Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lockhart Smokehouse Caves, Serves Sauce

We had some family in town looking for a Dallas dining experience without pretention. The party was large enough (nine) that I deemed it the perfect excuse to try the "Shiner Platter" at Lockhart Smokehouse. A big table was available, so we grabbed it and twenty minutes later a hulking $150 platter (a $75 version is also available) of barbecue so large that it took two men to carry, arrived at our table. It was impressive enough that other diners approached the mountain of smoked meat just for their own photographs.

It was piled high with pork ribs, chicken, brisket, clod, two kinds of sausage, burnt ends, deviled eggs and all the sides. The only thing missing was a rib jam garnish, but I had already purchased some for a meaty appetizer. While most everything was great, it can't be denied that the protracted assembly time took a toll on the sliced beef. Both brisket and clod had dried out considerably, so maybe they could be sure to cut those at the last second before serving.

Along with this cornucopia of meat came a unexpected companion. SAUCE! Yes, Lockhart Smokehouse, that staunch advocate for all things forkless, plateless and sauceless, has caved to local tastes. Forks are in a basket on the ordering counter, and available for a (small) donation, and four kinds of sauces were available for tasting on a counter in the center of the restaurant.

Here's a rundown:

Texabama - This one is thinnish like homemade ranch. Likely a mix of mayo, buttermilk, horseradish and a kick of dijon, this one certainly pays homage to the white sauce made famous by Big Bob Gibson.

Ol' Yeller - An amped up mustard based sauce in the South Carolina Style, this baby had some heat. It was favored by many of the table guests.

LG #22 - A classic Texas Style sauce, but with more amped up flavors and sweetness. This thick tomato-based sauce had lots of sugar (and honey?) and loads of black pepper to provide a good bite. Think more rib glaze than Texas dip.

LG #928 - Very similar to the #22, but with less sweetness and chili powder taking the place of the cracked pepper.

Which one do I prefer? Well, none of them. While many of the Oklahoma table mates were happily dunking and pouring, I was trying each sauce on its own, and enjoying the naked meat. If they start serving fries, it would be tough to pry me away from the Texabama concoction, and the Ol' Yeller would be perfect for pairing with pulled pork (not offered), but the others are just too sweet for my taste, and will never find their way onto a slice of my brisket.

- BBQ Snob

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lockhart Smokehouse is a copy cat ripoff from top to bottom. They gravy trained the name from the good folks of Lockhart, took "lessons" from the cook at Kreuz and even sell their sausages for $5+ each when you can buy the same thing from Kreuz for $1.90. And now they even want a "donation" for a plastic fork and serve a bunch of sauces? What a joke.


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.