My first stop on my trip to Lockhart, Texas was Smitty’s Market. The trip to Lockhart is pretty much a rite of passage for all BBQ junkies and it really does make sense to make Smitty’s your first stop.
I arrived around 11 AM and the moment I entered I knew I was walking through a piece of history (BBQ history actually). Upon entering you walk down a hallway that is exactly how you imagine it would look: dark, eerily quiet, smoke caked walls.
You place your order at a counter (with a large butter block and pits behind it) in the back of the restaurant. Even though the choices were numerous, I went for brisket (of course), pork ribs, and sausage (you only order the meat here). Even though I’ve seen it at other locations, I’m a huge fan of watching the meats pulled from a huge pit, sliced to order, and then weighed out.
You have to enter their dining hall to order your drinks, sides, and extras (cheese, jalapeno, onion, etc.). I simply went with jalapeno and a Shiner Bock (and of course I grabbed a few slices of white bread).
I have to say I was very impressed with Smitty’s. The brisket was really good (way, way above average) and the sausage had a nice snappy casing and complex flavor I was looking for. The pork ribs weren’t bad, but they didn’t leave a huge impression on me. Washing it down with a Shiner really made it a great BBQ breakfast.
After breakfast I wandered around taking pics (especially of the huge wood pile in the back) and had a chance to talk with Smitty’s grandson, John Fullilove, about the BBQ business as well as the Smitty’s vs. Kreuz feud (story for another date).
My only complaint (and it’s really not a huge deal) is the large cafeteria area to eat. It really doesn’t feel like it fits the overall vibe of the rest of the BBQ joint. It’s practical, but not how I imagined it would be (they do have an upstairs area to eat which seems to be more in place).
So would I recommend Smitty’s? Most definitely. They are still working hard to turn out quality BBQ every day and the experience of walking into history, real BBQ history, is worth it from my point of view.
If you want to check Smitty’s out for yourself here’s a map:
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