Eric and I were back in action in Lockhart this weekend. This time we tried out Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Cue. This place seems to be recommended by people local to the area more than the other three big name places (Kruez’, Smitty’s, Black’s) in town. This is the new kid on the block in Lockhart and it’s been around since 1974.
When you walk in your are greeted with old photo’s and maps of Texas. They were hung in the 80′s and haven’t been updated since. They still show Ronald Reagan as the President. The parking lot of full, but there wasn’t a line outside. It was to the door though, but moved along pretty quickly.
Photos by Ray Pierce
When you get to the ordering area, you pick up a plate and choose what sides you want from a buffet serving line. They have quite the selection of sides and salad bar for a BBQ joint. They don’t just serve potato salad and beans like most, which was a welcome change. I picked out potato salad (because I like it and it’s what I’ve gotten everywhere else) and some fried okra. I love me some fried okra, even though this appeared to be pre-breaded and from the freezer.
Once you make your way to the cutter section of the line, you’ll be asked what it is that you want. I picked out moist brisket, pork spare ribs, and a link of sausage. I try every week to make the same basic selection so that I can compare apples to apple so to speak. And to wash it all down was a glass of sweet tea.
The brisket was tender, which from my experience in Lockhart up to this point seems to be a rare occasion. There was still quite a bit of the fat that hadn’t rendered into the meat as you can see in the pictures. There wasn’t a lot of smoke penetration into the meat itself though which was disappointing. It was also a little light on the rub. Chisholm Trail does serve sauce with their meat unlike Kruez and Smitty’s. It’s a bit sweet with a tang to it. The pork ribs had a good flavor, but were a bit over cooked on the bone end. On the meatier end they were just right. The sausage was decent, but didn’t have much of a smoke flavor at all. It was a course ground beef sausage served in single links.
Chisholm Trail out paces Kruez’s and Smitty’s over all, but it’s still not what I’m expecting from a city steeped in BBQ lore.