There are so many places to eat barbecue, it blows the mind. For this reason, it is rare for me to eat at one place when I travel for bbq. The same day that Chris (my cousin/barbecue cohort) and I went to City Market, we decide to stop at Chisholm Trail in Lockhart on the way home.
We had just left the great toxic oil smells of Luling and barely 15 minutes had gone by when we pulled up to Chisholm Trail. We argued for a minute if this was the “real” Chisholm Trail. Of course it was as there isn’t another 🙂
We stepped out of the car and we were immediately welcomed by the scent of post oak smoke. I swear that post oak has smoke has magical powers.
On the inside, Chisholm Trail is fairly simple (as any good bbq joint should be). There is a well defined line with an excellent looking buffet full of tasty looking sides, pickles, onions, peppers and so on. But let’s be honest: I didn’t drive all this way to eat sides that my wife makes 100 times better. I came for ‘cue.
Chris and I stepped up to the counter and placed our order. Like most cutters, the Chisholm Trail cutter started by slicing of the glorious bark and hiding it in a secret drawer. NO NO NO. I hate that more than anything. Why do they do that? I’ll never understand.
We ordered brisket and pork ribs, but no sausage this time. Perhaps that was a mistake…I’ll have to go back I guess 😀
Right in front of where you place your meat order there’s a big crock pot of sauce. The sauce was warm, thick and dark. Very Kansas City looking. We reluctantly scooped some up not expecting much.
The moment we paid we made a mad dash to the closest table to begin tasting.
The brisket lacked a well defined bark, which disappointed the hell out of me. Sure, there was bark present, but it was thin and soft. However, the texture was very nice. It had a good moisture content falling in that middle ground of not too moist and not too dry. But the outstanding quality of this brisket was the smoke flavor. Wow!
Chisholm Trail has really nailed that post oak flavor. It was freaking AMAZING. It’s like they have figured out how to perfectly infuse the post oak smoke into the brisket. This isn’t my most favorite brisket on earth, but it is tops in smoke flavor, easily moving it to my top 5 or 10.
The pork ribs were VERY tasty. They were thick and meaty spare ribs and this type of rib can frequently go wrong. Chisholm Trail’s ribs had been deeply penetrated by smoke and were pink all the way through. I really liked these ribs. A lot.
Finally, let’s talk about the sauce. In Texas, I would not expect a Kansas City style sauce. But I’ll tell you what: this was very good sauce. In fact, after my initial tasting of the meats, I ended up dipping everything in the sauce (which is atypical for me). I’m not gonna write home about this sauce, but I certainly enjoyed it.
Overall, I think Chisholm Trail is a must for your Lockhart trip. While we were eating, there was a steady stream of locals pouring in the door and the drive through. Honestly, Chisholm Trail had the most locals in and out of any other joint in town (at least that I have experienced).
We boxed up our leftovers and got back on the road to head home. I was fat and happy. Two barbecue joints in one will do that.