On the subject of Austin barbecue, having written about the world-famous Franklin (“Is Austin’s Franklin Barbecue the Best in the World?“) and Lamberts (“The Best Barbecue Restaurant With Sit-down Service and Online Reservations“), it seems worth giving coverage to what I consider to be my favorite, most flavorful brisket… Black’s in Lockhart.
Black’s is probably the restaurant I’ve written about the most, more even than Elephant Jumps Thai in Merrifield, Virginia (if you find yourself anywhere near Northern Virginia… go!) or Lam Zhou Homemade Noodle in Manhattan’s Chinatown. (See here, here, and here.)
Now I should start by saying that Franklin is considered almost universally to be the best brisket around. And the best barbecue should be judged by the best brisket.
I would hazard a guess that if you asked the folks from Black’s, they would say that Franklin’s is at the top of the game.
But I would rather drive half an hour outside of Austin to Lockhart than stand in interminable lines at Franklin, because while the latter may have the most technically correct barbecue brisket around I do find Black’s to be better flavor.
Black’s gets busy at peak times but the lines aren’t usually long.
You get your sides first, and those are fine, I wouldn’t mind even skipping them because I’m really there for the meat. (And while many barbecue places have some great desserts, I would rather have the meat for dessert.)
This is what you go for.
The brisket is my favorite. I do think others have better sausage, but I’m a fan of the spicey ‘hatch chili sausage’ they do. And they are unique in offering a giant beef rib that’s both flavorful and tender.
Somehow Franklin can do a moist brisket that’s still lean, while Black’s moist brisket does have plenty of fat. But fat is flavor. And each bit is heaven.
If you find yourself in Austin, and you haven’t been to Lockhart… go. And go straight to Black’s.