Smitty’s Market oak wood pile & Caldwell County courthouse. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

At the Posse, we’re ready to declare State Highway 130, the high-speed tollway that skirts Austin, the Barbecue Super Expressway.

However, we’re beginning to wonder whether Lockhart, one of the main stops on that highway, still deserves its title as the BBQ capital of Texas.

Yes, we know that’s borderline smoked-meat heresy. But on our recent Best of Texas Tour, we ate at three Lockhart joints and only one — Kreuz Market — made our top tier of six. The others — Smitty’s Market and Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Que — were well off the pace.

In Texas Monthly’s last Top 50 ratings in 2008, Kreuz and Smitty’s both made the top five. Kreuz should be there again when the new ratings come out this year. Smitty’s? Our guess is no. It is a historic place and has great atmosphere, but it doesn’t serve historic barbecue, at least not during our recent stop. Lots of places are equal or better.

(Note to fans of Black’s Barbecue: The Posse has always been split on the place so we passed during this trip.)

Lockhart is about 225 miles from Dallas and on the return home those first 60 miles evaporated. The speed limit on some parts of the tollway is 85 mph. Posse co-founder and wheelman Chris Wilkins set the cruise control at 88 on our rented Chrysler minivan and before long Georgetown, where 130 meets I-35, was in the rear view mirror.

We made it home, with one stop, in just over three hours. Thank you, SH 130.

Smitty’s Market has amazing atmosphere, but the meat doesn’t rise. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)


Don’t let the long lines fool you, Chisholm Trail BBQ in Lockhart isn’t worth the wait. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)


All 3 meats at Kreuz Market were amazing, one of the best in Texas. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)


rl reeves jr

9 years ago

those posse members that come down on the wrong side of Black's might want to rethink their position. It's always been the best in Lockhart. And always will be.

Chris Wilkins

9 years ago

Much thanks RL, I wish we had gone to Blacks instead of Chisholm Trail on our last trip. We just didn't feel like we could squeeze in a 7th place that day, but Chisholm Trail ended up being the weakest of the 10 places we visited last weekend. I had eaten there before & thought it was pretty good, so it got the nod.

It's kinda funny, but there seems to be no consensus across the board as to what is the best in Lockhart. I've never thought Smitty's was that good, great atmosphere, but didn't think the meats were great. Some of our commenters swear it's the best in the world though. As far as Lockhart goes, I prefer Kreuz Market's meats, but not everyone agrees with me either.

Maybe we can just say the the BBQ super highway stretches from Lockhart to Austin & has a lot of great stops……. Cheers/Chris

PM Summer

9 years ago

Smitty's does suffer from inconsistency at time, but I don't think it's fallen from the top five (yet). I think they are simply overwhelmed (it's a small place, really). I also am hesitant to include in "Top Five" rankings any place that hasn't been around for ten years.

Kreuz is consistently good, but eating there is akin to eating in a school cafeteria. Minus points in my TBX (Total Barbecue Experience) ratings.

Black's is just all around excellent. The only thing missing is the hype (hype gets no TBX points), and the sides are the best in Central Texas.

Beth "Paparotsy" Shirley

9 years ago

Lockhart is not "self-proclaimed" as the Barbecue Capital of Texas. The Texas Legislature made the proclamation. So, it isn't likely that Lockhart will "lose" the title, regardless of your opinion.

Gary Jacobson

9 years ago

If my history is correct, Philadelphia was once the capital of the U.S. and Shreveport was the last capital of the Confederacy…The world — especially the BBQ world — is ever changing.


9 years ago

think the posse needs to stay in Dallas– Lockhart- Luling BBQ rocks and always will- JD


9 years ago

We only eat at Chisholm Trail – so, I'm guessing that you really don't know anything about BBQ at all.
But, everyone has their opinion – just some opinions are better than others.


9 years ago

Kreuz Market and Smittys seemed to always have the Best BBQ around central Texas. Nothing against Snows or Franklin's but my thoughts are, anyone can cook great BBQ for a few people. The real "game on" is when you can cook great BBQ for an abundance of people ever day not just "till we run out" and also to always be consistent with your meats only using oak or mesquite wood. And sausage should not even be on the menu if its not homemade. Now thats what TRUE TEXAS BBQ is all about.
My buddy and I found a place down in San Marcos that serves food very similar to Kreuz and Smittys called Hays County BBQ, it has become our place to go when the girls want to do their shopping at the outlet mall.


8 years ago

Guys from DALLAS that drive a MINIVAN think they know good BBQ? Don't make me laugh….As far as Lockhart BBQ goes Blacks has ALWAYS served the best brisket and no one else is close.

The only brisket in the same breath anywhere as Blacks is Louie Muellers in Taylor. Kreuz and Smittys are the same meats seasoned the same way with the only difference being the age and structure of their pits. Kreuz new barn puts out well below avg,. BBQ and Smittys is only slightly better.

As far as Chisholm Trail goes, it is decent BBQ at the best price you will find anywhere. Who else still sells brisket at less than $8.00 a pound? Nobody…and CT's brisket is actually pretty good as long as you request a "fresh" brisket. they do tend to sell every last bit of each brisket so you have to let then know exactly which slices you want, Bottom line here is that these guys appear to have uninformed opinions, which is pretty typical of most Dallasites…

Austin Top 5 plus Snow's

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