by Carol Lim
In the Lone Star State, a popular destination is Lockhart, Texas. Lockhart is the “Barbeque Capital of Texas” with 4 barbeque restaurants that serve roughly 250,000 visitors a year, according to http://www.lockhart-tx.org. The growing town of 12,698 people is a 2.5 hour drive from Houston. It’s located approximately 30 miles from Austin and 30 miles from San Marcos.
We visited Smitty’s Market in downtown Lockhart on Friday for lunch. Smitty’s smoked, barbequed meats were so flavorful, tender, juicy..you don’t need barbeque sauce. The best barbeque we’ve ever had. A steady stream of locals and tourists were there, too. When you arrive to place your order, there’s an open wood fire and the smokey aroma of the meat and pork cooking. Then it’s into a family-friendly, charming Texas meat market with long wooden tables and benches to dine. As customers chowed down, some watched the George Zimmerman Trial in Sanford, Florida and ESPN on 2 televisions. But the main show is the barbeque.
The smoked meats are served in butcher block paper with plastic knives and bread. Sides at Smitty’s include farm-fresh tomatoes, avocadoes, potato salad and baked beans. There’s also bottled sodas. For dessert, a large scoop of Blue Bell Ice Cream for a dollar. We ordered a pound each of beef brisket, prime rib, pork ribs and sausage for 5 adults. Our bill was $50. This was a feast of “Family vs Lots Of Barbeque.” So, before you come, bring an ice chest or cooler for leftovers or orders for folks, who didn’t make the trip with you.
Smitty’s customers are diverse, a melting pot of BBQ foodies from all walks of life. You also can walk through Smitty’s to see how the original meat market began and its history. On weekends, expect lines of people outside for lunch or dinner. Barbeque per pound range from $11.90 to $16.90.
Smitty’s Market is located at 208 S. Commerce St., Lockhart, Texas 78644
Hours: Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday 7 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Directions: From Houston, take I-10 West toward San Antonio. Then US-183, exit 632 toward US-90/Luling-Lockhart.
Time: 2 hours 33 minutes