We had been advised that the 20 minute drive from Austin out to Lockhart for barbecue at Kreuz's was worth it, so we went. Now I know why my friend laughed when I asked if we needed reservations. From the outside, Kreuz's reminded me of a big-old-fashioned dance hall, like the kind we had in New Hampshire in the 50s and 60s, when I was growing up. It was 7 pm when we arrived, and because there were a series of large empty rooms, none of which looked much like a restaurant, we weren't sure where to go or how to order. Eventually we found ourselves in the smoke room where there was a large chalk board listing the meats sold at prices between $14 and $17 per pound.
"We're out of everything except pork chops and sausage, and maybe a couple of beef ribs," said the tired-looking woman standing next to the scales. "We're out of beef and chicken and brisket. What a crazy day." Granted it was Good Friday and the start of a busy weekend, but there were only a few trucks in the parking lot (like big hair, big trucks are ubiquitous in Texas) and the cavernous dining room looked pretty empty.
"I'll have a pork chop and a sausage, " I said. "Me too," said Bruce, and a couple of pieces were thrown on to several thick sheets of brownish pink butcher paper, wrapped loosely, and tossed our way. "You can git drinks and sides through those double doors over there," the tired lady said, as she weighed the meat, rang up twenty two bucks, and pointed in the direction of the doors. Once on the other side, the woman selling sides and drinks said they were out of potato salad, mac and cheese, and coleslaw but still had red cabbage and pinto beans. "Ok, two beans and two cabbages and a couple of beers," we replied, wondering why their supply was so limited at 7 pm. "Maybe people eat early in Texas," I said, as I looked around the nearly empty fluorescent-lit dining hall, and saw only a few families eating pork chops and sausages too. Oh and I mustn't forget. There were no plates. You ate off the butcher paper and there were no forks. Only plastic knives and spoons, which meant we ate Tom Jones style, although the spoons came in handy for the sides. In addition, the large role of paper towels was a perfect substitute for napkins, but I could have used some dental floss too.
The adventure continues............
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