Lockhart, Texas: Home of Barbecue

I don’t know what it is about this year, but I have been craving meat. Which makes me think about Smitty’s.

Smitty’s Market in Lockhart, TX, is the home of the eternal flame. Well, not eternal, exactly, but the seasoned oak wood fire has been burning there since 1924. And it’s there only to commemorate one thing: barbecued meat.

Lockhart (a mere 30 minutes drive south of Austin) is considered THE place to get BBQ. It’s host to the finest Texas joints, like Black’s and Kreuz Market.

But even there, Smitty’s is special. The old dining benches still have the chains in place where communal knives were hung for the patrons. Old cuts are scored deep into the wood of the tables. Smoke and soot form a heavy coating all the way up the walls near the pits.

Dining consists of going up to the counter, asking for sausage, roast pork, or beef brisket, and having it sliced and handed to you on big red sheets of butcher paper. You take your seat and eat with your hands. No plates, no forks. The communal knives have been replaced with plastic ones.

Now you know where the beef is. Yum.