Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lockhart, Texas: BBQ and Hats

I'm really excited about Caprica. After Battlestar ended, there was a void left in my life.

What? You don't want to read about my neverending love for Battlestar? You'd rather read about lots of grilled meat? And hats?

Alrighty... back to Texas we go.

I'm a Southern California girl, so I have no idea what makes proper BBQ. Dry rub, wet rub, smoke rings, blah blah blah. It's quite foreign to me. The only type of BBQ I've experienced is Santa Maria style BBQ, but that's hard to find south of California's central coast. There are BBQ joints around here, but I'm told that building codes prohibit proper smoking and grilling, ergo they are not authentic BBQ joints.

Needless to say, I wanted to try some Texan BBQ. The denizens of Chowhound's Austin thread were divided over which joint was best, but they were unanimous in one thing: the best BBQ in Austin was not in Austin.

We decided to travel to Lockhart, which was about a half-hour drive from Austin. Smitty's Market was like a cathedral of meat.

Walking into the market, there was a cavernous brick hall lined with benches. Little did we know that those benches will fill with people, clutching butcher-paper bundles filled with deliciousness.


We found the back of the line and I looked down to find a literal fire at my feet. This was going to be good. Inside those brick tanks is meat. Lots of it.

The menu was a little hard to figure out, at first. The rings were sausages, and hot meant cooked. Cold meant uncooked, I think. A box was 25 sausages. Fat was brisket, Lean was shoulder, and the rib, chop, and prime rib were pretty self-explanatory. D. and I bought a hot ring and a pound of Fat (brisket).

When they were piling our order on the butcher paper, the cashier asked, "Bread and crackers?" Sure, why not? Saltines and plain white sandwich bread were unexpected, but they went really well with the meat. After the meat is purchased, we moved from the bricked smoking area to a cafeteria, where we could order drinks, sides, and dessert.

Our friend J.L. wanted to visit Texas Hatters and it was a really fun stop. The owners and staff were really accommodating to our roaming around their store and explained a lot about how their hats were made and the materials used.

The hats, ranging from classic cowboy hats to awesome bowlers and fedoras, were gorgeous.

I would have loved to buy one, but I apparently don't look very good in a cowboy hat. Oh, well.

208 South Commerce Street
Lockhart, TX 78644

911 South Commerce Street
Lockhart, TX 78644

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