Austin/Lockhart – Brisket Tour

Ok so there’s no need to try to find the best brisket in Seattle anymore as nothing can compare to Austin/Lockhart. I’m now resigned to not eating brisket unless I’m in Texas like wings in Buffalo (save for Toronto where there are Duff’s), Cantonese food outside of Vancouver (more like Richmond) and HK, cheesesteaks outside of Philly, bagels outside of NY, etc. I make a few exception to these rules once in a while; I’ll eat noodles and dumplings in Seattle but haven’t had a real dinner there in 6 years, I’d rather drive a few hours to get it.

Austin

La Barbecue

There was a line at Franklin’s even before they opened so buddy and I made the short drive to La Barbecue which consists of two trailers, one to cook the meat and one to serve it up. When you get to the window to order you’re handed a small sample of brisket before you can say anything, I felt like I had tasted a rainbow or something…it was glorious. Over ordered because I wanted to try everything. Got a short rib, pork ribs, pulled pork, hot link and a pound of brisket. Everything was amazing although the pulled pork was a bit weak, blame that on the significant amount of time I’ve spent in North Carolina where they specialize in that. The brisket was substantially better than anything I’ve ever had, including Salt Lick just outside of Austin. The short rib was equally amazing. I’m glad we went right at 11AM as I ate ~1.5lb of meat and headed straight to Lockhart after picking up a coworker at the airport in the early evening.

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Lockhart

Kreuz Market

I read another blog rating all three of Lockhart’s major BBQ joints and knew Kreuz wouldn’t match the others on this mini-tour. Sadly Smitty’s was already closed which is a favorite of another coworker who is from Austin. It was cool to see the big pit room and when you order they just bring huge hunks of meat out and carve off what you want. Ordered brisket, ribeye, and ribs. The ribeye was so dry it was inedible and the brisket was dry as well despite good marbling and the rub wasn’t anything special. The rib was excellent though, I think slightly better than La Barbecue but that might only be because it was significantly better than the two beef cuts we had.

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Black’s

Claims to be the oldest restaurant in TX run by the same family. Since we were now feeling full only got brisket and some baby back ribs. The brisket was amazing but not quite as good as La Barbecue while the ribs were a tad dry and not quite as flavorful as Kreuz’s.  Their bbq sauces were amazing, so much so that when I bought a few bottles they asked if I was going to open up a Black’s in Seattle. The peach cobbler was equally fantastic.

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Finished the evening with some live blues back in Austin a few blocks from the hotel.

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