Earlier this year, Lockhart Smokehouse opened a second location in the Metroplex. The original Oak Cliff location is near perfect in transporting the taste of Central Texas up to Dallas. Lockhart Smokehouse does, after all, have the Schmidt family name (of Kreuz Market) to uphold. The popularity of the original led them to open this new location in Plano. I was anxious to see if they could capture the brilliance of the original location and that taste of Central Texas Barbecue.
The brisket certainly looked the part as I unwrapped the greasy paper. It was served with a nice layer of sweet, well-rendered fat. The meat had a rough bark covering it but unfortunately not much smoke penetrated to the meat. The fat held some moisture to the meat but sadly, aside from it, the brisket was rather dull and missed the lofty heights the Dallas location has achieved with its beef.
The shoulder clod is a somewhat unique offering that was carried over from the tradition of Kreuz Market. The quality of the clod clearly beat out the brisket today. The clod is a much leaner slice of meat and this cut was buttery tender. This meat held great smoke and plenty of flavor. Clod cannot replace brisket for me, but this is a very easy meat to enjoy.
The pork ribs were the low-point of my visit. Lockhart Smokehouse goes simple on the rub and a few flecks of pepper adorned the ribs. Unfortunately the meat itself did not provide much flavor either. The ribs lacked smoke and bored my tastebuds. The meat was quite tough and it took a bit of work to pull the meat apart. Even worse was the chewy fat that remained unrendered on the ribs. These pork ribs needed more time for the smoke to work its magic.
The sausage is exactly what you would expect. The tasty links of Kreuz Sausage come directly from the city of Lockhart. These links were perfectly prepared. The snap of the skin revealed tons of juice and the flavor you crave from the Kreuz links.
The sides are not the typical barbecue joint afterthought. These offerings are unique twists on standard favorites. The Lockhart Slaw introduces jalapeño into a fresh, crispy slaw. The Smoked Baked Beans are very good and have quite a bite. The Mac and Cheese is above average and is certainly not short on cheese. The star of the side dishes on this visit was actually a dessert. I just could not pass up the Whiskey S’more Bread Pudding. The hot, gooey dessert was absolutely delicious.
The interior of Lockkhart Smokehouse iship space, but much smaller than the other location. Small tables sit on a wood floor in the narrow dining area. A long bar serving cocktails and craft beer is the centerpiece of the downstairs area. Available seating also sits perched in a loft area on the second floor, behind the small ordering counter. The atmosphere makes this a cool spot to spend some time, especially at night. They keep the meat coming all day and I am told that this location rarely runs out before closing time, making this a great dinner spot.
Overall this Lockhart experience did not approach the greatness achieved by the Oak Cliff location. The clod, sausage and sides were all on point. However the brisket struggled and the pork ribs fell completely flat. Still, in this area short on good barbecue options, Lockhart Smokehouse fills a needed void. I believe (and hope) that I came on an off night and I saw enough to warrant a return trip. If I was a local, I would be thrilled about the addition of Lockhart Smokehouse to my neighborhood.