Reviews

TC’s Ponderosa

The meats at this convenience store with but three tables were so pleasingly smoky we were shocked to learn the pit burns propane. TC’s only sells meat by the pound and sandwiches. Of the eight meats, seventeen-and-a-half-hour brisket and piquant beef-pork hot links were the stars. Beans and slaw are made in-house. Dark, medium-thick sauce had a vinegary nip. Fresh desserts too.

City Market

You’ve come for wholeness, for satisfaction deep within your soul. Your searching has brought you here, to the company of fellow pilgrims in the snaking line. Slowly, you advance across the tile floor, past the knotty-pine walls, and up to the inner sanctum: a glass-enclosed chamber where a host of priests, in green apron vestments and orange hard hats, labor at a smoky altar. Aware of your unworthiness, you push open the swinging door. This…

Thompson’s BBQ

As a general rule, the barbecue biz is pretty low-tech, but we noticed that owner Robert Thompson and his wife, Linda, both wore wireless telephone headsets. Perhaps this be-prepared attitude is the secret to Thompson’s success. He insists that pecan is the correct wood and that twelve hours is the correct smoking time. Tender brisket and pork shoulder bore out his theories, although the meat could have done with a lot less salt in the…

Kreuz Market

The old Kreuz Market was like a one-room chapel. The humble brick building off the courthouse square in Lockhart had turned out divine smoked meat since 1900. But just as churchgoers nowadays worship in larger halls, so too does the visitor to the new Kreuz Market, which opened in 1999 in a gigantic building at the edge of town. (The old building now houses Smitty’s.) Kreuz (pronounced “Krites”) does 45 percent of its business on Saturday….

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

Can a place that cooks its meat in a gas-burning rotisserie make really great ’cue? Well, the brown-sugar-and-coffee-rubbed brisket was delicious, the maple-and-coriander-encrusted pork ribs were tender, the pulled pork was perfect, and the chorizo-ish jalapeño hot links were unforgettable. Sides and desserts were extraordinary. A jícama-and-carrot slaw, in particular, had plenty of cilantro and lime to cleanse the palate, and the hot blackberry fried pie prompted an “oh, my God.”

Cripple Creek B-B-Q

Though the usual fare can be found at Bill and Patty Flowers’s joint, it would be a barbecue sin not to sample their famous hog wings. The delectable hickory-smoked wing—actually a pork shank—looked like a juicy meat lollipop. Instead of dipping this treat in the unremarkable barbecue sauce, try the sweet, hot Mae Ploy chile sauce, traditionally served with Thai barbecue.

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