Every time I visit Smitty’s Market in Lockhart I like to park in the back of the building just to watch the smoke rise from the brick chimney into the sky. The large letters that spell out “MARKET” welcome you into a building that is over 100 years old. It’s in this building that one of the most storied families in all of Texas barbecue began, and where you can experience one of the true meat market gems that are spread around Texas.
The sight and sounds of an unguarded fire greet you as you enter from the rear of Smitty’s. The scene of several employees shuffling around each other, opening pits, moving meat in and out, and the cutter slicing to order is your entertainment as you patiently wait.
I always stand there and take in this history. Noticing the smoke-stained walls, the aged menu board posted by the door, and the smell of the burning wood wafting throughout the air.
Smitty’s, like its sibling Kreuz down the street, has separate sections for meat and sides. The sides you get from the next room that opens up to a grand arena of long tables and bright lights that come in from the street-side entrance.
Another line, but here you can get something to drink and your fixins like; cheese, jalapenos, and my personal favorite BBQ pairing: avocado.
Long wooden tables are filled with locals and travelers alike, and all have a story to tell. The décor of the establishment, scattered on the walls and on stages at the front of the building, are pages of time and recognition. There is also another room just next to the main dining area with a few more places to sit. If you’re adventurous you might see some neat things around a few corners.
I eat slowly and take it all in. In a place like this- the location and its history are just as important as the food it serves. Which of course, is great.