Texas Barbecue Tour – Seconda Parte

Post Texas 2

Il Kerlin e il Kreutz Market

If you followed our good Faustino during his itinerant summer holidays, but more over if you read his first reportage last week, you know very well what the content of this post is. Faustino has come to mind not to do the classic barbecue tours among the various US states but to focus on one in particular and try to really know him, to eat local specialties every day for lunch and dinner in as many joints as possible so to have at the end of the holiday a credible, precise and less possible touristic idea of what an inhabitant of that area really conceives with the term “barbecue”. Among the many possible States, he choose Texas, which means pure beef, SPG (Salt Pepper and Garlic) as the only conceivable rub, Beef Ribs, Texas Links and of course the mythical Brisket. The idea is to try the most famous Joint at the side of the lesser-known ones and Fausto will find himself on his way and get an idea as deep as possible of what the BBQ’s average bid in Texas. For the benefit of Fausto’s reader, he will classify all that he will see and eat, expressing a vote from 1 to 5.

In last episode Fausto left from Atlanta, heading to Austin  topping for trying Salt Lick BBQ and Snow’s BBQ. Still in the Austin area, he decides to visit Mauro Chiefari, an Italian friend who has decided to do an incredible experience, going to work as a Pitmaster at Kerlin BBQ and then continue to south towards San Antonio, slightly off the State Road 35 to stop at Lockhart to try another fabulous mecca of texan barbecue: the famous Kreuz Market.

Kerlin Texas

ATMOSPHERE

The Kerlin is part of a very common type of joint in Texas and very characteristic of Austin in the specific: the structure is even more spartan than usual, it seems almost provisional. Fully respecting the style, the Kerlin consists of a simple foodtruck parked on a mere tanned ground, alongside a small shed where the smoker is housed, a gazebo with a pair of benches and nothing more. Indeed, along the way we have seen many restaurants set up in this way and by the amount of families sitting at the table to eat, it is well understood that for Austin residents it is not a place to take just a sandwich in but a defined formula in all respects, although honestly it is difficult to compare it to the other fascinating and historic locals that we have visited on this trip. In front of the grills we find Mauro as well as welcoming us incredibly friendly and willing, gave us some explanation about the area and the texan barbecue in general. Mauro tells us that many joints are fashionable but that the quality level in general is very high, with not so great differences between one to another.

Kerlin Texas
Kerlin Texas

THE MENÙ

To order, you climb on a pallet in front of the foodtruck that allow you to be at the height of the side window. The meat is brought by the smoker, an offset surrounded by the sheet metal parts of the shack, to the pickup truck where it is cut and sold by weight, choosing from a blackboard on the wall. The menu is really simple with a few varied dishes daily. We choose the combo of two great classics: the Brisket and the Pork Ribs.

Kerlin Texas
Kerlin Texas

THE PURCHASE

We must admit that Mauro was right. The place is very spartan, not particularly attractive and the menu very basic but what we ate was really excellent. Kerlin TexasThe Brisket was soft, very tasty, melted in the mouth, a note of balanced smoke, among the best we tried on our trip. Even the ribs were very meaty, juicy, the taste literally filled your mouth. In the end, we complimented Mauro, we really ate great barbecue.

SCORES

ATMOSPHERE: 2
BRISKET: 5
PORK RIBS: 5
I LIKED: Meeting Mauro in person, really a pleasant and willing person.
I DISLIKED: Certainly the joints are rustic by nature and in the end count the quality of the food, but maybe this is a bit too much.

Here you can find a video which makes the idea better than the pictures, of the moment I tasted Kerlin’s meat.

Kreuz Texas

ATMOSPHERE

Kreuz is located along the road leading to Lockhart and it is not difficult to see it: a large red wooden and brick shed with a large car park on the front seems to be specially designed to accommodate visitors. Surely the restaurant has a very “authentic” atmosphere, rustic with classic wooden tables and the smell of smoke that looks impregnated in the walls. As you enter you can choose whether to enter a door and access directly to the room or go along the wall to go to the smokers. Behind the door is the counter where you can order the side dishes and on the front glass, I do not know how much jokingly, there is the saying “vegetarians enter here, normal folks down the wall.” Continuing, you get to the classic pit where you can order by weight from the simple menu. The meat is moved to the classic round cutter placed in front, then portioned, put on butcher paper and delivered to the customer, who can then sit in the room.

Kreuz Texas
Kreuz Texas

Kreuz Texas
Kreuz Texas

THE MENÙ

Kreuz is famous for two dishes in particular: Sausages, house butchered and Beef Shoulder, cooked as a Brisket. Let’s start with these, choosing the sausages in the Jalapeno Cheese version, we add some other dishes to complete, such as the Pork Ribs and the Turkey, a couple of slices of bread with some fresh jalapeno at the side dish counter and we go to sit.

Kreuz Texas
Kreuz Texas

THE PURCHASE

The sausages were really phenomenal, amazing, juicy and tasty. As soon as we finish, we have not been able to go back and get it again: too good! Kreuz TexasInstead, the Beef Shoulder has disappointed us a bit: very good taste but fairly dry, as well as the Brisket. I did not like the Pork Ribs at all, also these certainly too dry. We were surprised by the turkey: moody in the mouth, tender, very tasty. Certainly one of the best barbecued turkey ever tasted.

SCORES

ATMOSPHERE: 5
BEEF SHOULDER: 3
BRISKET: 3
LINKS (JALAPENO): 5+
PORK RIBS: 2
TURKEY: 5
I LIKED: The Atmosphere. Really addictive, authentic.
I DISLIKED: Nothing in particular.

Also here I add the video where I go on with the tasting.

And even the second part of Fausto’s tour is over but do not be afraid, we’re only halfway through his journey and still a lot of joints are waiting for him.

Waiting for the next episode, have you ever been from Kerlin and Kreuz Market? Do you share Fausto’s review?

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