Black’s Barbecue Supremacy Now Undisputed

There has been a lot of legitimate debate over the years regarding the hierarchy of Lockhart barbecue.

When I first started my treks out to Caldwell  county to eat smoked meat back in the early nineties, I was of the opinion that Kreuz Market was the finest (Smitty’s did not yet exist) with Blacks coming in a solid number two.

Yet even in Kreuz’ halcyon days, Blacks ran ’em up a tree when it came to sausage:40 weight to be precise. Today is no different. Black’s sausage defines unctuous. For the uninitiated, you have to be right careful when it comes to the first bite. Grease can spray everyone at the table if you get a little overly excited and chomp down with abandon.

A slow steady bite taking care to nurse the gushing fat once you break the skin of the link is the best method. The sausage is plump and rife with black pepper needing only a couple granules of salt to bring out the delicious smoke in the grind.

While beef ribs used to be a common item on Central Texas barbecue menus they’ve gotten to be hard to find of late. Black’s battle axes clock in at around ten bucks apiece with a brontosaurus style bone holding a good pound or so of tender lean beef.

For the barbecue connoisseur it’s a given that the outside slice of the brisket is always going to lend the most flavor. That’s where the heat and smoke meld with the fat creating a bark of juicy, crusty flesh that is much prized. Black’s really delivers in this category. Starting with a well-fed steer then submitting the animal to hour after hour of slow smoke with little more than salt and pepper as seasoning; this is the best brisket in the region.

Let’s talk a little about side dishes. Black’s is one of the few barbecue restaurants that offers a full array of vegetable sides. A small steam line appears as you enter the restaurant where all the mashed potatoes,congealed salads and black eye peas you can dream of are located.

If I want non-meat dishes I eat at restaurants that aren’t temples to smoked meat. I don’t like to pollute my palate with such nonsense when I’m in Lockhart, Texas. People travel 1000’s of miles from all over the globe to Black’s, and it’s not to eat green beans.

I’m sure their sides are fine but to me they would just take up valuable belly space.

Spending an afternoon over piles of barbecue on butcher paper under the fluorescent glow in Black’s dining room is one of my favorite ways to wallow in all things Texas.

The aroma of the nearby pits, the friendly staff and the meat-THE MEAT all combine to create a sort of super environment wherein you get to get right down to the real nitty gritty of Texas living.


Black’s Barbecue

(512) 398-2712

* approximate times


About RL Reeves Jr

I'm a writer living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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6 Responses to Black’s Barbecue Supremacy Now Undisputed

  1. RL Reeves Jr says:


    Full Custom boys up in Dallas area like Black’s too.

  2. CarterB says:

    I hope to try Black’s this weekend for a second time based on your opinion. I’ve only been there once and found the brisket disappointing. I don’t recall what else I had which means it can’t have been good. I’ll be sure to try the sausage as well. Not sure about the beef rib–our plan is go to Smitty’s afterwards where I’ve rarely been disappointed.

  3. RL Reeves Jr says:

    Key words: Black and fatty please. Or outside slice please. That lets the meat man know that you mean business.


    Odd about Smitty’s. It’s fine to me. Brisket is hit and miss, pork ribs are better than Blacks and sausage is ok.


    I’ve had a LONG run of superb food at Black’s. I’ve never had a bad plate there. Grab a beef rib to take home Carter. Each one weighs a lb and you can eat on it for a week. Makes great tacos shredded off the bone.

  4. CarterB says:

    Ok, we did go this weekend (glad they are opened on Sunday) and glad we did. Black’s beat Smitty’s in the brisket. Smokier and tastier. I prefer the Smitty’s sausage because it has more peppery taste. I will say my brisket at Franklin beat them both by a handy margin.

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