Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Google Image Search: Word & Picture #168

Today's Word:
Smitty's Bar-B-Q

Today's Picture:

My friends, Darrell and Jen, came to Austin last Wednesday. Loyal blog readers may know Jen & Darrell for their combined dominance of my "Name This Person and Win". Jen is especially adept at naming-that-person-and-winning. She has mad skills. Mad skills.

Darrell and Jen are from Tucson. Darrell and I met in college. We were both RAs. We were both home brewers. We were both avid Arizona Wildcat athletics fans. Darrell and I have an impressive streak of traveling long distances to see our team lose. So far, we have watched our beloved Arizona Wildcats lose in:
Eugene, Oregon
Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Madison, Wisconsin

I am sure there are many more trips in our future... I just hope the Wildcats can win one. I am confident the problem is not Darrell and I being at the game. At least I hope that is not the problem.

Despite being a curse to our athletic team, Darrell met me in Austin last Wednesday evening. He was going to his cousin's wedding in Dallas and decided to fly into Austin first. He arrived late Wednesday. We ate Rudy's Bar-B-Q and drank beer on the porch until 1 AM.

The next morning, we went tubing. But this was not just any tubing trip. Darrell turned 34 years old on this tubing trip. Technically, he turned 34 the entire day... not just during the tubing trip. Nonetheless, we spent Darrell's birthday here:

The beautiful Comal River in New Braunfels, Texas. We rented tubes from Texas Tubes and floated the river with a cooler of beer.

Here is a picture of Darrell, Jen & I after the float and a few beers. Notice Jen & Darrell's official Ben Bartley Fan Club T-Shirts (a wedding gift from yours, truely):

I know you are super jealous of those bad-ass T-Shirts. I KNOW you are jealous. Or at least I like to tell myself that you are jealous of the Official Ben Bartley Fan Club T-Shirt.

After an awesome tubing trip, we dropped Megan off at her car in San Marcos (she had meetings back in Austin). Then Darrell, Jen & I headed to Lockhart, Texas. Why did we go to Lockhart, Texas? One reason:

Smitty's Bar-B-Q. Smitty's is consistently ranked in Texas Monthly's top 5 Bar-B-Q joints in Texas. Rightfully so. This was not so much a Bar-B-Q joint as it was a meat mecca.

Here is Darrell and Jen before we entered:

What do they serve at Smitty's? HOMEMADE WIENERS!!!

Do you think I would pass a sign that said, "HOMEMADE WIENERS!" and not put it in my blog. I am a 34 year old man, with the mind of a 12 year old boy. Yes, I giggled when I saw the sign. My first thought was, "If you're going to make wieners, you better make them at home."

The first place you go in Smitty's is to the meat counter. The meat counter is directly in front of the smokers. These are not fancy, industrial smokers with timers and thermostats. These smokers are like a giant chimney. Brick. Fire. Meat. If Smitty's is a cathedral, here is a picture of the alter:

Next up, it was time to order. I did not want to appear to be a rookie. I looked at the menu and confidently ordered: "A pound of ribs, a pound of fat, 3 hot rings".

They yelled out my order for the chef. I then sheepishly said, "This is my first time to Smitty's, was that a good first order? Did I miss anything?" The lady smiled and said, "you did just fine."

Indeed I did.

I can not begin to describe how happy this food made me.

Next stop: meatsville.

Vegetarians, I apologize for this next picture. Prepare for your visual hell. You may just want to scroll down past the next picture.

Here goes...

... yummy.

Here are three full people:

If you have not been to Smitty's, come see me. I will drive to Lockhart any day of the week and eat there with you. It is about 45 minutes from my house, straight down 183. This is not so much a restaurant as it is a religious-meat-experience. I can not describe it. We just have to go. God clearly loves Lockhart, Texas.

I was not only fascinated by Lockhart's Bar-B-Q. I was also taken by its architecture.

Here are some store fronts of downtown:

This is the Caldwell County Courthouse in downtown Lockhart:

Beautiful, eh?

After leaving Lockhart, we stopped by Central Market in Austin to pick-up Darrell's birthday cake:

No offense to the good people of Central Market, but compared to the Bar-B-Q, the cake just did not cut it. Next time I celebrate Darrell's birthday, forget the cake: I am getting him birthday Bar-B-Q. Ribs that spell out "Happy Birthday" on a pile of Brisket.

We capped the night by a walk around downtown Austin. Here are Darrell and Jen, silhouetted by the Texas Capitol at night.

It was a good trip. I was glad they came. I hope they come back. Screw that, I hope they move here.

In summary: meat is a religion in Lockhart, Darrell's birth took place on the Comal River, I ordered a pound of fat at Smitty's.


Jennifer said...

I think the people deserve to know that after we consumed the first pile of meat, we went back for an extra pound of ribs.
We had a blast and we can't wait to see you, Megan and PugPuggy again soon!

Anonymous said...

I really like the picture you called "three full people." It looks like there is an idea light bulb right over your head. I'd like the think the idea was to eat Bar-B-Q at Smitty's.


hope pray work 4 peace said...

can i come to texas for my birthday? please say yes, please say yes. by the way, how many small stick-towns are there to which you are willing to drive to meet a friend for BBQ? i think you drove over an hour to have a 30-minute lunch with me at the salt lick. mmm, that was good.

ps- isn't baton rouge also on the list of cities you've watched the cats lose with darrell?

hope pray work 4 peace said...

a short google search about what are TM's top 5 BBQ pits also yielded this gem of blog-alism. a nod of respect to this guy... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/587131

(you know you want to try it)

Anonymous said...

Yes, HPW4P, Ben did forget Baton Rouge. Thanks for reminding us of that slaughter. Ben may have been trying to block that whole trip out though - he had some stomach problem that forced us to stop every 30 miles between Houston and NOLA.

And a hat tip goes out to the Chow Hound fatty who ate at all 5 BBQ's in two days.


Ben said...

I barely remember the Baton Rouge trip. And I barely drank. But Darrell had to stop every 15 minutes as I ran to the bathroom. Darrell- I promise not to be such a "party pooper" on our next trip. HPW4P - when you come back to Austin, you can guarantee I will be taking you to some small town to eat BBQ.