Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Lockhart Smokehouse now serves Central Texas-style BBQ in Dallas
Preeminent barbecue blogger visits much-hyped new spot on its very first day.
DALLAS Soon. That was the preemptive answer posted on the doors of Lockhart Smokehouse for the past few weeks. This morning, that sign came down and was replaced with a "Now Open" sign. Dallasites rejoiced, and a few of them even braved the icy roads to try it on their first day of business.
Certainly this is the most anticipated BBQ joint to open in our fair city ... ever. Several meat preview posts have hit the web, and it was given a mention in the New York Times before it was even open for business. The one and only Roy Perez, pitmaster at the heralded Kreuz Market, acted as mentor to chef made pitmaster, Tim McLaughlin, and several months ago they announced their plan to serve the famous sausage from Kreuz (which just arrived yesterday via FedEx).
Everything was set for the opening, and excitement had built. Everything, that is, but a register full of cash. Inside the doors this morning I found a dozen or so folks milling around. It was past the 10:30 a.m. opening time, but the bank lost electricity so they couldn't get the cash they needed. By 10:50 a.m., they opened the line for credit cards only. This being Dallas, everyone was monetarily prepared.
Trying to be inconspicuous, I ordered a little of everything. Meat prices are listed by the half pound, (brisket is $15/pound, $2 higher than the best in the state at Franklin BBQ) but they'll slice you off a quarter pound of any sliced meat. Meat is sliced to order on a large table behind the ordering counter then weighed on brown packaging paper. This paper didn't stand up well against any of the moist meats, so they may need to go to true butcher paper for everyone to make it to their table without any dropping incidents. I made it to my table with Forrest, a loyal FCGBBQ reader who braved the weather as well with his wife, and he promptly spilled his Coke in my lap. It wasn't his fault. He was trying to pry apart a slice of the tough brisket and his hand slipped. This brisket had good smoky flavor and was well seasoned, but needed more time (maybe a few hours) on the smoker to tenderize and render some of that fat. Ribs had the same pros and cons, but the end cut from the pork chop made me forget all about it. Moist, tender, and smoky with just the right amount of fatty goodness made this a go-to cut. The aforementioned jalapeno sausage was also a winner with plenty of heat and very little greasy filler.
The best cut by far was the uncommon clod. While more familiar to Central Texas BBQ fans, this is a cut not used anywhere else in Dallas. I was happy to see it on their menu when it was posted a few days ago, and was even happier to eat it. Well smoked, perfectly tender and immensely flavorful, it was good enough to get more to-go. Chicken, which isn't my favorite smoked meat was fine, and the deviled eggs which use a different meat in the fillings that rotate daily was worth ordering again.
I realize that I'm posting this just as the lunch crowd is dying down on their first day, so a rating won't be in order until after a few visits over the net couple of weeks. What I will say is that this place is doing it right. They smoke with all wood in a Dallas-made Bewley pit, and they know the importance of their prime product -- meat. They showed some real potential today which should embolden the hope for Dallasites salivating for true Central Texas-style BBQ that can be found without a four-hour drive. I'll happily be back.
Pegasus News Content partner - Full Custom Gospel BBQ
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