person could eat an entire order. It is a novelty item.
- Baked Beans - Meaty beans with onions and jalapenos. Not as sweet as traditional baked beans... flavors are a blend of pinto bean and bbq bean recipes, with some heat on the finish. These are very good.
- "Lockhart Coleslaw" - Coleslaw is not something traditionally linked to the town of Lockhart. However, crisp cabbage with some carrot and onion provide good texture. Color is tinged pink from hot sauce added to the mixture... so it does have a bit of fire in the finish. Novelty item, spicy but good.
- S'mores Bread Pudding - Very rich, chocolatey, and good. However, we don't detect much (if any) graham or marshmallow. Better title: Chocolate Bread Pudding. However, if this was paired with a scoop of ice cream, it would be heavenly!
- Good family tie-in with the Schmidts from Lockhart
- The ordering counter is sized & shaped to remind folks of the brick pits at Kruez Market/Smitty's
- Will is behind the counter taking orders and assisting customers. He is friendly, patient, and ensures everybody gets his full attention during their order... yet he also manages to keep the line moving at a resonable pace.
- Bewley pit prominently displayed behind the ordering counter, and is used as a warming oven for lunch
- Full bar, with old signs and corrugated tin to make the place feel old(er)
- It is a comfortable spot to sit, and we don't feel pressured to move out too quickly - even at lunchtime
- This place is still feels too new... It needs a heavy dose of patina from the pits. Give it 10-20 years, and the atmosphere score will continue to rise. However, it is about as good as a new, urban barbecue joint can be.