Dude Food First Look: Lockhart Smokehouse

Lockhart.JPG
Noah W. Bailey
A few dozen Oak Cliff residents and barbecue addicts braved the frozen streets and frigid temperatures to enjoy opening day this morning at Lockhart Smokehouse, the highly awaited new 'cue joint in the Bishop Arts District. As of 1 p.m., the place was out of meat, but luckily Dude Food got there early enough to sample a few different cuts.

The set-up is mostly true to the "Lockhart" name -- the line forms in the back near the smoker, and after you get your meat, you chow down at one of the tables in the large front room. There's also a bar, which should be fully operational once the ice melts and deliveries resume on schedule. We asked about getting a beer, but apparently the cans of Shiner, Miller Light and Coors Light on the shelves were display models only.

Beef was listed at $7.50 per half-pound, pork chops and ribs at $6.25 per half-pound, sausage $5 for original and $5.25 for jalapeño, and chickens were $10 whole, $5.50 for half. Barbecue beans, slaw, potato salad and deviled eggs were $2 for small, $4 for large, while sliced cheddar in Ziploc bags were $1 or $2.

A sample of shoulder clod was offered to those of us waiting in line, and the tiny morsel we scarfed was some of the finest barbecue we've had in North Texas -- equal parts smoke, crust and succulent, fatty moisture. Unfortunately, it was mostly downhill from there. The moral of the tale -- don't get carried away and buy $30 worth of BBQ based on one bite. We'll definitely be back though. Our individual observations were as follows:


Shoulder Clod

Noah: The sample we got in line was so good, I ordered a half pound of both shoulder clod and brisket, planning to take some home to the old lady. Unfortunately the shoulder clod I paid for was completely devoid of crust. In its place, gobs of un-rendered fat. I'll try it again but it definitely needed some more time in the smoker today.

Jesse: I, too, was taken with the sample, and had a noticeable difference between the juicy, warm nugget of smoke and the cool slab of dry beef with chunks of fat that I paid for. Noah's portion had easily the largest piece of solid fat that I've ever seen served in a restaurant -- I think it was about the size of a baby's fist. Mine looked to have a bit better texture and rendering, but not much.

Brisket

Noah:
Thankfully, my half pound of brisket had plenty of smoky crust, but some pieces were so hard I didn't even attempt to eat them. I think some quality control between the slicing table and the scale is in order.

Jesse: The seasoning and smoke flavor were right, but mine was much dryer than I expected. I was not impressed with the tough texture after having such high hopes. But surely they'll get it right -- Central Texas 'cue is based around brisket, after all. Or maybe 11:45 a.m. was too late, and they'd given the best cuts to the earliest customers. It's a point of pride for a brisket joint to serve their meat without sauce. Unfortunately, this brisket could have used it.

Jalapeño Sausage

LockhartSausage.JPG
Noah W. Bailey
The only way Dude Food will ever hit the links.

Noah: This was the only meat I really enjoyed today. Not the best sausage I've ever had, but certainly better than many local sausage offerings, with plenty of spice to boot.

Jesse: I would have actually liked mine a tad spicier, but this was still great and also my favorite part of the meal (aside from that clod sample). Juicy enough without being greasy, with good smoke and seasoning and just the right amount of filler to keep it from crumbling apart. I also had some potato salad, which tasted kind of odd -- unusually spicy and with a weird texture like soggy bread. But who cares about the sides?

Like Daniel Vaughn over at Full Custom (who must have gotten a much better piece of clod, judging by his pics), we've got high hopes for this place but think it's too early to judge.

P.S. Please turn off the god-awful pop-country satellite radio station (Willie's Place is just down the dial). If we wanted to hear the Dixie Chicks, we'd just go to Dickies. Thanks--Dude Food

Location Info

Lockhart Smokehouse

400 W. Davis St., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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14 comments
Neal
Neal

Okay, but what about this no forks policy?

hammertimez
hammertimez

Simply opening a place called "Lockhart Smokehouse"puts a target on your back....opening it in the Bishop Arts district and makes you a prime candidate for being reviewed the minute the doors open...even if these folks ARE related to the family who runs Kruez Market, i am very doubtful that ANY BBQ served in Dallas (besides the sausage, which is shipped up from Lockhart) is deserving of the name "Lockhart".

Bettye Ann
Bettye Ann

Hi, Buckeye!The owners of Lockhart Smokehouse are members of the family that owns Kreuz in Lockhart and, yes, you can get Kreuz sausage in Dallas. Kreuz ships the sausage to their relatives once a week. My whole family is from Lockhart and I love their sausage and Bar-b-q, too!Her is the link to their address! Enjoy!www.lockhartsmokehouse.com/dir...

Daniel
Daniel

We were there before noon today. The brisket is easily one of the best, if not the best in Dallas. I was surprised at the lack of a bbq sauce, but the meats don't need it. Better than any bbq I've had in many moons. The jalapeno sausage is the bomb. I knocked out mine, and half of my SO's. We split a brisket order, I ate most of that too. I will be going back soon.

So what's up with reviewing a restaurant on opening day?

matt
matt

Just came from there and it was excellent. Had the brisket, clod, and jap sausage. The brisket that I received was full of melt-in-your-mouth fat throughout and each tasty slice had a nice bark. The clod was extra smokey and full of flavor as well. The sausage casing had a great snap to it and the flavor was extremely well balanced with just the right amount of heat. with all of that said, the brisket was the highlight to me and was certainly the best brisket I've had in Dallas city limits to date. I love the fact that you can buy by the slice - Will be perfecting my order for the next visit.

This place will be in heavy rotation for a long while =)

NoahWBailey
NoahWBailey

The jalapeno sausage was actually better leftover at home, maybe because it cooled off so fast in the restaurant yesterday. I have another link awaiting me today in a secret, undisclosed location within Observer headquarters.

twinwillow
twinwillow

A friend mine went there for lunch today only to find the sausages were already sold out. He said everything else was excellent.

Betterbbq
Betterbbq

I haven't been there yet, but the fact that you didn't LOVE the Kreuz sausage makes me discredit this entire review - you don't have good taste!

Btsyrgrs
Btsyrgrs

The regular sausage is from Kreuz in Lockhart and is legendary Nationwide! I can't believe you went there and missed the star attraction!

BoHan
BoHan

Again, I still don't get why all you people are reviewing a BBQ joint at its first lunch on a really awful weather day. Is the competition that stiff? Give it a rest.

twinwillow
twinwillow

@Daniel: Like Kreuz's in Lockhart, no BBQ sauce is served.

luniz
luniz

Pretty impressive when you can tell how good something it tastes without having eaten it.

Betterbbq
Betterbbq

Well, I love Kreuz sausage and I have traveled to Lockhart a few times to get them and now I can get my Kreuz fix in Dallas - it's the same product, so I do know what it tastes like!! This review just seems a bit off considering what others are saying...and I agree with the first comment: "I still don't get why all you people are reviewing a BBQ joint at its first lunch on a really awful weather day"

Buckeye
Buckeye

BBBQ, are you saying you can buy Kreuz sausage in Dallas? If so, pray tell, where?

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