As to rating the places…I’m of the opinion that brisket is good for sandwiches and use in other dishes but is not very good eaten plain. The exception to that on this last trip was Smitty’s which was cooked to a point of falling apart. That may or may not be good or proper texas brisket but it had more flavor and was enjoyable all by itself. I can’t say that for any of the other 4 places we tried.
Every time I have brisket I get the feeling the meat was pulled about an hour or two before it was really "right". I’ve always wanted to like brisket but apart from Smitty’s, unfortunately it’s just lunch meat to me. I do enjoy a brisket sandwich though and the brisket I brought home from Kreuz and Blacks is serving us well on some yeast rolls dressed with dill chips, onions, bbq sauce, and a little mustard.
On the other hand, the ribs at kreuz and pshoepfs(sp?) were excellent as were the porkchops..Blacks were to salty. Sausage was greasy and not as heavily seasoned as I like sausage.. at all locations I tried.