We’re hitching a ride on the Flickchart Texas BBQ Road Trip! This time, we’re visiting the heart of Texas BBQ, the home capital and base of everything that has populated the Texas BBQ scene: Lockhart, home to many prestigious BBQ places, though only this one made the list.

Stop #21: Lockhart, Kreuz Meat Market

Nicknamed the Barbecue Capital of Texas, Lockhart was named after surveyor Byrd Lockhart, reportedly the first Anglo to enter what is now Caldwell County. The town was the site of a victory of settlers over Comanche in what was known as the Battle of Plum Creek. The town began to grow with the arrival of railroads, which made it a shipping center for cotton. With the arrival of the railroad came immigrants, specifically German and Czech immigrants. These immigrants would begin to form the basis of the Texas BBQ traditions. Butchers would smoke leftover meat that went unsold in order to prolong its storage life. As the leftovers became popular, many meat markets began to specialize in smoking meat.

Among those markets is Kreuz Meat Market. The original Charlie Kreuz bought the very first meat market in Lockhart from its original owner in 1900 using a $200 loan. $200 represented quite a gamble at the time, and it took the family picking cotton to earn enough money to pay the loan back. The Kreuz family came from Germany and brought its German meat market traditions to Texas-raised cattle and pork smoked over Texas oak. The business has changed hands a number of times over the years, and it moved into its current building in 1999.

I enjoyed some classic Texas BBQ choices on my visit. I got brisket, sausage, and pork rib. I also got some classic sides in the form of mac & cheese and green beans. Plus white bread, a humble but standard addition. Unfortunately, the brisket here might have been some of the driest brisket I’ve had. Certainly, Kreuz Market did so with intent to capture a certain style of smoking meat. But aside from a few bites, the result was a dry and brittle brisket. The sausage, however, was superb, with a perfect spring and a wonderful smoky flavor. The pork rib was decent, if not a standout offering.

I award the brisket 3.5 slices out of 5, the sausage 5 links out of 5, and the pork rib 4 oinks out of 5. I award Kreuz Meat Market 4 smokers out of 5.

The Film: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Perhaps a rather grim, if appropriately ironic, pairing, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre fits perfectly for the location of Lockhart. Though the exact location of the film is never made explicitly clear, it is described as somewhere in the area around Austin and San Antonio, off the highways. And in fact Lockhart was one of several spots where filming took place, including down the highway from the town where the iconic BBQ gas station pictured here still stands.

It’s also one of the most iconic horror films of all-time. Director Tobe Hooper was an Austin native and filmed the movie on the cheap with a bunch of local Texans to fill out his cast. This gritty authenticity is part of what has made the film’s impact and appeal so lasting. Hooper’s direction makes the movie feel like a recording of actual travelers on the Texan highways and the terrors they encountered. Indeed, the film marketed itself and opens with a statement treating the film as though it were based on true events. In reality it is fiction, though inspired by the horrific acts of Ed Gein.

Hooper’s unique sensibilities give the film an off-kilter and unnerving strangeness. The iconic killer and image of this franchise is the skin-wearing Leatherface, but the perfunctory nature of his skills and the clear indications that he is subservient to the other members of his family make him different in the annals of the slasher killers. Iconic moments such as the dinner scene where the remaining survivors are trapped and forced to witness the utter weirdness of the family, or the ending’s panicked sprint from Leatherface, stand out as iconic horror moments due to Hooper’s great direction that captures a unique kind of terror.

The sun-drenched landscapes of Lockhart and central Texas are suitable horror settings. They tap into that deepseated fear among urban people of strange backcountry yokels. There is also some commentary on the meat industry here, if you choose that reading, which makes it a funny pairing for our BBQ project. But The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a classic film and another addition to the unique bevy of Texas-set cinema.

Does anyone eat barbecue in the film?

Yes, of a sort.

The Rankings

Texas Film Chart

  1. The Last Picture Show
  2. No Country for Old Men
  3. Rushmore
  4. A Ghost Story
  5. Boyhood
  6. The Right Stuff
  7. Lone Star
  8. Chef
  9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
  10. Tender Mercies
  11. Dazed and Confused
  12. Dallas Buyer’s Club
  13. JFK
  14. The Sugarland Express
  15. Frank
  16. Whip It
  17. This is Where We Live
  18. The Alamo
  19. Outlaw Blues
  20. Selena
  21. Nadine

Texas BBQ Chart

  1. Franklin Barbecue
  2. Pinkerton’s Barbecue
  3. Terry Black’s Barbecue
  4. Pecan Lodge
  5. Stiles Switch BBQ
  6. Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
  7. Hutchins Barbeque
  8. 2M Smokehouse
  9. Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que
  10. Hays Co. Bar-B-Que
  11. Smolik’s Smokehouse
  12. Lockhart Smokehouse
  13. Heim Barbecue
  14. Gatlin’s BBQ
  15. Kreuz Meat Market
  16. Micklethwait Craft Meats
  17. Payne’s Bar-B-Q Shak
  18. The Pit Room
  19. Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que
  20. The Smoking Oak
  21. Harris Bar-B-Que

Join us again next time for more delicious smoked meats and fantastic Lone Star cinema!

The post Flickchart Road Trip: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre first appeared on Flickchart: The Blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.