Monday, August 31, 2009

Kreuz Market: The Gold Standard

Last Tuesday, being the last Tuesday of my post Bar exam vacation, some of the guys and I went to Lockhart, Texas for the best BBQ in the Texas. In one magical stretch of Texas Highway 183, in a span of less than 20 miles, 5 of the best BBQ places produce the best BBQ imaginable. Luling, Texas has two of the best and Lockhart, Texas, has 3 of the best including the gold standard, Kruez Market.

(Photo caption: Ribs. And crackers. And some grease. Photo credit: Jon Frink)

I won't rehash all of the review from the last time we all went, but, instead, will post everyone's own review from the trip last week.

Leighton: I thought the BBQ was incredible. The moist, AKA fatty, brisket was even better than I remembered it. The jalapeno and cheese sausage was still the best sausage I have ever had. I do not remember having the beans or potatoes last time, but they were really good this time. All in all, a solid second trip worth our efforts.

Jon: I missed out on Kreuz's the first time around, but I've driven past it several times on my way to and from Houston and have thought about stopping there. When Vik called up and asked if I wanted to meet up there the following day, I jumped at the chance to try the barbecue that got the highest praise on the tour. I wasn't disappointed. From the brisket to the ribs to the sausage, everything was delicious. I was mildly skeptical of claims that no barbecue sauce was needed, but it's absolutely true. If I'm going to nitpick I could say that the lean brisket was a little on the dry side or that the ribs were just slightly too salty, but neither of those were serious enough to diminish enjoyment of the food. The ribs were really tender, the lean brisket still tasted great as was the moist brisket, the jalapeno and cheese sausage lived up to its reputation, and while I didn't try the beans, the potatoes had a nice flavor. It's been a few months so I
don't quite remember how Snow's stacks up, but I'll definitely be going back to Kreuz's, especially since I don't have to worry about them running out.

Stephen: Personally I am not a big fan of lots of sauce on meats so the fact that Kreuz relies on the rubs really fits my style. Easily the best ribs I have ever had with a great pepper and salt rub. Both lean and moist briskets were very good. I would have to say that Kreuz had some of the best jalapeno cheese sausage I have ever had. Made for a great snacker. The only thing that could have made it better was some spicy mustard. Quite frankly after listening to Kreuz being built up for 6 months I would say that this place exceeded expectations. It was also a great day trip to get away from the busyness of Houston.

Wes: Fantastic. Great brisket. One of the finer Snackers I have ever had, and I invented the damn thing.

Travis: The best endorsement i can give about Kreuz's BBQ is that it is worth a 2 to 2 1/2 drive (from Houston) to eat there. The Jalapeno and Cheese sausage,the brisket, and the ribs were excellent. The moist brisket is better than the lean brisket. the brisket was tender and delicious. the one complaint i have about the brisket is that it could have used more of the dry rub. The jalapeno and cheese sausage is probably the best I have had. The ribs were cooked perfectly and the dry rub complemented it perfectly.

Vik: Even after building up in my own head since March, Kreuz's was still the best BBQ I ever had. If you haven't been there, you need to go. Immediately. The ribs were even better this time. The sides were awesome, even if they could be considered by some to be head fakes. Both briskets were awesome. The jalapeno sausage was incredible. You don't need sauce. You don't need a fork. You just need to get there. Immediately. Eating BBQ with pickles and crackers is the best way to do it.

I brought some back for Luke and Trey. Even after a few hours, the BBQ held up great. I'd encourage both of them to post reviews in the comments.


Luke said...

I'd say that this was darn good BBQ. I'll admit, I was at best skeptical about leftover BBQ without sauce reheated in the microwave before I tried some. When I did try it, however, I got a taste explosion in my mouth. I'll start from the top and go down:

Ribs - Easily some of the best ribs I've ever had, and I'm a man who loves his ribs. The rub was ever so slightly high on salt, but the kick of pepper and the oh-so-smoky flavor accentuated with just a kiss of cumin and paprika (among others, I'm sure) was phenomenal. Being the son and brother of fellow condiment connossieurs, my heart of hearts wanted sauce but the ribs honestly didn't need anything. 10/10.

Sausage - Just a touch below the ribs, this sausage was the real deal. Thinly sliced, it didn't need a jalapeno slice, sauce, or a pickle. My favorite part was that you could actually see pieces of peppers and cheese without those big chunks of fat you find in sausage a lot of times. The only knock was that the casing was a little tough, possibly because of the storage/transit/microwave. 9.85/10.

The pickle - One of the most underappreciated part of BBBQ, this pickle was gold. Crunchy but smooth, salty with a hint of sweetness, it was so well balanced I'd easily rate it as the second best pickle I've ever had, behind only the Brenham little league refreshment shack. 9/10.

Fatty > Lean brisket - Great rub, great flavor, and very tender. The fatty slices held up a lot better than the lean brisket because of the extra fat, but I imagine they both were a shadow of their former selves. If I weren't so impatient and had taken the time to reheat them the right way, I imagine it would have been even better. Even though they had probably been smoked for 12-24 hours beforehand, you could still taste the rolling grasslands of Texas in the meat, which was of great quality and freshness. Fatty 8/10, Lean 7/10; likely due to my own error.

Overall, it was phenomenal, incredible, unbelievable arugala ... i mean, BBQ. I wish I could go myself and experience it fresh from the source. Until that day, I'll live with the memory of some gosh darned good food.

Trey said...

I like to eat food that's been cooked in foil