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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Kreuz Market, a high cathedral of Texas barbecue

Kreuz Market, prices circa 2011
Editor's note: Barbecued Adventures will be relaunched in early 2014 with new posts about barbecue, pitmasters and related travel. This post dates back to Feb. 20, 2011. Thank you for reading and place come back often. 

As you might recall from my earlier article about Lockhart, Texas' Smitty’s Market, back in the late 1990s, a disagreement among family members led Rick Schmidt to construct a new home – some might say a cathedral – for his barbecue.

Mike Mills, in a profile of Schmidt in his book Peace, Love and Barbecue, retold a story related to him by a journalist. When the enormous building was going up, people would walk into Smitty’s and ask, “What denomination is that church they’re building up the street?” The staff would respond, “Why, that’s the Church of Kreuz!”

When we visited on a sunny Wednesday afternoon, it afforded us plenty of places to sit, but I understand that it is hard to find a table here on a Saturday.

Roy Perez
The sign on the door offers fair warning to traveling salesmen: “No Salesmen – Every Third Salesman is Shot & The Second One Just Left!"

Located about a quarter mile north of the old location, at 619 N. Colorado (also route 183), Kreuz Market obviously shares a lot of good DNA with those who continue to turn out tasty barbecue back in the original location at Smitty’s.

The fire pits at Kreuz Market are exactly the same as at Smitty’s. When the place opened in 1999, Schmidt and his longtime employee Roy Perez staged a ceremonial carting of the coals up the street to fire up the new pits with “authentic Kreuz coals.” 

So you know the family feud isn’t too fierce.

And they exclusively use oak. You should see the fence that surrounds the wood pile.

Along with the new building came new items on the menu, including pork spare ribs, beans, German potato salad, sauerkraut and jalapeno cheese sausage.

Because this was the third barbecue restaurant that we’d visited in Lockhart within about three hours, my wife and I opted to share some pork ribs.

We love the ribs!
While I could get into trouble ranking their beef brisket with the other haunts here, I believe we are on firm ground when I write that Kreuz’ pork ribs were the best we’d had in more than a week in Texas.

We visited with several other people who also had come from many miles away to eat at Kreuz Market, including a couple of brothers who had driven in from North Carolina (one of them took our picture seen here).

However, I am disappointed to report some false advertising about this place. In television programs and even on Kreuz’ web site, it was been reported that if you want barbecue sauce or folks, “they are missing in action from Kreuz Market to this day.” 

A sign inside proclaims, “No Barbecue Sauce: Nothing to Hide.”

Not true. As you’ll see in the picture, there is a barbecue sauce here and it is excellent. But I will agree that it also remains an optional condiment.

Another sign proclaims that they only take cash, no credit cards. Also not true, thank goodness.

Location we visited:
Kreuz Market
619 N. Colorado St.
Lockhart, Texas

  Kreuz Market on Urbanspoon

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