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Black's Barbecue

215 N. Main St., Lockhart, TX - (512) 398-2712
Posted By Paul Kloss on 3/24/2003 7:39:00 PM
On a recent visit to Austin, I made the pilgrimage to the BBQ Capital of Texas, Lockhart (just 1/2 hour south). Kreuz Market was closed (it was Sun) but that just made the decision to patronize Black's all the easier.

As Michael Stern points out, this place distinguishes itself with sides. Many are classic picnic-style selections: potato salad, macaroni salad etc. I had spoonfuls of both these sides. They were tasty but not superlative. On the other hand, the warm sides were something special. In particular the pinto beans were among the best I've tasted with a flavor that seemed like they used a hollowed out pig for a cauldron. Unbelievable!

As for the meat portion, the pork ribs were tasty. They fell off the bone and had a lot of hearty rib tip meat. If I have one complaint, the ribs were quite salty. On the plus side, this gave them an aromatic "hammy" flavor.

Filled with hearty pig meat, I didn't try the deserts even though the cobbler looked good.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
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The pit man at Black's revealed that they use 12 pounds of pork to 100 pounds of beef. That equals a very luscious sausage. The regular ring is fairly mild; also shown are a jalapeno ring, which is not only hot but also adds a bit of crisp veggie crunch to the meat, and a cheese jalapeno ring.
"The pit man at Black's revealed that they use 12 pounds of pork to 100 pounds of beef. That equals a very luscious sausage. The regular ring is fairly mild; also shown are a jalapeno ring, which is not only hot but also adds a bit of crisp veggie crunch to the meat, and a cheese jalapeno ring."
Michael Stern





Black's barbecued potato isn't quite the food nutrition pyramid. It's more a mountain range. The landscape is a big, soft-baked spud loaded with butter, sour cream, and shredded cheese, all crowned with a full measure of finely chopped brisket that is richer than bacon.
"Black's barbecued potato isn't quite the food nutrition pyramid. It's more a mountain range. The landscape is a big, soft-baked spud loaded with butter, sour cream, and shredded cheese, all crowned with a full measure of finely chopped brisket that is richer than bacon."
Michael Stern


A close-up of Black's brisket. The blackened crust is a mark of the slow smoking process that makes meat unspeakably succulent.
"A close-up of Black's brisket. The blackened crust is a mark of the slow smoking process that makes meat unspeakably succulent."
Michael Stern


Here's a plate of brisket and a sausage ring with carrot salad, pea salad (with ham and cheese), a couple of jalapeno peppers and, of course, white bread. Barbecue sauce is available, but this meat is so moist and flavorful that it's not at all essential. When you bite into the sausage, the casing snaps and juices flow.
"Here's a plate of brisket and a sausage ring with carrot salad, pea salad (with ham and cheese), a couple of jalapeno peppers and, of course, white bread. Barbecue sauce is available, but this meat is so moist and flavorful that it's not at all essential. When you bite into the sausage, the casing snaps and juices flow."
Michael Stern


Black's chili is primal: beef and spice in a bowl. Anything else, such as beans, cheese, onions, and crackers, is optional.
"Black's chili is primal: beef and spice in a bowl. Anything else, such as beans, cheese, onions, and crackers, is optional."
Michael Stern


At 10:30, Thursday morning, Black's tables were empty. By the time we finished off our early lunch, all the folding chairs were occupied by eager Q-hounds.
"At 10:30, Thursday morning, Black's tables were empty. By the time we finished off our early lunch, all the folding chairs were occupied by eager Q-hounds."
Michael Stern


Unlike some of the bare-bones smoke houses in this region, Black's actually has decor. These three heads occupy the wall next to the doorway.
"Unlike some of the bare-bones smoke houses in this region, Black's actually has decor. These three heads occupy the wall next to the doorway."
Michael Stern


If you haven't had real Texas barbecue, as served in the town of Lockhart at Black's, you have not had barbecue!
"If you haven't had real Texas barbecue, as served in the town of Lockhart at Black's, you have not had barbecue!"
Michael Stern


Black's boasts of being Texas' oldest barbecue, still in the same family that started it in 1932.
"Black's boasts of being Texas' oldest barbecue, still in the same family that started it in 1932."
Michael Stern



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