The blog for inspired travel with children

Monday, September 10, 2012

Lockhart, Texas: Barbecue Roadtrip!

For some reason, my seven year old gets a kick out of this sign...

There are people who are truly obsessed with good barbecue.  I am not quite one of those people. However, I do love great dining establishments, and Smitty is undeniably one of these (vegetarians might reasonably disagree). 

There are three barbecue joints of note in Lockhart: the enormous Kreuz' Market, the cozy Black's, and the no-nonsense Smitty's Market.  We drove straight to Smitty's Market, which many people consider the best of the three (and one of the best anywhere).  


I won't disagree; I love this place, starting from the moment you walk in.   You open an old screen door and are faced with a long, disturbingly blackened hallway lined with wooden benches.  Everything looks smoked.  At the end of the dim corridor take a right, and behold: Fire!  The pitmasters toss together orders and pile it all on a tray lined with butcher paper.  No forks or knives, and don't ask.  Just pay up and head into the bright dining room in the front, where you can find sides (cole slaw, potato salad, etc.), and dollar cones of Bluebell ice cream.  Yum!

They have good sides too; I always order some potato salad, cole slaw, and beans

My son won’t go near the fires, and it is undoubtedly a little scary back there.  However, he loves the rest of it.  The ice cream doesn't hurt.

After our recent visit to Smitty’s, we walked a couple of blocks to see something really spooky - the Caldwell County Museum, which is housed in the old city jail (built in 1908-09).  I had expected to see a gutted and renovated (read: bland and sanitized) facility, but the original interior has hardly been touched.  It's really more of a Jail-themed museum, rather than a museum of Caldwell County. The ground floor was the warden’s family home, and is innocent enough.  But head upstairs (equipped with flashlights courtesy of the docent), and it’s hard not to get a little spooked.  The rusty cells (cages, really) are basically intact, and you can explore them freely.  The best room in the house is on the third floor; it has great views and nice cross-breezes.

Nice crenellation! That little door is the prisoners' entrance.

A view into the cells

A broom, of sorts

After that we needed a dose of happy reality so we headed to the pool at Lockhart State Park - nothing fancy; it feel like an extra large backyard pool.  On a hot and spooky day, it was just the thing.

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