Jumbo Beef Rib, Pork Ribs
Brisket, Mac n’ Cheese, Sweet Potato Casserole
Jalapeno Cornbread, Pecan Cobbler, Banana Pudding
Located in Lockhart, just under an hour outside of Austin, lies Black’s – the “oldest (and best) major barbecue restaurant continuously owned by the same family” in the Lonestar State. Clearly the pride and joy of owners Norma and Edgar, but also of the entire city with no less than a dozen signs pointing to the smokehouse established in 1932 it was just after 9:45am when I pulled up to the space and after a brief walk around the building whose scent beckoned far more than any signage the clock struck 10:00 – doors opening with warm greeting just as they do “eight days a week.” Undoubtedly the largest of the barbeque Meccas I visited on my tour of Texas and also the one with the most extensive menu it was to a hallway lined with photos of family and local football that I entered and with smoky aromas now in full effect the next thing I saw was the buffet – a collection of rolls, vegetables, sides, starches, and sweets served up fresh and every bit as tempting as the meats; the array procured following some hasty deliberation as more guests arrive tallying a mere $22 after tax. Largely self service with beverages, pickles, and varieties of bread situated alongside (very) necessary napkins it was with a bite of each well crafted side that my meal began and although the cornbread could have been a been a bit more moist it soon found purpose in sopping up the best barbeque sauce of the trip – a thick smoky note adding another dimension to tender, lean brisket and nearly-crisp pork ribs. Trending towards a drier style of ‘cue than that of my other stops but finding its footing in a 13oz beef rib with plenty of fat and char to spare it was here that any semblance of manners went out the window, hands far better than plasticware for picking the substantial bone bare and just as well adapted for running my finger around the empty bowls of creamy banana pudding and toasted pecan cobbler moments later.