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“Do you want Texas barbeque, or Mexican food?”

Honestly, have you ever heard such sweeter words?

When my friend picked me up by the airport in Austin, those were the first words out of his mouth. How did he know?


Since I’d never ventured out much into the outskirts of the cities in Texas (it’s hard when you don’t have a car, or time), here was my chance, and after much careful consideration—okay, maybe about four seconds of discussion, we floored it outta Austin.

When we pulled up to Kreuz Market, it looked like nothing much; a big, old abandoned-looking building with a dusty parking lot.

The pit boss recommended the beef brisket, which didn’t take much prodding to get us to order. The beef shoulder, which was described on the chalkboard as “lean” sounded good. And seeing as I love pork and lamb shoulder, we ordered a few hunks of that, as well as a couple of racks of beef ribs.

After being weighed, the cashier plunked everything in the middle of a few sheets of heavy-duty paper, tossed in a half a loaf of sliced white bread, gathered up the corners, and slid it across the counter in my direction.


After stopping at the counter next door for pickles, raw onions, and Arnold Palmers—iced tea and lemonade, we headed to out table and started picking at the heap ‘o meat between us.

I know meat-eating probably isn’t so good for the planet, but I’ve noted in America, even though everything is heavily air-conditioned and the cars are HUGE, everyone is concerned about going green and offsetting their carbon footprint. Since I don’t own a car, nor do I have AC, I didn’t feel too guilty about overindulging. (God bless America!) Plus we did our part…as good Americans, bien sûr…since no plates or silverware get used at Kreuz’s: just drip on the bright-red hot sauce, and dig in with your fingers.


We weren’t too wowed by the beef shoulder (my wallet would have been easier to chew), but the brisket and ribs were like salt-crusted, sauce-slathered morsels of meat from heaven. The meat on the ribs just slid from the bone and the brisket was so tender, and perfectly moist, it might make even a vegetarian fall off the wagon. I was a vegetarian for a number of years until I was felled by a corned beef sandwich, piled high on warm rye with Hebrew National mustard many moons ago, so I speak on good authority.

Now I’m off in search of Mexican food.

Once I finish digesting that mound of Texas ‘Q…

Kreuz Market
619 N. Colorado St.
Lockhart, TX
(512) 398-2361


    • Kharina

    I’m ill and can’t cook and looking at large slabs of meat with juices and other nice oozy things isn’t helping my mental health.

    Ps. So waiting for the Mexican one, heh heh. ;)

    • SpecialEd

    Kreuz’s, wow! One of the Holy sites of BBQ! They pretty much invented Texas style brisket. I’m so jealous!


    • mbs

    There shall be no other before Ruby’s.

    • mari

    Your making all us expats jealous! ;-)

    • Babeth

    alalalala I’m salivating in front of your post! Texas BBQ. And tomorrow you will be treated with Mexican food Gosh you’re a lucky boy! I’m not able to find a decent Mexican food around here in South of France.
    Have fun in Texas!

    • Lindsey

    Beef brisket did make me fall of the (3 years) vegetarian wagon permanently after a prior slip-up. It was Salt Lick, though, another great bbq joint outside of Austin.

    • liz

    I recommend Primo’s for post-CM class margaritas when you hit Dallas. Heck, I’ll take you there myself if need be.

    Dallas has a few decent BBQ places, but nothing like Kreuz.

    • liz

    BTW, the offer of margs is meant in a non-stalkery way. I’m too lazy to actually stalk people.

    • John Martin

    Kreuz’s went upscale about 10 years ago, the result of a family squabble. Daughter Nina Schmidt established Smitty’s in 1999 on the site of her dad’s original Kreuz’s (right off the town square).

    Smitty’s and Kreuz’s both have the same recipes and the food can be indistinguishable, but only Smitty’s has the authentic locale and ambiance including the original 50+ year old BBQ pit

    Don’t go to Lockhart without going to Smitty’s. You can stop at Kreuz’s after that.

    • stacy

    that is some charry goodness on that brisket! YUM Welcome to Texas! We are always glad to have you =)

    • Kirstin

    Beautiful picture of BBQ. Does anyone own a hibachi in France?

    • David

    stacy: Thanks! Am glad to be here…

    Liz: I assume ‘margs’ are margaritas. Does Primo’s deliver?

    mbs: Ruby’s in Austin? I ate there last time! (I’m an equal-opportunity bbq-lover.)

    • Linda

    I’m from Austin and really do miss the barbeque and mexican food. My favorite place for barbeque is The Salt Lick. Can’t beat their brisket or their sauce which is goldenish with a mustard hue.

