Day 9: Lockhart, Texas and driving to Amarillo

Trip Start Aug 17, 2008
Trip End Sep 05, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Monday, August 25, 2008

Evan woke up a little early to do some laundry "the old fashion way," so he claims; soap and water in the shower, followed by a combination hot iron and blow dry technique. Needless to say, we had to lay his socks over the back seat for some additional drying during our drive.

The only reason we drove to Lockhart Texas was because this is Mecca of BBQ in Texas. If there was one destination to travel too for the best BBQ possible, Lockhart is it. There are 4 different main locations that have some claim to fame, but we chose the seemingly most popular, Smitty's market. You enter the building and the smokey smell permeates your skin. You walk down a dark hall, passing a butchers room to the left, then into a large sitting room full of benches.

One more set of doors takes you literally into the cooker, where you order your the pound, number (ribs), or basically by using some term of hand motion indicating size. The pit master slices the meat on the cutting board in the middle of the "pit," and slaps in on some butcher paper. You pay right there, according to the weigh, and then carefully transport your paper sleeve full of mouth-watering man fuel back to the sitting room. In there, you can select some side dishes, potato salad, beans...etc. Evan ordered 3 ribs, 1/4 lb of Lean (Pork Shoulder), and added some potato salad...he was having a light lunch. I order 3 ribs, 1/2 of Fat (brisket), and added a dill pickle and a diet coke (trying to be healthy). There is no sauce at Smitty's Market, because the meat is that good. We were skeptical, no BBQ sauce at a BBQ restaurant, but after 1 bite you realize it is completely irrelevant. We sat on a bench admiring the wall decorations seeming to span from the early 1900's to the present. We have a new number 1 BBQ restaurant, Smitty's market. No need to explain; it is the best, hands down. It was worth the trip, and will be worth the next. Go there, seriously.

Our destination today is Amarillo, TX, more a stopping point than anything else, but we do have a place in mind for lunch tomorrow, which sadly will most likely be our last actual BBQ restaurant......tragic...... It is 550 miles, a nice 7-8 drive thru absolutely nothing.....Texas is truly full of nothing for 100's of miles. Did I mention that there is nothing. Don't get me wrong, the cities like Houston, San Antonio, etc are all nice I'm sure, but everywhere else is flat, grassy, and empty. There were stretches of time where we didn't even see another car for at least 30 to 40 minutes.

We arrived in Amarillo at around 9:30, too late for any decent food, so we grabbed some A&W sandwiches, and a Sonic ice-cream blast (can you tell that we love Sonic), and went to figure out where were going to travel too next. Our motel smelled liked the french fry that you find in between your car seat 3 weeks after you thought you ate it.....pretty it actually smelled like cigarettes and fart (like it had been kept in a jar and released every time you open the door).
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