Friday, June 22, 2007
The Gold Standard
"You'd walk in and see the pit and you had dirt on the floor. The meat would be on butcher paper and you had a choice of bread or crackers, but you were probably to small to remember. I don't think you were even eating meat then."
A memory into something I don't remember, as my dad described it to me. I wish I had in me, but I didn't. I didn't remember the place at all. Despite the fact that I had been there. What I can only imagine was around the age of 4, when we were living in San Antonio.
But yesterday made my own memory of a place that will become a place to visit if I ever move away from Texas.
Yesterday created my own memorization of the market, of what I was told was "gold standard of Bar-B-Que." Kreuz (Krits) Market.
A couple of weeks ago, I told my grandfather of my plans to eat through central Texas Bar-B-Que. He told me that I have to go to Kreuz, me not knowing that I had actually been there. So he told me he would talk to his friend and we could plan a trip out there. I thought O.K., it won't be anytime soon that I actually go. Boy was I wrong, within a week, I got an invitation about going. The guys were psyched, any reason to go out to Lockhart was a reason for Bar-B-Que.
So yesterday the three of us got in an Avalon and took the scenic drive to Lockhart, Texas. Along the drive, I got asked, "Do you know the story of Kreuz?"
"No," I replied, thinking theres a story to this place.
One of my companions, began the tale. "A couple of years ago, people were worried about what would happen to the market after the father died. This is because in his will, the father left the Bar-B-Que coals and other equipment and the original building to the daughter. Supposedly this is because the two didn't get along very well, so the father knowing this gave the son control of the meat. The daughter and son fought over the will, with the son then deciding to move to a different building down the street. When the restaurant was about to open, the brother walked down the main street with the coals."
I laughed. Of course. Brother and sister not getting along. So I got to see the original building that was built in 1900, which is now a meat market ran by the sister named Smitty's Market. It was an old brick building. With Market on a smokestack. We then turned around and went to the newer building up the road about a half of a mile. It looked like a barn, read with brick smokestack in the middle. Upon entering, I thought I was in a different time. It had old relics from the early 1900s. There's two entrances, one for meat eaters and one for vegetarians. Thankfully, I'm no longer a veggie.
Above me was the menu. Of course there was the usual-brisket, spare ribs, and sausage. Then other meats I'd never seen on a menu- pork chops, ham, beef shoulder. There was no chicken or turkey. And turkey is only there in the fall, when its in season. It was a difficult decision-brisket or ribs. Then I smiled, knowingly. "Ribs and jalapeno and cheese sausage," I said, when the lady asked what I wanted.
The vegetarian room was were there were the "veggies and sides." I do use the term loosely. Kreuz has no coleslaw or potato salad. There's German potatoes, onions, pickles, sauerkraut, tomatoes, avocados, cheese, beans, and chips. I was stunned.
Then of course is the sign. "No Bar-B-Que sauce." Nope, none, zero, nada. Oh and you don't bring your own either. This is dry Bar-B-Que. And honestly there is no reason for it. The seasoning was enough to make you crave more. My ribs were peppery and spicy, the meat from them was juicy and tender. The first bite and I was in heaven. The sausage was spicy, but not too hot that you constantly needed water.
After our bellies were full, we took the 30 minute drive back, where pie was awaitin'. A peach pie. It was tasty with a scoop of Blue Bell. A fabulous way to end a great trip in the name of Bar-B-Que.