05/03/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Best Barbecue In America

Smitty's, Lockhart, Texas
208 South Commerce, 512-398-9344;
Lockhart has two other temples of brisket and sausage (108-year-old Kreuz Market and septuagenarian Black's), but the razor-thin edge goes to one that didn't exist until 1999. That's when Smitty's opened in the space Kreuz once occupied and fired up well-aged pits that produce unconscionably rich, tender brisket, not to mention juicy sausage and exemplary pork ribs. Ordered by the pound and served in slabs as thick as the slices of white bread it comes with, the beef is unceremoniously presented on brown butcher paper (a.k.a. your plate). Smitty's provides sauce, too, but regulars don't touch the stuff.


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