    • jackie

    I gotta agree with Linda. The Salt Lick is THE place. But don’t bother with the one on 360 (what real bbq place has table cloths???!!!) and for some reason the food at the airport location isn’t all that. Their sauce and coleslaw have toasted sesame seeds/oil and is fabulous! The wife of the couple who founded the restaurant is Japanese, so there’s light asian touches.

    • Bob

    Just curious; why would a “vegetarian” order a meat sandwich in the first place?

    • Lauren

    Welcome back to Austin!
    Don’t miss Torchy’s taco trucks. ( Featured in the “New Airstream Cuisine” in May’s Food & Wine. The Democrat taco (barbecoa) rocks. Then Teo’s after. Enjoy!

    • Joanna in the kitchen

    Yeah I know what you mean. I’m also vegetarian most of the time but when the great piece of meat comes my way I don’t hesitate a second ;-)

    And David, one more thing. I just have to express myself. I keep visiting your blog for a little while now and I have to admit that I adore it. For variety of reasons, one of them being your great sense of humour. When I read your blogs I laugh and laugh and laugh. Although I know that you receive a lot of nice awards and compliments I still think that your blog deserves the E for Excellent award for being…well…Excellent! Keep it that way, please :-)

    • Christina

    I miss Austin so much! Enjoy it while you’re there. Don’t miss Mexican food at Azul Tequila, Curra’s, and especially El Chile (Cafe y Cantina) over in east Austin near Chicon. They have shrimp enchiladas with a smoky tomatillo salsa verde that are worth dreaming about. And Vespaio is a busy, hip Italian restaurant on S. Congress Ave. that serves probably the best Italian in town.

    • timhenk

    Looks good! Sounds like my kind of joint, too.

    But I have to correct you on something. We Americans SAY we’re all about going green and doing right by the environment, but in reality we do NOTHING about it, except but a “Go Green” bumper sticker on our huge SUV’s. Generally speaking, that is.

    • ashley

    Curra’s grill in Austin has great Mexican. I haven’t lived in Austin in a few years and i miss… they have wonderful tamales. Its interior mexican food rather than the Tex-Mex though!

    • Carter B

    I was a Kreuz man for about 15 years but lately I thought the quality has declined and I’ve moved my love to Smitty’s. The clod (shoulder) should be tender with a roast beef texture. Luling City Market and (sometimes) Louis Muellers in Taylor are good.

    In your picture of the vegetarian’s entrance you chopped off the ironic “No Smoking” sign.

    • matt

    I MISS HOME! waaaaa! :(

    • Riva

    And if you find yourself in San Antonia, don’t forget Mi Tierra for a Tex-Mex breakfast that can’t be beat!

    • Eric

    My stomach’s growling after seeing that brisket! Maybe it’s partly because I only ate desserts last night–scrumptious but not exaclty a balanced meal! =) Thanks so much for coming to Austin Central Market and for showing us all your amazing recipes, especially for humoring me with the candied orange peel demo! My bf loved the madeleine I snuck out for him, too.

    • Brian in austin

    Hi, David,

    I just want to let you know that when looking to sate your Mexican hunger, you could do much, much worse than Polvo’s in the Oltorf/S. First area of Austin. My suggestion would be a banana margarita and the cerveza beef fajitas. Hope you enjoy our town :)

    • Lisa (Homesick Texan)

    Good, sweet heavens! I’m with Matt…I wanna go HOME!

    • Michael


    I am pretty sure that is “LOCKHART, TEXAS” not lockwood.

    Oops, I corrected that. Thanks! -dl

    • adkim

    David, If you are coming to Dallas, please check out

    this little bakery is the pride of a lot of dallas foodies. hope you have a great Texas visit.



    • Chefdavis

    Nice Post, but there are a few statements that are inaccurate.

    —-we ordered a few hunks of that, as well as a couple of racks of beef ribs—-
    beef ribs are HUGE and Kreuz sells them by the rib (a rack would be in the 3+ foot range).
    The pork ribs could be ordered by the slab.

    I have eaten at Kreuz’s about 10 times and I have never seen lamb shoulder, but I am jealous at the idea.

    —-but the brisket and ribs were like salt-crusted, sauce-slathered morsels of meat from heaven—–
    Kreuz does NOT have barbeque sauce

    • David


    I know they’re famous for “no sauce!” but my friend, a local, was dribbling something over his ribs and brisket. I don’t recall what it was exactly, but they were selling bottles of it behind the counter, too. Here’s a picture of it.

    • garyd

    Lived in Austin years ago and used to go to Rudy’s ner the Arboretum a lot. BBQ with Cholula on the side….yummy.


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