If you are in the mood for great barbecue, where would you go? You probably have your own favorite spots in your local area, but there’s really no argument: The best region to visit if you’re looking for authentic and delicious BBQ is Texas! The Lone Star State has a barbecue tradition that dates back to ancient times, when the Caddo Indians cooked their food over a fire. As time went on, the face of barbecue changed: From the Spanish shepherds who cooked their lamb on spits, to the huge pig, steer, sheep and goat roasts to the 1800s, to German immigrants who introduced the area to smoking meats, Texas barbecue has undergone several reforms. This is the reason that the word “barbecue” has different connotations to different Texans. Some restaurants serve meat with sauce, and others, meat cooked with only a dry rub. The flavor can range from hot and spicy, to deep and smoky, to sweet and mellow. Whatever your preference, you’re sure to find it along the Texas BBQ Trail. This trail of deliciousness is located east of Austin in central Texas. Here is some information about the places that you can visit while traveling the Texas BBQ Trail:
Taylor, Texas Taylor is the northernmost town that is featured on the Trail. One popular eatery is the Davis Grocery & B-B-Q, where you can pick up neighborhood grocery items as well as some savory barbecue. The owner, James Davis, Jr., says that his two main ingredients are patience and mesquite wood. While you’re in town, stop by the heart of downtown Taylor, where you’ll find the Taylor Cafe in the old red tin building. The owner, Vencil Mares, has been cooking up barbecue for all of Taylor for the past 50 years.
Elgin, Texas Next on your trek south along the Texas BBQ Trail is the town of Elgin. You will want to stop by Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse, where you will delight in the experience of four generations of barbecuers. The recipes made at Meyer’s were brought from Germany many years ago. Also in Elgin is the Southside Market & Barbecue, which is the oldest BBQ restaurant in Texas. For 130 years, they have been cooking up Texas specialties, most notably the Original Elgin Hot Sausage.
Lockhart, Texas Continue down the Trail, and you’ll soon find yourself in Lockhart. Here, you can have the privilege of dining in the oldest major barbecue restaurant in Texas that has been owned by the same family. In 1932, the doors of Black’s Barbecue opened and has been receiving accolades ever since. Gourmet said that Black’s had the best BBQ in the heart of Texas, and therefore the best in the world. Check it out; you won’t be disappointed! Also in Lockhart is Smitty’s Market, a great restaurant that is owned by the daughter of the man who owns Kreuz Market, which is also in Lockhart. Visit both of these restaurants if you can.
Luling, Texas Your final destination on the Texas BBQ Trail will be Luling. There are two main barbecue restaurants that are well-known by residents and visitors alike. They are the Luling City Market, where you receive your meat on a butcher-paper wrapper and can visit the crew in the back of the restaurant, and Luling Bar-B-Q, where you can eat in, take out, or request custom cooking.
If you are visiting the Austin area any time soon, you’ll want to be sure to make time for visiting some of the excellent barbecue restaurants on the BBQ Trail.
Have you been on the Trail? What was your favorite restaurant?