Kreuz Market (Lockhart, TX)
I travel to Texas just about every year, and I always stop for Mexican food in San Antonio, and I always make a point to stop somewhere for brisket.
I recently visited Austin to attend the annual Formula-1 U.S. Grand Prix with my oldest son. The day after the race we took a few days to travel through Texas on business. This allowed us to take some time to visit a town that has always been on my bucket list, Lockhart.
If you have never heard of Lockhart, I suggest you look it up and read about the town and its history of BBQ. The four BBQ restaurants here average about 5,000 customers per week, and it is known as the “Barbeque Capital of Texas.”
We were not sure which place to visit, so we went with the most famous, the Kreuz Market. This place has been in business for since 1900, and they claim that the coals have been burning for over 100 years. Pitmaster Roy Perez moved the coals to their current location in 1999, and they have continued to burn ever since.
When entering Kreuz, customers walk to the back of the building and through double doors into the smokeroom. The smokeroom consists of 8 brick pits with counter-weighted steel doors that are each between 25-30 feet long. On each side of the room are two cutting tables where customer’s meat is sliced to order and sold by weight. The meat is then put on brown butcher paper and served with bread and a knife. They do not have forks nor BBQ sauce, and neither is needed. After ordering meat, one then goes into another room to purchase sides and drinks. They do offer spoons for the sides, but no forks are allowed.
Even if the food were bad, I would still give the Kreuz Market a positive review simply based on the experience of ordering my meal. Having said that, the food was excellent. Historically, Kreuz has been rated as the best brisket in Texas. Recently, some upstarts have replaced them on the list, but I can say that on the day of our visit they provided the best brisket I have ever eaten. It had a nice bark without overdoing the rub, and they smoke it using post oak. They offer a shoulder clod which is a leaner cut, but we went with the traditional fatty cut.
The meat was thinly sliced without separating and it remained moist throughout the meal. This was not the dry brisket that we have grown accustomed to in Georgia. We also had a little sausage that was well done, but the brisket was so good that it erased my memory of the sausage.
The next day in Austin we were catching an evening flight home to Atlanta, and we had time to kill. I hoped to check out Franklin’s BBQ to try what is believed to be the best BBQ in the country. We arrived at 10:00 am and got in line. A young lady came by to let us know that from where we were in line we should expect to eat around 1:30. Yes, a three and a half hour wait on a Thursday morning. I have heard that it is worth the wait. However, the day before we ate at Kreuz Market and had the best brisket we had ever eaten, so we decided to drive 35 minutes back to Lockhart, Texas and have a couple pounds of more of the same.
Submitted by: Ol’ Smoke