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Smitty's

208 S. Commerce, Lockhart, TX - (512) 398-9344
Posted By Paul Kloss on 3/25/2003 12:19:00 PM
Friends, I’ve eaten a fair share of BBQ in my relatively short time on this earth. For my money, the best BBQ you’ll find is in Texas and down there it doesn’t get much better than Smitty’s.

This place is the real deal. It’s got location, ambiance and unbelievable BBQ. Located right off the town square in Lockhart, Smitty’s is in the shadow of an incredible old courthouse. The place itself is cavernous and its got a haunted feel, but in a good way. Wandering around this place there’s lots of nooks and crannies. The walls are greened with smoke and the smell of smoked meats immediately seeps into your pores.

You order your food in the pit room right next to the old brick smokers and, if the line is long enough, the open fire. I can’t imagine how hot this place is during July because it was quite warm in March.

The meat is cut, weighed and plopped onto thick sheets of butcher paper along with knives and white bread. You can wrap it up to go, like the guy in front of me did, or retire to the bright air-conditioned dining room where they serve up drinks and such. I ordered prime rib and a hot link.

Upon entering the dining room, I immediately marked myself as a rube by asking for a fork. None are forthcoming in this place, that’s what the bread is for. Duh!

I cannot adequately put into words the first encounter with the prime rib. The slightly fatty outer ribbon held a ton of smoky, meaty flavor. I’m sure a return trip would induce a Pavlovian response. Elgin might be famous for its sausage and Louie Muller does a mean link too, but Smitty’s gets the ribbon. Perhaps it’s my enjoyment of pepper, but this link had a sweet flavor with a hint of heat coming right from the relatively large peppercorn fragments throughout the sausage. It didn’t take long before I was dipping the prime rib in the sausage dripping and washing it all down with a Shiner.

Smitty’s is truly a BBQ temple. Any lover of BBQ owe it to themselves to pay a visit. It may fly below the radar of some other Texas places but that’s a glaring, inexcusable omission. Get thee to Smitty’s!

13 out of 13 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Rate this place
The Sausage Ring has long been a specialty of barbecues in this area. It doesn't have the velvet-smooth class of brisket, but its succulence is awesome.  To bite into this plump baby and feel your teeth release its juices is a sensual experience beyond words.
"The Sausage Ring has long been a specialty of barbecues in this area. It doesn't have the velvet-smooth class of brisket, but its succulence is awesome. To bite into this plump baby and feel your teeth release its juices is a sensual experience beyond words."
Michael Stern





The Texas smoke-house meat of choice -- fat-ribboned brisket, oozing juice and edged with black crust -- is here shown atop a pit-cooked pork chop with a sausage ring behind. With that bread at the far left and a couple of tall sweet teas, it's a perfect meal.
"The Texas smoke-house meat of choice -- fat-ribboned brisket, oozing juice and edged with black crust -- is here shown atop a pit-cooked pork chop with a sausage ring behind. With that bread at the far left and a couple of tall sweet teas, it's a perfect meal."
Michael Stern


Rosy slices of prime rib from the pit.  The outer rim is punchy and smoky, the pink center is beefy, juicy, and tender.
"Rosy slices of prime rib from the pit. The outer rim is punchy and smoky, the pink center is beefy, juicy, and tender. "
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


A master barbecue man shows off beef sausage rings cooking in the wood-fired pit.
"A master barbecue man shows off beef sausage rings cooking in the wood-fired pit."
Michael Stern


No side dishes, no appetizers, no desserts to worry about.  Just two questions to ask:  which meat do you want, and how much?
"No side dishes, no appetizers, no desserts to worry about. Just two questions to ask: which meat do you want, and how much?"
Michael Stern


After selecting and buying your meat in the adjoining pit room, you carry it into this air-conditioned dining room and dine at these long tables.
"After selecting and buying your meat in the adjoining pit room, you carry it into this air-conditioned dining room and dine at these long tables."
Michael Stern


Towards the upper right you can see the back door opening.  As you enter you practically wade through fire and ashes to reach the order counter.  This is a scene we could not even remotely imagine back east, what with regulations and agencies and insurance concerns and all.
"Towards the upper right you can see the back door opening. As you enter you practically wade through fire and ashes to reach the order counter. This is a scene we could not even remotely imagine back east, what with regulations and agencies and insurance concerns and all."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


In the foreground, briskets bask in the smoke of slow-burning logs.  In back, one of the pit men severs a few pounds for a hungry customer.
"In the foreground, briskets bask in the smoke of slow-burning logs. In back, one of the pit men severs a few pounds for a hungry customer."
Michael Stern


The old bench-tables against the wall are no longer in use; but in their day, many tons of good meat were eaten here.
"The old bench-tables against the wall are no longer in use; but in their day, many tons of good meat were eaten here."
Michael Stern


Smitty's is in the location where the estimable Kreuz market used to be. Kreuz -- still wonderful -- has moved to the edge of town, and Smitty's maintains the tradition as though nothing has changed in decades.
"Smitty's is in the location where the estimable Kreuz market used to be. Kreuz -- still wonderful -- has moved to the edge of town, and Smitty's maintains the tradition as though nothing has changed in decades. "
Michael Stern



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