Day Trips: Texas Barbecue

Five barbecue joints in one day

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

Five barbecue joints in one day sounds like a lot of artery-clogging goodness, but if you pace yourself it can be done with few side effects.

Inspired by the Texas Monthly/Yeti "Top 50 BBQ Joints Passport," I set out with four friends to sample four of the Top 50 and one classic favorite. The Passport is a little book from the June 2017 issue of the magazine with a challenge to get stickers at the Top 50 barbecue joints to win prizes from Yeti. All five joints we tried on a hot July day were of astounding caliber. Or maybe we all just love barbecue.

Hays County Barbeque, 1613 S. I-35, San Marcos, was our first stop around 11am. The staff was super friendly and willing to show off their pits. The little place on the highway got a unanimous thumbs-up from the group. The sausage was the group favorite.

City Market, 633 E. Davis, Luling, was a little disappointing. My high opinion of the brisket and sausage veered from my compadres'.

Kreuz Market, 619 N. Colorado, Lockhart, had my favorite brisket of the day. The pork chops were smoke-filled without being dry.

Smitty's Market, 208 S. Commerce, Lockhart, didn't make the Top 50 this year, which shows how stiff the barbecue competition has become.

Micklethwait Craft Meats, 1309 Rosewood, Austin, brought us back to near our starting point. This is one of the young guns that knocked classics like Smitty's off the list. The brisket was one of the best of the day, but the pulled pork was some of the best meat overall.

Find your barbecue trail, but please order responsibly.

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