Best of SXSW 2014: Black’s Barbecue
The music portion of SXSW starts earlier than it used to, with important showcases now taking place on the week’s Tuesday night. The flipside of the early start is that it also seems to end earlier, at least in the metal industry: there’s been a mutual, implied agreement between all of us that Saturday night is not really going to be a thing anymore. Leave that to the pop, hip hop and indie artists and get our tired bodies back home! So we’ve taken to making Saturday afternoon something of a holiday by renting a car, getting the hell out of town and indulging in delicious, savory, scrumptious Texas barbecue.
In past years we’ve visited the Salt Lick in Driftwood, Rudy’s in outer Austin and The Kreuz Market in Lockhart. This year we went back to Lockhart for another of the city’s institutions, Black’s. Blasting Pantera and Future Islands all the way down (on the road with the fastest speed limit in the U.S.!) with plenty of herbals in tow, naturally.
Our haggard and run-down looking asses stood out like a sore thumb amongst the family-oriented 11am crowd at Black’s. Our appearance was one thing, but the constant hooting and hollering on account of having a serious case of the meat giggles drew all sorts of angry/puzzled looks. Meat high, it’s a real thing. Oh well… deal! You wish you were having this much fun.
They’re not kidding about the “giant” part of “Giant Beef Ribs.” They’re fucking HUGE! Rob from Metal Injection is not a small fellow, and the thing was as big as his head. They’re delicious, too; not quite as soft and luscious as brisket, but almost, and quite tasty, especially the fatty end.
The brisket was to die-for — some of the best I’ve ever had. Nice and smokey, fall-apart-y, moist, perfectly black and crispy on the edges with a ring of pink underneath… ahhhh, so good! Why is it impossible to get brisket like this back home despite the recent explosion of the BBQ trend?
The cheesy sausage was delicious too. I would’ve eaten more of it if not for the incredible brisket and giant beef rib in front of me.
The sides were fine, but who’s counting? The green beans were probably the first vegetables I’d eaten all week… the Texas stereotype is so true, it really is all meat all the time. The “bread pudding” — vanilla pudding with Nilla Wafers in it — was a fun novelty, but I don’t know if I’d get it again.
I hear Smitty’s in Lockhart is also the jam. Maybe next year? Although truth be told I’m jonesing to go back to the Salt Lick again… love the outdoor atmosphere, the Hill Country setting, the BYOB element, everything.
And thus concludes our SXSW 2014 coverage. Thanks for following along, everyone! See you in March of 2015.