208 S. Commerce
208 S. Commerce
Fire is hypnotic. Staring into it can be mesmerizing and may even alter your state of mind. Take the fire at Smitty’s Market for example. Just inside the back door, which is really the primary entrance, an open fire is the first thing you encounter. The flames lick their way beyond the edge of a towering brick wall. Beyond the wall, the space opens up into a large room with meat-filled brick pits. At a…
Smitty’s is just too good to dock it a star based on one mediocre visit, but this last one wasn’t up to the level I’m used to at Smitty’s. [After some poignant review of the last few visits, I must reconsider the high rating of five stars. Of four visits, three have been mediocre, including the last two. This is not a streak worthy of such a high rating.] While the sausage was well smoked…
Don’t bother going in the front door. You’ll end up in the parking lot behind the boxy brick building anyway, doing the Smitty’s shuffle: At peak hours, the lines invariably stretch out the back door. Patiently, you inch your way forward, passing the waist-high brick pits and perusing the list of post oak–smoked meats (brisket, pork ribs and chops, shoulder clod, sausage, prime rib). Salivating, you finally place your order for a pound or so…
Something about watching a man in a grease stained white jacket and a large knife portioning out my lunch, makes me crave it even more with every slice. Service is curt and efficient at this Lockhart legend, but the only niceties I need were piled on that butcher paper.
An order of fatty brisket, lean shoulder clod, ribs, sausage and a large pork chop were tantalizing atop the greasy butcher paper. The sweet glaze on the ribs adds a great flavor to the meat, but the smokiness was missing. The fatty brisket had too much unrendered fat, but the flavor from the rub was great. The smokiness was better than the ribs, so it surprised me that the shoulder clod was missing the smoke factor. It was good enough, but not to the level that I’ve come to expect from Smitty’s.
The pork chop and the sausage were the best. The sausage was fatty with a good snap, and a great smoky flavor, while the pork chop was equally good. It could have been a little more moist, but the delicious crust made up for it.
On our way out we noticed this older man taking a smoke break in this historic corridor, and something about the picture just oozes Smitty’s.
While they didn’t get the coveted sixth star, this is still a must on any BBQ trip in this region, and I fully expect them to come back into exemplary form on my next visit.
(This review originally appeared on Full Custom Gospel BBQ.)