Thursday, August 13, 2009
Blacks Barbecue, Lockhart Texas......
The first time I ever had a piece of Blacks Barbecue was on the way out of Lockhart. We had just had our fill of Kreuz Market and were heading out of town when I had the sudden urge to turn around and get some for the road. We came back into town and pulled up into what looked like a time warp. If you are not familiar with Blacks one thing that's very special about them is that they have been in business for over 77 years and have been ran by one family the entire time. It is the oldest family owned barbecue business in Texas. I went in and placed a quick order to go of 1/4 pound of Brisket, a rib and some jalepeno-cheddar sausage. They wrapped it all up in a piece of butcher paper and tin foil and put it in a paper bag. When I was headed out the door I ran into Kent Black whom I'd met in Austin at the National Barbecue Convention and he introduced me to his son Barrett who will one day be taking over. We visited for a while and since the family was waiting in the car I had to cut it short otherwise I could have been there for most of the day. About an hour after leaving Lockhart we decided to compare Blacks to what we had just had at Kreuz and decided to come back through Lockhart on the way home from our vacation just to go back.
Our 3 hour trip back to Lockhart at the end of the week seemed to last forever kind of like a kid around Christmas time. We finally arrived around 4:00 and were greeted by the same smiles and friendly faces that had greeted me just a few day's earlier. As we went in the the first thing you get is your tray and side dishes. Then you come up to a very seasoned cutting board behind the counter which is an actual table of sorts and order your meat where it is cut with a steel knife and fork. You can tell little has changed as this is one of the few places who still do it this way. We ordered 1 1/2 pounds of Brisket, several ribs, and some more jalepeno-cheddar sausage and took a seat. I must admit that the Brisket served at Blacks is bar none the best I have ever had. I have eaten at some really great places and nothing compares to the lasting flavor of their brisket. I know some people believe that salt and pepper create a bland brisket, however the addition of seasoned post oak is better than any combination of rub you could use and has some of the greatest flavor when paired with beef. I have come to believe that many rubs on the market now days have a tendency to actually take away from the meat instead of adding to it and you do not get the genuine actual flavor of what it should taste like otherwise.
After we had finished eating I went up to the counter to purchase some merchandise and was asked to go back through the line to pay. While paying Barrett Black had just walked in through the door and thanked me for coming back through. I told him how much I enjoyed the brisket and their barbecue and with that he proceeded to tell me something that very few people will probably ever know. Although this will not be discussed in this blog I can tell you that going back through that line was one of the biggest lessons in barbecue I have ever had and came at a time which was least expected. I would go one step further to say that what I walked out of their with that day is not any one recipe of sorts but will probably never be printed in any book nor will be found on the internet and can only be experienced at one place.